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My top 3 ways to make Half Square Triangles

My top 3 ways to make Half Square Triangles

'Theres more than one way to skin a cat', or so they say.  There's also a lot of different ways to make HSTs. 

Everyone has their favourite method - even designers.  That's why you see so many different methods popping up in patterns.  

In the Pixie Medallion pattern, Sharon gets us to cut pairs of squares diagonally and then stitch the triangles together.  I used to do them this way, but changed after discovering my expensive computerised machine liked to gobble up those pointed ends in the feed dogs. 

So here is a round up f ,of three different methods I find reliable.  I have included the cutting dimensions for everyone stitching with us on the Great Pixie QAL ,so that if you want an alternative you can pick your favourite and whip up your HST blocks for the centre star. 

Dont forget to post a picture on social media of your progress.  You never know - you might even win one of our great prizes.  

    HST - two at a time

    Unless I have a lot of triangles to make, I often tend to make them two at a time by stitching a pair of squares together with a 1/4 inch seam either side of a ruled diagonal line.  

    HST two at a time

    Making them just two at a time is great when you want to inject a lot of different fabric combinations into your quilt block, or only need a handful of HSTs.

    The best thing about this method though is that your HST will be on the straight of grain, and you've avoided those stretchy bias edges.

    You can check this method out here in a previous blog post where I've shared a heap of pictures.  I find it much easier to be accurate by sewing those seams across the bias before cutting.

    To make the HST triangle units for Pixie's centre star using this method you will need to start with 3" squares.

     HSTs - 4 at a time

    This is the perfect method if you have some 5" charm squares you want to include in your Pixie.  It's also super quick and easy as

    • there are no diagonal lines to mark and
    • you are stitching along the grain of the fabric instead of the bias.

    Cut two 4 inch squares and place them right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along all four sides of your pair.

    Make HST 4 at a time

    Cut twice diagonally.

    HST 4 at a time

    Press and trim the units to the required size (2 1/8").

    trim HST

     HSTs - 8 at a time

    When I need to make  a heap of HST, I make them eight at a time. This is also the way Merran has made the HST units for the centre star of our Pixie Medallion.

    make HST 8 at a time

    Cut two 6" squares and stitch right sides together with a 1/4" seam either side of diagonal lines. Cut across the seams, and then cut along the diagonal lines and voila!.  

    HST 8 at a time

    Press your seams either open or toward the darkest fabric, and trim back to 2 1/8"

    There's a really great video tutorial by Fons and Porter demonstrating this method.  Wait till you hear the chipper music  It will make you want to jump up and march over to your cutting board.  Just don't go swinging those arms with an open blade  - yikes! 

    Watch the video here .

    Avoiding the quilt math

    If you are making the Pixie Medallion with us, I've worked out the math for you in the examples above so you that making those triangles for the feathered star is super simple (If you haven't started a Pixie, its not too late to join in and you can purchase a pattern here )

    So what if you want to make a HST block in another size for a different project?

    Happily Suzy Quilts has some really handy tables on her blog.  Suzy's done the calculations for all of three of these methods so that you can make any size you need. 

    Which ever way to make them, I hope you have fun.  Happy stitching everyone.

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    Ailsa - April 28, 2019


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