Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Using Strips For Half Square Triangles

For relaxation I generally find myself in front of the television with my laptop in hand and Electric Quilt on my screen.  That is where I found myself last evening.  I love playing with EQ and I hit upon a design I really liked for a scrap quilt.  It is going to require LOTS of half square triangles with scraps and a background.  Knowing that I didn't want too many HST's of any one scrap, I decided I didn't want to use squares to make my HST's so awoke at 4:30 this morning trying to decide on the best method.  I knew I would really like to use my 2 1/2" strips so proceeded as follows:
I grabbed half a strip of background and the same of a scrap strip.  I placed the background on my sandpaper board and drew lines every 2 1/2 inches.
I was able to get 8 squares out of my strip, then I drew diagonal lines in a rick rack pattern between each of my 2 1/2" square lines.
After layering the marked strip with my scrap strip, I headed to the ironing board and pressed the two together using just a spritz of Best Press.
Before leaving the ironing board I placed a few pins to keep my strips from shifting.
After placing my open toe foot on my machine, I proceeded to zigzag my way across the strip sewing on my diagonal lines.
The squares were then cut apart on the drawn line.
Before trimming my squares, I went back to the ironing board and pressed the squares open and back onto the other side of the square to insure my square was square.  You wouldn't want a square that wasn't square. Now, say that rapidly 5 times.  (Sorry for the bit of humor)  If all sides match up without seeing any of the fabric from the side you will be trimming. your square should be correct.

Fold the pressed side back down and lay a cutting ruler with the 1/4" line on your sewing line and trim.
Don't throw away those trimmed triangles...they make great corners for string blocks!

This method gives you perfect HST's, as does other techniques.  The printed paper products can give a similar result, but for one, I didn't have them in the size I needed, and second I tend to not like to tear away paper.  And for me, the drawing was faster than tearing away paper.  But try the paper products sometime and choose the technique that works best for you.
Another wonderful day to enjoy life....enjoy your journey.

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