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Topic: fast piecing HSTs? Best way?  (Read 1207 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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LibbyK
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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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If you are working on (or thinking about starting) a postage stamp quilt with 1.5" squares, I have scraps and squares to give away.  PM me if you're interested.
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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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LibbyK
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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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http://quiltster.blogspot.com

If you are working on (or thinking about starting) a postage stamp quilt with 1.5" squares, I have scraps and squares to give away.  PM me if you're interested.
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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