Monday, November 19, 2007

Half-Square triangles Tutorial

I spent a little time tonight working on this wall hanging. I employed the technique of sewing two squares together to make half-square triangles and avoid dealing with triangles. I hate sewing triangles because the little corners go down into the throat plate. I also hate ironing. But we should all agree ironing is an essential key to churning out a good product. In this case, I started with 4.5" squares because they were leftovers from the last baby quilt I made. Yummy, leftovers... On the "wrong-side" of the blue squares, I drew a line down the 'middle' of the square like so:
I say 'wrong-side' because mostly I use batiks (gorgeous batiks) so often there is no discernible wrong side. Sometimes I just have to pick one so I don't drive myself crazy and waste time trying to figure it out. As if squinting for 30 seconds would help!
Then, I layered one blue square and one orange square together, right sides facing, and sewed 1/4" away from the drawn line, all the way down one side:
And then down the other side:
This is how it looks with the line drawn and the two seams sewn 1/4" away from the line on either side:
I snipped the threads from the ends:
Then I used the rotary cutter to whack down the middle, cutting on the drawn line:
Leaving me with two pieces:
I pressed open both pieces, ironing on the backside first, pressing orange toward blue:
Then I pressed the front for extra flatness (I don't know if that's necessarily "good" or "right", but it's a habit I've fallen into:
THEN, I squared it up by trimming around it to ensure the finished square is 4" x 4". This is time consuming, admittedly, but essential (like ironing) to making a good product. I remember the first twenty or so quilts I made, I refused to iron. I had a lot of problems getting things to go together smoothly back then (they didn't).
The trimmed edge:
And did the same thing to the other square, leaving me with two half-triangle squares from two whole squares:
Repeat x number of times until you get the number of blocks you want. I haven't squared up these squares yet, but I threw them on the wall to get the idea of the pattern. I'll rearrange the pieces after squaring them up to maximize the visual effect with the lights and darks. Such FUN!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great tutorial. I love your choice of colors.
    (isa13 on flickr)