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Thread: Really Easy Half Square Triangle Blocks

  1. #1
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Do you have trouble making HSTs? I think my method is really easy. No dog ears no cutting out squares and sewing down the middle on each side of a line.

    A mini cutting mat or a turntable cutting mat would be good. You can cut without a mini but it would make it easier to do.

    You will need a template of whatever size you are making. If you don't have a template you can cut one from stiff cardboard or template plastic but these will be prone to getting cut. And the corners may not be accurate with cardboard or thin plastic.

    But you won't have to buy any thing to make your HSTs. No paper piecing or Thangles or any other expense.

    If you haven't seen my thread then here is my link for free templates. If you need a size other than any of these just let me know.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-36008-1.htm

    We make these up ahead and then have them on hand for whatever I decide to make. This works well with scraps too. I just make two piles one dark colors and one light and then I take one of each and sew them together and then cut out the square from the center. You can sew them like flags and it goes pretty quick. Then we go back and cut out the squares. Any leftovers can be recycled.

    Ok here we go. Here is my cut down version for making Half Square Triangles.

    I used a 2 1/2" template and cut my strips 2 1/2" x 11"
    This will give you 5 HSTs. Youcan make your strips longer but this works well for me.

    Turn your mat and cut along the next side
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    Sew your two strips together
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    Iron the seams open for a flat surface
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    Place your template on the strips at the bottom. Place two corners on the seam. Make sure your corners are accurately placed for a better HST
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    Cut along one side
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    Continue turning the mat and cutting as you cut the other two sides
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now the pieces that are left at the top and bottom can be used to make a 4 patch. There is very little waste with this method.

    The two ends facing each other
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    Trim the edges
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    Match up the seams
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    The two seams together
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    I like to tack the seams so they can't move when I sew
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    Use a template to cut out the 4 patch Make sure your template corners are on the seams accurately or your 4 patch will be off on the corners
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    Sew them together
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    And voila a 4 patch!
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  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    fabulous!!!!!

  4. #4
    k3n
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    Rhonda that's great! I'd seen you do the first stage before but not seaming and using the offcuts and the groovy little 4 patch! Have to try this! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Just had another look - sooooo clever! Now what can I make with lots of HSTs? LOL

  6. #6
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    K this is how I used to do it. As I work in scrappy mostly I don't really do alot this way anymore but if you are doing a bunch of the same fabrics this is a quick easy way to do them. I actually started out seaming the strips on both sides and laying the template on the seam and only cutting out one half of the triangle. This works ok but I felt I had better accuracy with the strips open. Both would be fine to use. This is actually a bit quicker to do. But you do have to clean up the squares sometimes from dogears on some of them.

    Seam on both sides
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    Cut one triangle from the seam on one side then place the template on the other seam and cut out.
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    Here are the HSTs from the strips
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  7. #7
    k3n
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    Oh that's cool too! Would you say that's better for longer strips? I also want to preempt any 'fear of bias' comments - since working with OBWs I don't have this anymore, but personally I'd starch the fabric well before cutting. Bias is your FRIEND - it's there to make things FIT! LOL

  8. #8
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Oh that's cool too! Would you say that's better for longer strips? I also want to preempt any 'fear of bias' comments - since working with OBWs I don't have this anymore, but personally I'd starch the fabric well before cutting. Bias is your FRIEND - it's there to make things FIT! LOL
    I did spray with sizing before I cut but I have never had a problem with bias so I don't think that way. Tho it could be because I usually work in the small stuff and bias isn't an issue there.

    As to the length of the strip I would say you can make it as long as you want. You will have to swivel the mini mat but that is just a matter of flipping the length out of the way. I also don't actually measure my strips I just rough cut and open the seams and cut. But I did measure these for those who cannot handle the rough cutting. A lot of people do not like to waste anything so I went with the flo so that would not be an issue here. for me it is faster to just cut and sew with out all the measuring but each to their own. I am about fast and a little waste doesn't bother me.

