Thursday, July 03, 2014

Half Square Triangles

With at least a thousand half-square-triangles (HSTs) to make for my Nesting quilt, the thought of cutting all those squares, drawing a line down the centre and sewing a quarter inch to either side of the line before cutting open on the line made me exhausted before I even began.
So I started looking around in books, and online to see if I could find a way that worked better for me.

After seeing methods that needed things I didn't have (like a printer to print off square grids on foundation paper that you then sew as a whole before cutting apart on the gridlines), or seemed like too much work(English Paper Piecing), or had too much wastage(sewing together a bias stripset before cutting into squares) I finally found one that seemed like fun. Here's how it turned out for me:

  • First, I determined what size HSTs I wanted and cut strips in that width. I knew I wanted the HSTs to be fairly small, and I had a triangle template that was two inches so that is what I cut.
    Then I sewed one navy strip and one print strip together, right sides together. Up the length of each side, using a quarter inch seam.

  • After sewing the strips together I then got my little triangle template and used it to cut triangles from the strip.

  • Now all I had to do was to unpick the couple of stitches at the little point of each triangle and press them open.

Voila! Half square triangles!
I was able to get 20 HSTs from each pair of strips and so I didn't get too bored doing the same thing over and over(and over and over!) again, I sewed most of my stripsets, but I'm only cutting one strip into triangles at a time, choosing a different print each time to break up the monotony and pressing those twenty HSTs before moving on to a different stripset.
This also meant that as soon as I'd completed a stripset each from 9 different prints I was able to sew up my first block for the quilt. :D

I'm pretty happy with most of the points in the block, but the more I look at the top one, the more it bugs me so I may have to take that part of the seam out to fix it. Or maybe not because in the end it will be going on my bed, so who's going to notice that tiny wonky point? :P

I've now sewn a few hundred HSTs so I'm making progress, slowly but surely. I've temporarily stopped to work on a new, time-sensitive project though which hopefully I'll be able to unveil next week.


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