Monthly Archives: April 2014

Trimming an HST or Half Square Triangle: a tutorial

April 7th 2014

It hasn’t been that long since I have been quilting (since 2009) and while there is so much more to learn, I have learned so much already! So periodically, I am going to share with you

button quilting tricks

While I haven’t written a book or given a class, these methods have made quilting more enjoyable and productive for me.  I find that every time I master a skill, not only do I become a more confident and better quilter, but also more daring! I am much more eager to learn the next skill I need for that beautiful quilt I want to make or the pattern I want to design.

How many of you new quilters have asked yourself “How do I trim a half square triangle (or HST)”  when a pattern says trim to 2 1/2 inches?

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I asked myself that plenty of times because some things are just not so obvious when you are a beginner.  Unmatched seams or lost seam allowances really put a damper on a finished block! (Trust me I know!)

pink and brown quilt

So I am going to show you how I trim an HST. Right up front I want to say that I don’t work with 7/8 inch measurements. I rather have a little wiggle room, just in case, which is ALWAYS the case!

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For a 2 1/2 inch unfinished HST, I start with 2 -3 inch squares. I draw a line diagonally across the lighter fabric, pencil is fine.

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Then I sew 1/4 inch seam on either side of the line. Trim on the line. This will give you 2 HSTs . always press before trimming.

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To trim to size, lay the square on your mat so the diagonal 45 degree line matches the line or seam on your square. I like my sides to be centered within the measurement I want to get a clean square cut from this slightly “oversized” square. You can see it is slightly skewed so trimming it will fix that.

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I will be using the dark lines and 1/2 inch marks on the mat to trim to 2 1/2 inches.

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Notice the 1/2 inch mark (dots) on the mat and the sliver I am trimming off.

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I trimmed a sliver from each side. Always make sure your fabric hasn’t moved in the process.

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When you are done trimming, it may look like this. In your project or quilt, this square will be 2 inches due to seam allowances but this method will work for any size you wish to make.

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I do it this way because I don’t have a dandy HST ruler like Amy Smart does, her fabulous tutorial is here.  Sadly I haven’t found a shortcut to do this faster, I just go one by one. I hope you found this helpful. I know seeing how someone else does things sure helps me! Until next time, quilt and learn!

While I was out…

April 2nd 2014

Last week was Spring Break in these parts and while I generally stay home during this week, we hopped on over to Walt Disney World for a couple of days.  We usually keep visits to every 2-3 years or so.  Going during Spring Break was not the best idea since everyone else and their mother, brother, father and cousins were there as well. The average wait to ride was 1-2 or more hours!! Nevertheless, there were some joyous thrills for the little girl in me.

My favorite is the Main Street Electrical Parade that comes by twice at night, I love the music and the lights, I always dance. It’s really Spectacular! If you have never seen it you must!! Check it out on Youtube:

Main Street Electrical Parade

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Who doesn’t love Cinderella’s castle? Of course, everyone else wants a picture in front of the castle too.

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There was a new  “restroom” area like the village in TANGLED, I was delayed in the privy looking at the paintings on the ceilings and walls.

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The Garden and Flower Festival is going on in Epcot until May 18th. There were botanical renditions of almost all the Disney characters. My first watercolor painting was of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and his brooms so I am a bit partial to it, as the song plays in my head.

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In “England,” we got a peek at Mary Poppins and she was just taking her time with this little girl showing her the parasol and it was the sweetest thing!

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At Hollywood Studios, the Beauty and the Beast Show is totally worth it! Gaston was himself, REAL big biceps (not plastic) and his voice boomed just like in the movie. That was totally cool! The rest of the show does have pre-recorded singing but the stars were live.

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I was having some quilting withdrawal truth be told. I was seeing Quilt block patterns everywhere!! Hope to materialize some of those patterns very soon!