  9. #9
    racnquilter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick tip Rhonda. Going to be working on a project that has a ton of half-square triangles and this will make it go so fast.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    You're welcome! It bothered me to see so many people having to struggle to make HSTs. They really aren't that difficult.
    I hope this tutorial helps!

  11. #11
    Super Member sunflower126's Avatar
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    This is wonderful. I was stressing out trying to make those HST's come out even. Love this technique. Going to try it for my swap blocks.

  12. #12
    dannypanny's Avatar
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    Rhonda thanks for sharing your expertise. I dread cutting out HST or anything weird. I can never match the points or the corners etc. Your tutorial looks like I shall be able to do squares etc. ciao

  13. #13
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Great tute Rhonda

  14. #14
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Thank you Thank you I love this! This comes under the category of "why didn't I think of that!"

  15. #15
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    You're all welcome! I hope this makes the process easier and more stress free.

  16. #16
    Super Member thequilterslink's Avatar
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    thanks so much for the tutorial, i have been wanting to do a quilt with tons of HST for a long time, but have been putting it off, dreading drawing all those lines and squaring up all those blocks. this will certainly make it a lot easier... :) thanks!

  17. #17
    k3n
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    I've just been playing with this with both the strips sewn up each side and swatches, using my scraps. All blue and white and I'm doing stars of different sizes, think it will be a table runner. It's fun and sew easy peasy!

  18. #18
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    I've just been playing with this with both the strips sewn up each side and swatches, using my scraps. All blue and white and I'm doing stars of different sizes, think it will be a table runner. It's fun and sew easy peasy!
    this method is the back bone of our work. Dorothy does these by the thousands for me. I seperate into 6 basic colors and she cuts one color both lights and darks into piles and then sews the piles together and then cuts. she does about 40 each of each fabric so I get 40 HSTS of the same two fabrics. I like to have at least 8 differant sets. So when she works she ends up giving me several hundred to a couple thousand HSTs of that one color way. One time I counted them because her DGS thought it looked like at least 1000 and there was over 3000.

  19. #19
    k3n
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    Oh my! Well I haven't made quite THAT many! LOL

    But there is a pattern of baskets - know the one I mean? And I love it but have been put off by all the tiny HSTs needed...not any more!

  20. #20
    bj
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    Thanks for this tute. I do the old overcut then trim method. It's a pain in the neck. This looks much more efficient!

  21. #21
    k3n
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    I've found that I only have to trim the ears off - the blocks are coming up true. As I always add an inch and trim back when I do them the two squares sewn on the diagonal way, for me this way is loads quicker.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj
    Thanks for this tute. I do the old overcut then trim method. It's a pain in the neck. This looks much more efficient!
    I like to just cut strips without measuring just do it by eye and I then just put them together and sew a straight seam. No math no measuring with a ruler. Sometimes I cut a straight edge if my cut wasn't too straight. I am all about not doing any more math than I have to!! LOL

  23. #23
    Senior Member Tootsie's Avatar
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    Wonderful instructions! I'll definitely give this a try. Thanks so much for taking the time to post all of the pictures!

  24. #24
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    I've found that I only have to trim the ears off - the blocks are coming up true. As I always add an inch and trim back when I do them the two squares sewn on the diagonal way, for me this way is loads quicker.
    It is a trade off. I think the double seams is quicker to cut but you have to cut dog ears. The single seam open and cut is a cleaner cut with no dog ears but then you have to sew the second side and continue to cut. We do almost all in scrappy so we use primarily stacks of swatches. You do have a little waste with this depending on how well you but up your template to the previous cut. But if you are cutting one inch wider on the 2 squares then you aren't getting any more waste probably than what you had.

    I am glad this works for you. I think it is quick and easy and no math. At least not much. I dont' measure my strips so less math if you do it by eye.

  25. #25
    k3n
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    I know there's a formula to work out the diagonal of a square but I just measured the diagonal line on my template! I'm with you - if you can avoid maths, it's a gooood thing! LOL

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