Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Terrific Method for Making HSTs

Hello Everyone,

Since I have been making many Half Square Triangles (HSTs), of late, I thought it would be a great time to do a tutorial on one of my favorite ways to create these very versatile beauties. I know that there are many ways to make them, but I tend to like this one the best.

So let's begin....


First, you must have your two strips of fabrics that will make up each triangle in the HST. In this case, I cut my strips to a width of 4.5 inches wide and I have a solid and a print.

The end result will be a 3.5 inch unfinished HST, once pieced into the quilt it will be a 3 inch finished HST.


Next sub-cut them into squares the same width as the strip. Here the are cut into 4.5 inch squares.


Then place them RIGHT sides together.


They should match up on all sides, RIGHT sides together.


Now from one corner to the next you will use a tool, such as the Quilter's Magic Wand, to mark your sew lines.


You will draw them on either side of the wand. I used pencil and this is fine as the lines will not be seen, they will be sewn over and are on the WRONG side of the fabric.


Next you may choose to pin on the outsides of the drawn lines. You don't have to, but if this is your first time using this method you may want to do so.


Then you will sew ON one of the lines.


Then flip the square around and sew on the OTHER line.


Once the lines are sewn, I like to set the seams with a hot iron.


Now take your ruler and lay the 1/4 inch line right on the stitching so that the edge of the ruler is in between both stitch lines.


Then cut, with your rotary cutter, down the center of the stitch lines. This will give your 1/4 seams for both sides.


Now you will press the triangles open by pressing the seams to one side. Voila, you have HSTs, but you are not done yet. They are not the size that we need.


Now take your square up ruler and place the diagonal line ON the seam with the size of the FINAL square inside the edges of the HST. You will see here we have the 3.5 inch lines above the bottom and left edge of the square.


Now trim the right side and top of the HST.


Then flip your HST around and place the 3.5 inch lines RIGHT ON the edges that you just cut. Because we flipped the HST the edges now are on the bottom and left side. You can see how the lines are right on the edges.


Now trim the right side and top edge again.


This is about how much waste you will have. But now you have the perfect size HSTs and any error in sewing that you might have made (although I know you didn't) has been erased... so to speak. All your HSTs will be the same EXACT size.

Just repeat the steps above for many more perfect HSTs. By the way, I like to chain piece these, so you can do each step in multiples so as to speed up the process.

Now onto the possibilities....


You can arrange them like this or...


like this, one of my favorites, a pinwheel! Or like this...


Or like this...


Or like this...


Another of my favorites... the flying geese.

Now that you have all the details, you should go and play!! I would love to see what you all come up with, please share!! I have some photos of a couple of quilts that I made with just HSTs in my Flickr set. Just click here to see them.

PS. All Art Gallery fabrics are marked down to $7.25 through 1/14/11. You can find them here.

Until Next Time...


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24 comments:

Cardygirl said...

I have been playing with HST's too...at the moment I am playing with an Angler! Your pics are great.

Tine said...

This is defiantely my favourite way to sew HST! The only way that works for me :)

Quiltbenaco said...

Grazie per il tutorial spiegato molto bene!
Ciao

Stephanie said...

So much easier than cutting half squares then sewing them back together. They turn out perfect this way.

Donna said...

Thank you! This was perfect timing for me. I am new to quilting and had several HSTs (for a quilt along) to the square up stage. I quite frankly was lost. I saw your method, tried it and am very pleased with the result! Many, many thanks! Happy quilting.

crazylegs said...

There are so many ways to make these, and I've tried them all. This is the best way to make them! Pretty color!

karenfae said...

I like to make my hst's like this too, I like that they are a little to big and trimming down slightly makes them all perfect.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Lee Ann said...

Awesome! It never dawned on me that I could make the squares slightly larger than indicated and then trim to size AFTER making the HSTs. I think I'll do this from now on!

Thank you!

Mariliz's Musings said...

Very informative...thanks so much for the detailed post and photos.

Mimi said...

There is an easier method: Learn 2 Quilt Online by Chris Dahl

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Great job!! Thank you! I like that you cut your squares bigger to erase any "oops"!!

Regina said...

I do a similar method - but only draw one line right down the diagonal and sew 1/4" off it on either side. The cutting bigger and trimming down works like a charm!!!

Exuberant Color said...

Good tutorial.

Poppyprint said...

Hey Jackie, wanna go even faster? I use the Angler II and avoid the marking step. Love it!

Sherri said...

Great post, Jackie...exactly how I make mine other than I use the Quilt-in-a-day triangle square up ruler--wondering which ruler you are using?

Anonymous said...

so why this way and not with Thangles? I'll have to try this next time I need a bunch.
Cherie

MoeWest said...

Thanks Jackie! I didn't think about making them a little bigger and then trimming to the perfect size.

Thimbleanna said...

I love this method -- I even like it when it's expanded by drawing a bigger grid -- the same method essentially, but more hst's at one shot. I don't like the trimming up part, but I guess it must be done LOL!

SewCalGal said...

I do love this technique. You did an excellent job writing a tutorial on it. This definitely goes into my list of favorite tutorials.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

KristyLou said...

What great timing! I am working on an HST quilt now. had already done many of your steps, but its nice to have the reminder so it turns out great. Thanks.

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

I love working with HST. I do the draw a line down the center style. I think I need to purchase one of those wands because my seam allowance is always a bit skimpier than I like.

Side Stitches said...

Ah, if only I'd found this tutorial 2 days ago. Thankfully, after reading a few other things and some trial and error, I did exactly what you said. I agree, this is a great and easy way to make HSTs. I just finished my first batch for my first ever HST quilt!

Side Stitches said...

I linked to this great tutorial on my blog! Thanks!

Margaret said...

What happens if your pattern doesn't give you a finished square size. Mine pattern just says to cut squares 3 7/8".

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