Today’s post is part of a series of video tutorials showing you how to use some of my favorite rulers.
If you have purchased my quilt patterns in the past you know I love my Quilt in a Day Square up Ruler for trimming half square triangles. I SWEAR by this ruler. I have a tutorial for it right here and when I use this ruler all of my HSTs are about as perfect as I’m capable of getting them.
Today though, I’m showing you how to make HSTs when you DO NOT have a specialty ruler. In the video, I’m showing you how to make them with a basic 12.5″ square ruler, but know that you can make them on just about any ruler. All you need is washi tape.
Scroll to the bottom for giveaway details!
Everything You Need for Perfect Half Square Triangles
Here’s my magic formula ritual:
- Square Up Ruler – This thing is the coolest HST ruler ever!
- Starch – I make my own.
- Wool pressing mat – This actually isn’t “needed”, but wow it’s made things a bit faster. I wrote a post about it here.
- And an iron of course – I recently purchased this one. The steam on it is incredible.
We’ve got a lot to cover today, so I’m diving in and getting to it quickly. No funny business!
Let’s go over some quick “you should know” things first.
- Decide what size your HST should be finished. Let’s say that I want it to be 4″
- I need a trim-to size. I need seam allowance. This means my unfinished HST needs to be 4.5″
- If I’m trimming this guy to 4.5″, I can’t start with that size, I need seam allowance again. So you add another .5″ to that and your starting square size is 5″.
- This method of making HSTs makes 2 of them at a time.
Back to the math… If I need an unfinished 6.5″ HST, that means I need to start with 7″ squares. If I need a 2.5″ unfinished HST, that means I need to start with 3″ squares. You get it!
Finished means it’s sewn all up into a quilt. Unfinished means we haven’t sewn them together yet, they are a unit or a block. Still with me?
If you are very lost here and think you might need a more detailed lesson about seam allowance, here’s a class that might help.
Diagonal Seam Tape
Diagonal Seam Tape is a perfect solution for sewing straight diagonal seams without having to mark any lines!
Avoiding that jankiness
Let me just get this out of the way and tell you that obviously my method is NOT the only method. There are lots of lovely methods and you should find the one that you like the best.
Anytime you cut a fabric into a triangle, you’ve made it stretchy, you’ve made it vulnerable. Vulnerable to ALL THE THINGS! I like to call them the precious little babies, because that’s how you are going to have to treat them if you want them to act right and stay in place and stay not-janky.
Here’s a list of things NOT to do:
- Don’t stretch them.
- Don’t iron them, press instead. PRESS.
- Don’t tug at them.
- And for goodness sake, use your starch. It is your bestest friend when making patchwork.
The washi tape is just to help you see the lines a bit easier. It’s not a requirement, but it really is helpful in my opinion. Also, when sewing on both sides of the line, remember to sew with a SCANT 1/4″ seam or they won’t come to size.
Products used in video:
- Havel’s 12.5″ square ruler
- Havel’s 6.5″ square ruler
- Quilt in a Day Square Up Ruler
- Havel’s cutting mat (if you purchase this from Havel’s, use my coupon SOUTHERNCHARM7 and receive $7 off any $25 order)
- Havel’s rotary cutter
- Wool pressing mat
- Chi Iron
My Quilt Patterns
Pop over to my latest Instagram post (posted today 10/23/20) and enter the giveaway. Havel’s has kindly agreed to give a 12.5 and the 6.5″ square rulers to two of my readers. You’ll need to like the picture and tag a friend, and be following myself and Havel’s Sewing to be eligible to win. Good luck!!
Mystery Low Volume Fabric Bundle
- 10 pieces
- Fat quarters
- Extra yummy