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Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

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    Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

    I will be making the chevron quilt and will use Jenny's method for HST's. Does anyone have any advice to prevent stretching while sewing the bias sides together? Am I worrying about nothing?

    #2
    Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

    Starch. There are several different products available, Mary Ellens Best Press is made specifically for quilting. I use Niagara Best Press (avail. at WM in the laundry aisle). By starching, you are holding the threads in place so they won't stretch as much.
    Amy

    Jeremiah 29:11

    http://pinterest.com/acct97531/quilts-to-make/

    Daughter of Tobeysmama

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      #3
      Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

      Thanks Amy. When do you use it? Like before you sew?

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        #4
        Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

        Jenny, Bless her Pea-Pickin' Heart, says that bias is better and more forgiving than straight edges - and a lot easier to work with. Let your fears dissipate and fly out the window and find your happy spot and just go with it!!
        Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
        it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

        "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

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          #5
          Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

          Jenny is a pro.. I'm not.. I'm having Panic attacks about HST.. lol

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            #6
            Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

            Originally posted by Danny View Post
            Jenny is a pro.. I'm not.. I'm having Panic attacks about HST.. lol
            Danny, you are right that there are pro's who can deal with the stretching issue. If you are not doing patterns that have HST's because of the stretching fear then Best Press or starch your squares and iron before sewing.

            Then try it without the additional spray & iron steps. You may surprise yourself! It all depends on how heavy handed you are dealing with the squares' bias edges after you cut them. Let us know which works best for you.

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              #7
              Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

              When I make my half squares, for instance, take a charm square layer it then mark and sew you quarter inch on each side. Before I cut, I press open each side, looks a little funny but it never stretches out of shape! And yes starch, the fabric!
              When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted
              Eleanor Roosevelt

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                #8
                Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                I suggest using a dry iron first. You'll notice in her tutorials, Donna Jordan finger presses her seams, then first uses a dry iron before using any steam. I personally don't use any kind of starch. If you handle the fabrics carefully, there shouldn't be a problem with stretching. If you make a quilt that has HSTs along the outer edges of the quilt top, Bonnie Hunter suggests stay stitching along the edges prior to quilting. When adding borders to any quilt, I usually start stitching in the middle & sew to each end. I do the same thing when sewing any block larger than 9". It's more accurate, IMO.

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                  #9
                  Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                  Yep, starch the snot out of your fabric before you cut it. You won’t be sorry!
                  Tenacity: The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.

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                    #10
                    Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                    One thing is to make sure that you are pressing and not ironing the fabric. Another thing that I have found very useful is to use the block loc rulers to trim them up.

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                      #11
                      Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                      I make my own starch - boiling water, add 2 or more tablespoons of starch dissolved in cold water (trust me, dissolve it first!) & voila! Starch! You can add as much or as little starch as you want depending on how stiff you want your fabric. Definitely experiment on some scraps, with different temp sett8ngs to make sure you don't scorch. I use the essential triangle tool from Bonnie Hunter & my HSTs are about as perfect as I've ever made them.

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                        #12
                        Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                        Be aware that the starch will shrink your fabric, so I recommend starching before cutting. I do agree, it helps remove that mental stress.

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                          #13
                          Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                          I've learned to be gentle with fabric, you can't push it around. I heavily starch (saturate) the fabric before cutting if the pieces are small and there are a lot of parts to a block. Otherwise, I don't bother with starch.
                          Make sure to keep to the full 1/4" seam allowance at the beginning and end of the seam, don't let it veer off. I trim with the Clearly Perfect slotted trimmers.
                          I finger press the seam open first. Don't take the wide edge of the iron and push the block open; that will lead to distortion. Instead, take the tip of the dry iron and gently press in the direction of the seam. Then you can give it a blast of steam. Learned most of that from Donna Jordan. It's amazing what a difference just these few extra details will make.
                          Michele

                          to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world...

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                            #14
                            Re: Advice to prevent Half Square Triangles from Stretching

                            Originally posted by Simply Quilting View Post
                            One thing is to make sure that you are pressing and not ironing the fabric. Another thing that I have found very useful is to use the block loc rulers to trim them up.
                            I agree on both of the points above. On the type of ruler, however, in the tutorial below, Karen Brown shows how to turn one of your rulers into a block loc ruler type. She references masking tape (because that's what they call painters tape in Canada) Use painters tape. Don't use masking tape or you will never get your ruler clean. The hack starts at ~ 1:40 minutes in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MIZVeB00Jk
                            “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ― John Muir
                            “We can be many things in this life, choose to be kind!” ― author unknown

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