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
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?
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!)
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!
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.
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.
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.
I will be using the dark lines and 1/2 inch marks on the mat to trim to 2 1/2 inches.
Notice the 1/2 inch mark (dots) on the mat and the sliver I am trimming off.
I trimmed a sliver from each side. Always make sure your fabric hasn’t moved in the process.
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.
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!