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Topic: fast piecing HSTs? Best way?  (Read 1237 times)
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tokolosh
« on: March 22, 2009 08:57:33 AM »

What do you think is the best way to piece a bunch of half square triangles?

Ive tried a number of methods and I always seem to botch them...

Ive tried the strip method, the grid method....

I just cannot seem to get the measurements right and either get a mass of trimming to do or the squares end up too small. 

Tell me your secret to perfect HSTs - Please!  Im embarking on a bears paw project, so Im going to need a million of them!!

Im begining to think simple square divided in two is the fastest and least hassle - esp if I chain piece them.



 
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penguinade
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009 10:48:22 AM »

The easiest way to do this without calculating is to take a finished square, and cut it in half diagonally.  Then use this as a pattern, adding your seam allowance to the cut edge.  Be careful you're not stretching the pieces, since they're on a bias--you might want to try some sort of stabilizer until you get the hang of it.

Believe me, I'm a grad student studying a topic that requires instant visual judgement of angles and measurements, and I still have trouble figuring out exactly what size I want my angled pieces to be sometimes.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009 11:47:01 AM »

My mother has a special ruler for cutting hst units, I think it is called the easy angle or something.  She swears by this method for accuracy; you are just cutting individual triangles and sewing them into squares.  I have always cut squares that are 7/8" larger than I want my finished unit to be, marked seam allowance a scant 1/4" to either side of the diagonal, sewed on the lines, and then cut down the center to end up with 2 HST units.  I don't know if either of these methods are terribly fast, though.  I have read about some people who use thangles papers and love them.  http://www.thangles.com/
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009 01:20:47 PM »

As you know, there are a lot of different techniques for doing half-square triangles.  If I am only doing a few - or if I  want them all different, I use my easy-angle ruler.  Basically, you use the ruler to cut triangles out of strips of fabric.  The ruler "does the math" for you. 

If you are doing a ton of triangles,  you might want to try the "Thangles" paper as a previous post mentioned. One of my local quilt shops swears by them.  I have also used the bias square method for mass  quantities - but the Thangles are probably easier.
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danni42683
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009 04:38:09 PM »

This is the same thing as the Thangle paper just free. and instead of doing strips you use a whole sheet, or you could cut it down into strips for fewer HTS of the same fabrics!
http://www.quiltingandwhatnot.ca/Half-Square-Triangle.html
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redcleo
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009 01:10:29 PM »

This probably won't help, since it is lacking measurement-wise, but I just made a miniquilt in pinwheels and used the "no waste" method. You take two squares and lay one on top of the other, and the draw a diagonal line corner to corner. Then you sew 1/4" to the right of the line, and 1/4" to the left of the line. Cut down the middle, and you have two HSTs sewn together. Of course, if you're not sewing them together like this... Plus, I haven't figured out a way to get the measurements just right. The quilt I was making the pinwheels for didn't matter size-wise, so I didn't worry about it.

Has anyone else used this method? Do you have a great mathematical way to figure out what the finished size will be?
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009 01:59:46 PM »

Has anyone else used this method? Do you have a great mathematical way to figure out what the finished size will be?

Yes this is what I was talking about above in this thread - you can scroll up to read it.  Basically, you add 7/8" to whatever you want the finished size of the unit to be.  So, if you want your HST units to finish to a size of 4" in the final quilt, then cut your squares 4 and 7/8 inches.  When you sew on the two seam lines on either part of the diagonal and cut them apart the two units you produce will finish to 4 and 1/2".  When you sew those into your quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance they will finish to 4" - so the square you start with is 4 and 7/8".  As always, it is important to use a scant 1/4". 
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redcleo
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009 06:05:27 AM »

Awesome! Isn't math great?
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tokolosh
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009 11:56:35 AM »

why is it that quilts are done in inches, not centimetres  Angry
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Lizy
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012 05:35:09 AM »

I agree with the above poster. 7/8" is such a weird measurement to get one's head around. Then again, I was never good at fractions.
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012 01:24:51 PM »

ha, that is a weird measurement whether you are doing inches or centimeters.

I'm sure quilt patterns written by someone that comes from a metric using country would use centimeters and meters, but obviously people are going to use what they are used to.

I have an awesome tool for the HST that is just a smidge easier than drawing the diagonal line. It is this thing template that you put on the diagonal and you trace the right and left edges, which gives you the actual seams you sew on.
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