Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Other Learning Curve - HSTs

I want to make churn blocks.

In order to make them, I needed to review HSTs.

Half Square Triangles - those little things that look so easy...but can irritate you like a pebble in your shoe.  See them in the corners?

I started out with 4 7/8" squares and drew a line from corner to corner. This time I used my rulers and drew 2 more lines, one on each side 1/4" away from the first.  I then sewed on these two outer lines, using the middle as a guide.  Before I had only the one line as a guide and hoped I could keep it even.  Using 2 lines was more time consuming, but I think it helped me with my "balance", so to speak.

After cutting the two triangles from corner to corner, I pressed the resulting HSTs while still folded to set the sewing.  I then opened up the HSTs, light side to the ironing board, being sure I folded it right on the stitching line, then I put my iron down and Pressed the seam.

I ended up with 6 HSTs... and used only 4 of them....

Of course, I won't have to make pinwheels with HSTs when I make my churn blocks, but
couldn't let them just sit there, could I?

This is a picture after I had sewn 2 sets of 2 HSTs together (top row and bottom row). After I had set the stitching line (while still folded) I opened up the two HSTs and looked at the seams (the straight seams in the middle). By examining the "natural" layout of the seams, I decided to fold them toward the white portions.  It was less bulky and Lookie Here..I can now match the final seam with ease. 

When I was pinning the squares, I made sure the meeting midpoint matched.  When I decided the size of squares at the beginning of this exercise, I really didn't know what I would end up with...I was just practicing..

I ended up with roughly (really rough) 8 1/2" lopadoodled pinwheel. So I used my ruler (above), centered it on the midpoint of the pinwheel, 

trimmed, and trimmed,,,,,


and finished with a 8" decent size block

And what have I learned in this small exercise?

Speaking for myself....I cannot rush HSTs..the more preparation before sewing the better.  Check dimensions constantly, and don't sweat the small will all get done.....


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Wonderful post on HSTs = another technique that gets better with practic.

Denise :) said...

I love HST's -- they're so versatile -- but I *always* make the squares an 1/8" bigger than they need to be so I can trim down my HST pieces when I'm finished. Otherwise I always end up in trouble. It's worth it to me. LOL! :)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I have a new ruler for HST's that make them so easy! Just make them a bit bigger, then trim them down to size. I used it to make some of my Valentine blocks, and they all came out great, no fussing. I"m going to do a post on this ruler soon.