WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Fiber Arts
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-27-2009, 12:00 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Greetings! I was thrilled to find this technique and couldn't wait to share it. I mentioned it in the Chat thread but wanted to provide clearer information. You're going to love it! If you want more details, just ask me.

To begin, cut fabric into squares. Size doesn't matter. You need a lighter square and a darker square. This technique will provide you with 8 half square triangle blocks made up of these two fabrics. I had a ton of fat quarters I wasn't using and so I squared them off.

Next, lay the fabric on your work table right sides together and with the lighter fabric on top. Draw lines across the center left to right, and down from the center top to bottom.

Then, draw lines corner to corner on the diagonal. Repeat with the second corners. You'll have drawn a "plus sign" + and an X across the entire larger square as shown:


You will stitch these blocks together by sewing 1/4 inch to the left of the diagonal lines. Then repeat this 1/4 inch to the right of the diagonal lines.

After you've stitched them in this manner, cut this into 4 squares along the left to right and top to botton lines, or the "plus sign" +

You now have 4 pairs with a diagonal line and two rows of diagonal stitching on them. Cut these along the center drawn line. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric, and you'll have 8 blocks like this:


IMPORTANT NOTE: At this point measure the 8 small blocks and trim them to size. "To size" can be defined anyway you like as long as they are all the same size. I know I'm the queen of "don't waste it" but I always start out with larger fabric pieces than I truly need when I'm doing triangle squares and trim them down after rather than cutting exactly as the finished project needs. No matter how careful you are, the strangest things can happen with triangles. So, MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE, then cut. I decided I wanted my squares to be 8 inches square, so I trimmed them down to this size. My cutting mat has ruled lines which make this easy. If yours doesn't then make a template for yourself with the diagonal line drawn, match your center seam to the proper placement, then trim as needed to keep your finished block properly squared and your sides equal.

From here, you're free to have fun! These small blocks can be used in so many ways. There are tons of blocks and combinations for them to result in some really great traditional and contemporary quilt piecing. Here are some examples. Each of these examples used 4 of the 8 squares. Some show the same arrangement with the light and dark reversed.





__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!

Last edited by BeyondTheNineSquares : 10-27-2009 at 12:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-27-2009, 01:39 PM
Aral's Avatar
Aral Aral is offline
Enthusiast
Reykjavik
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,897
 
Hails from Iceland
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Martha great instructions Even I (no quilting ability) think I can manage that. There are so much silk ofcuts that I have saved for "I do not Know When", that might work is such a simple and effective pattern.... Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-27-2009, 01:47 PM
DrDebby's Avatar
DrDebby DrDebby is online now
WC! Guide
Nowheresville, Idunno
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 10,673
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Slick, Martha. Now, I know how to deal with the dreaded triangles. I always mess them up. Part of why I just stay away from quilting.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-27-2009, 02:56 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

I was triangle phobic for a long time and finally fought my way through. The bias thing is a pain in the . . . however, if you use the shortcut and also go larger than you need, you can simply line up your center seam at the correct angle, cut the square down to size and NOBODY WILL EVER KNOW!

If you aren't in the habit of working with triangles, you might start stitching them together and think you are less than accurate - It will initially look like you've bitten off something you didn't mean to, but when you connect your rows all will become well again.

When next I sew something that illustrates this, I will add pix so you'll see.

You also want to work slowly when sewing the blocks since you have intersections with lots of seams and your poor sewing machine will whine a bit. Go slow, have a toothpick or something near to poke things into place as they "go under the needle."
__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-27-2009, 04:51 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Okay, here are two more illustrations for the really new to this sort of thing. That was me, you see. I knew nothing of sewing machines. Really really nothing. I messed up taking it out of the box and called my favorite teenager to come and rescue me. Trust me, I was that bad. There was a pretty little decoration on the machine you see. (I thought) anyway, I took the book out and tried and eventually kinda threaded it. Thought it was right. But it wouldn't work. I tried different things. Double checked everything. Called Alice. She came over, looked at the machine and started to laugh and when she could speak she said "Oh, Aunt Martha!" The pretty decoration, a piece of blue tape, was meant to keep the machine from moving while packed. Once Alice removed the tape, the needle went up and down quite nicely!

So, that being said, I also found quilt books for newcomers really unhelpful. I guess they assume you know how to sew. (Don't assume)

So, certain iittle things I would have liked to know then, I share when I can.

When you sew two of the squares together, you'll end up with something looking like this:



If you look at the center where these two are joined you will see that the dark piece on the left is a nice little point, but the one on the right is blunt. This is as it should be. It's your seam allowance. When you join the next two pieces, you will then sew the first two to the second two and you will see that your points are now perfect!


Listen, I've done the very thing that the writers of those beginner quilting books did. I've left out a lot of tiny details. If you are as new as I was ASK QUESTIONS. You can post them here (others looking probably don't know either) or if you'd rather not let people know you "don't get it" then PM me. I'll add extra info to this thread but won't let on you PM'd me.

That time in life when I knew nothing of all this was maybe 18 months ago. I was so anti triangle. Wasn't getting. Wasn't going there. NO NO NO!!!

