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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Red face Half Square Triangles

    Hi this is redbird....first time on a forum! I have a question if anyone can tell me I would appreciate it. When making half square triangles using the square and sewing around the edges and then cutting into 4 pieces to make 4 half squares....how big should the square be? Is there a formula to making different size blocks? Thank You!

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    I can tell you what I have done. I use fat quarters (18 by 21) and cut it into four squares - 9" by 9"
    Then I sew two different squares together, all around. That leaves 9 - 0.5 = 8.5 inches inside the four seams, assuming the 1/4 seam is correct
    The edge of the finished HST will be 1.414 times 8.5 = 12" (almost)

    So whatever size square you start with, subtract 1/2" from that. Then multiply that by 1.4 and you should get the side of the HST block. You may want to start with a bit extra so that you can account for bias. Alternatively, starch the dickens out of it before cutting. Happy HSTs to you!!!

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Here is a good reference link:
    Guest blogger series: half square triangles | whip up

    hope this helps; good luck

    AND WELCOME!
    Sewing mends the soul.



    Do the math; count your blessings
    Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

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    ~ Madeleine L'Engle


  5. #4
    The Guild President

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    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    That is fabulous. Thanks Blondie!

  6. #5
    Applique Angel

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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Thanks so much for the reference

  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Great reference, Blondie!
    When dealing with HST's, I square off to the most smallest, if that makes sense.
    Unless it's a complete piglet, and moved off to the side....
    I really need to get off the exclamation point.
    It may give people the idea that I'm bright and cheerful all the time....

  8. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    The larger the beginning squares, sewing 1/4" all the way around, the more difficult it is for all 4 pinwheels to come out equal & accurate. In making the Disappearing Pinwheel #2, Churn Dash, I had problems with the 2 layers of fabric shifting (even though they were well pinned) during the sewing. I was using 12.5" for my squares. I gave up after a couple blocks & made the pinwheels using HSTs the reg. way so they'd measure 8.5", sewed them together for the pinwheel portion of the block, then proceeded to cutting it into the 9 pcs., which were 5.5" square. Better accuracy & less frustration. I'm now on the last block of 9. I plan to sew a border on the top & bottom so the baby quilt will be rectangular, not square. JCY

  9. #8
    Binding Belle

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Maybe it's me, but when I do HST this way, it is extremely difficult for me to keep everything square and "non-wavy". Another quilter said it was due to all the triangles being cut on the bias, and thus are not as strong or something to that effect. I wasted so much of my beautiful fabric and was not at all pleased with the results. Any short cut or time saved doing it the "easy way" was lost trying fruitlessly in trying to get everything squared up and laying flat. Am I doing something wrong?

  10. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Are you pressing vs. ironing? I.e., don't move your iron back & forth over the fabric, just press down in place. Using steam or no steam? (Everyone has their preference re: steam.) When working on the bias, one has to be very careful to not stretch the fabric. My favorite way to do the HSTs is to mark the diagonal line on back of the lt. colored fabric, place the squares RST, sew down either side of the line, cut in half, press, then square up. I make my HSTs 5/8" larger than the desired size to allow "wiggle room". I'd rather trim off 1/8" than have the block be a little too small on one side. I get better accuracy this way. JCY

  11. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Half Square Triangles

    Jenny's HST math done by our Amy:

    http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/usernote.php?u=25623
    Lisa

    Please treat others as you would hope others would treat those you love.


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