Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Half Square Triangle Tutorials


Do you have a favorite method for making half square triangles?  I used to use the method of drawing a line down the middle of a square and sewing a quarter inch on either side of the drawn line.  It is easy and quick.  The only down side is that with squares cut 7/8 inches larger than the finished size of the square, they don't easily come from precut strips.  I love being able to cut all the pieces for a block from the same sizes strips, and so have been converted into an Easy Angle fan.  I don't use a lot of specialty rulers, but I have really gotten my money's worth out of this one.
Because this year's RSC Sampler quilt is limited to just three units: squares, rectangles, and half square triangles, I have been thinking of all of the different ways people make half square triangles.  I'm starting a collection of tutorials, so let me know if your favorite method is not on the list and I will add it.

Magic 8 Method - add 7/8 inches to your finished size and multiply by 2
Square Sewn in the Middle Method - add 7/8 inches to your finished size
   Two at a time without drawn lines - using a laser to mark the line
Printed Paper Method - Pattern is printed on paper then sewn and cut
Sew Around the Edges of a Square Method -  leaves lots of bias edges, but seems nifty otherwise
Specialty Rulers
    Fons and Porter  (video)- cuts both HST and QST as well as the strips
    Easy Angle (video) - cuts units from same strip size as the square units in your block


16 comments:

Libby in TN said...

I swear by Easy Angle! I just don't use it as instructed; I put the flat corner to the edge of my strip and ignore the numbers. Omnigrid makes a similar ruler and Bonnie Hunter's ruler functions much the same way. The secret to making these rulers work, though, is an accurate 1/4 seam.

Quilter Kathy said...

I'm totally a fan of Easy Angle... it's the only way I make HSTs now!

Nann said...

I usually make them larger. I use Eleanor Burns' easy-square-up ruler to trim them before pressing them open. My new sewing machine sews a really precise 1/4"--hooray!

Ellen said...

I love my Easy Angle ruler as well as the companion ruler. I highly recommend these rulers!!

Sara said...

I've used all of these methods, and really, really dislike the "sewing on paper" method. Too much work at the end picking off that paper. But I do love the Easy Angle ruler method.

I did just use the "sew around outside" of a square method to turn a charm pack into pinwheels. It was quick, but you are so right about the bias edges.

sewandsow said...

I agree..the Easy Angle ruler is my pick.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Okay, I'm going shopping! I still do the "draw a line down the center" method, but I really dislike the trimming afterwards. It sounds like these would be good rulers to have in my toolbox!

Annette Mandel said...

Laura at Slice of Pi skips the marking and uses a laser-guided system for making HST. You might include that tutorial here? Annette at a78mandel at yahoo dot com

thatfabricfeeling.com said...

I got a bloc-loc ruler and it's amazing for straightening up and trimming HST's. That said, I usually make them whatever is suggested in the tutorial that I'm working with. I do prefer the line down the middle and with my Crescendo laser that's a little easier than it used to be.

tubakk said...

I always use the printed paper method. Gives me perfect half square triangles, and a minimus of scraps. Happy new year to you.

Jayne Jacobson said...

I use Bonnie Hunters Essential Triangle ruler and love it.

Sally Trude said...

You converted me to the Easy Angle method...thank you, thank you, thank you. At the time I was pretty set in my ways...just say no to HSTs. And I'm happy to see you posting more. Happy New Year!

Angie said...

I'm an Easy Angle Ruler fan, too. I love being able to use it with my pre-cut scrappy strips. I've used the Magic Eight method and find it useful if I need LOTS of HSTs in the same colors - like for HST borders. The paper method is great if really concise stitching is needed. I used the papers for a block swap and I was really pleased with how perfect my HSTs came out.

Marianne said...

I've tried them all, too, and do like EZ Angle. Many times I just do it the old fashioned way - cut squares 1" larger, slice them in half diagonally, sew, then trim to size. Seems most accurate for me as with the drawing lines diagonally my resulting HSTs are often off for some reason.

gayle said...

I'm an Easy Angle fan, too. Easy and quick for me, using strips I've already got laying around!
Years ago I made a quilt with small tree-of-life blocks, with hundreds of tiny little HSTs needed. I drew grids of penciled squares on the backs of my lighter fabrics, divided like the triangle papers, then sewed and sewed and sewed. Lots of really accurate triangles, but boy howdy, was I ever bored with them by the time I was done...

CathyQuilts said...

I'm a fan of cut bigger, trim down. I tend to be a speed stitcher and sometimes my seam allowance is slightly off, no worries when I can just trim them down to perfection