At some point, that seemed silly. Probably just after a gutsy friend yelled at me for being silly, made me mad, made me prove him wrong about me being a quitter . . .

So this is the project I did to learn triangles. This started out life as a whole lot of 3 inch squares and I knew no shortcut so I just cut them in half and fought through it. There are 72 different fabrics. Yeah, I could have used larger pieces and made life simpler, but frustrating myself won out over being logical and starting small.

If you look really close, you'll see these pinwheels are not all perfect. You know, when you put the whole piece together, those foolish oopes "go away" mostly. You'll be the only one who sees them. You and my gutsy friend, but he'll tell you that you did very well. He'd be right.

__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!

Last edited by BeyondTheNineSquares : 10-27-2009 at 05:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:13 PM
colorsplasher's Avatar
colorsplasher colorsplasher is offline
Member
The rainy side of Washington
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 92
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

gotta admit, I'm deeply torn between abject admiration for you, and profound annoyance over all the wasted time I've spend cutting triangles. Think I'll stick with admiration
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:26 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

I totally understand! Thanks. I just finished piecing a 45 x 60 quilt top started yesterday after I posted this tutorial. I'll be adding a photo in a moment - while I'm far from being an expert, this just shows anyone can do this. Half the people (at least) reading this know so much more about sewing than I do. Here it is:

__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:48 PM
DrDebby's Avatar
DrDebby DrDebby is online now
WC! Guide
Nowheresville, Idunno
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 10,673
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

I don't know Martha, that's getting awful close to a full size bed quilt. Just a few more squares and you'd be there. Looks very nice. Like all the blues.
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-28-2009, 06:58 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

I have a full sized bed and it pretty much covered the top of the bed. lol Thanks. Not sure what I'm going to do with it. With the cost of fabric and batting alone not even allowing for time and talent, it's not like it is worth attempting to sell it at either craft fair or farmer's market. Problem is, this is the kind of thing I enjoy doing, and not silly 50 cent dust collectors. I guess it'll end up in the closet with the rest of them. The economy won't be bad forever I hope. lol Meanwhile, I've got a whole bunch of UFOs. Let me see, 5 of them, I think. Two are fully pieced (well three now with this one) and 3 more that I'm still doing the blocks for. Scrappy quilts and in between projects and . . . lol I have a bunch more i want to try, so that number will increase, then there's the holiday gifts . . . okay, i need to win the lottery so I can give up on job hunting and just play with my fabric. Simple solution!
__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-29-2009, 06:31 AM
Leslie Pz's Avatar
Leslie Pz Leslie Pz is offline
A Local Legend
Behind You! (Boo!)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,068
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Aren't short cuts fun? I love also making strips for four blocks, etc.

Cutting 2 pieces at the same time really insures the pieces are going to match and stitch well together. Just finished a huge quilt that is all circles and triangles... couldn't have done it without cutting squares first. (Just wish I could post it, but my computer died and this loaner doesn't have photo softward ;( )

Last edited by Leslie Pz : 10-29-2009 at 06:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:50 AM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Yes, Leslie, I do love them. I'm just finding them. Saw an ad for a great book showing many traditional blocks done with shortcuts, but it's out of print and I haven't found it anywhere. Sigh. Now that I know some shortcuts, i want to know more!!!!!
__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-29-2009, 01:43 PM
Leslie Pz's Avatar
Leslie Pz Leslie Pz is offline
A Local Legend
Behind You! (Boo!)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,068
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

I've seen such a book and never bought it. Wish i had, too!
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-29-2009, 03:15 PM
rue d'oak's Avatar
rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
Moderator
San Francisco
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,022
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Great write up, Martha. Easy to understand and follow.

One book that I have is Quilter's Mix and Match Blocks. Each block design is shown with its shortcut, as well as design variations. A great resource!



Published by Leisure Arts. 2004. $25. I just checked Amazon, and it is in print and available.

Taking your short cuts instructions one step farther, this example here shows using a small square, sewn in the corner, Figure 5, to get the diagonal seam for a square within a square. What a way to keep those bias edges at bay!

I am so glad you have started this thread.

Jen
__________________
Jennifer Landau
Proud to be published in Art Quilting Studio magazine, Winter 2014 and 2013 and Summer 2013. Come visit in Fiber Art !
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-29-2009, 07:59 PM
BeyondTheNineSquares's Avatar
BeyondTheNineSquares BeyondTheNineSquares is offline
A Local Legend
Charleston South Carolina
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 7,072
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Thanks, Jen.. I'll check out that book. Another way to do several blocks at a time which I honestly haven't found the need to do, but which works well for those who need a different quantity than 8 of the same half square triangle blocks is to strip piece them by putting two strips of fabric together and drawing a zig zag line across and then stitching 1/4 inch left and right of it.
__________________
Martha Shaw
WetCanvas Fiber Arts Forum

My Blog!
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-02-2011, 12:50 PM
Marysewfun Marysewfun is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
 
Re: Tutorial: Speed piecing half square triangles

Hi, I am new to this forum. I like your tutorial, it focuses on an "easy, just do it" approach, and also the discussion here of the book "Mix and Match". I am new to quilting so on the look-out for ways of creation. Thank you.

Marysewfun
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:36 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.