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1 way to avoid ‘finicky measuring’ when making Half Square Triangles

 

In yesterday’s post, I showed you the bright colorway of Northcott Canvas fabric collection, gave you a glimpse of the quilt we’re making this week and also went over Northcott Product Finder on their webpage. Did you check out the Product Finder to see how close you are to getting this beautiful fabric for the quilt?

Today, we’ll start playing with the fabrics and do a bit of sewing.

 

Northcott Canvas Fabrics
Northcott Canvas Fabrics

 

To get this quilt moving along we need to cut the fabrics. I prepared a PDF file with all the cutting instructions. The PDF file will show you the most effective way to cut your fabrics too. When you’re finished cutting your fabrics we’ll go on to the next step.

 

Fabrics strips are cut and ready to be sub-cut.
Fabrics strips are cut and ready to be sub-cut.

 

Following the instructions given in the PDF file you downloaded and printed earlier, once you’ve finished cutting the strips you’ll need to sub-cut them into smaller pieces. Read on.

 

Once fabric strips are cut into smaller pieces they’re ready to be sewn.
Once fabric strips are cut into smaller pieces they’re ready to be sewn.

 

Let’s look at half square triangles (HSTs).

We all have our preferred way to make HSTs, here’s mine.

Quilting reference books say that when cutting your fabric to make an HS, you need to add ” to your finished block size. In other words, if your finished block size is 4” x 4” then you would cut 4” x 4” square. If you sew a perfect ¼” seam and your fabrics were cut perfectly to size, then yes, your finished square once sewn and pressed open will be 4½” x 4½” unfinished square.

Now I’ve never been afraid to admit that sometimes my seams are a little off “perfect”. The work around that I now use is: instead of cutting my fabric squares 4” x 4” I add an extra ” and cut my squares 5” x 5”! Gives me a little wiggle room. Once sewn I simply trim to the desired size. Yes, it’s an extra step and more work but I get the results I want.

The next step is to make a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of each 5” x 5” square of the cream-colored fabric.

 

Make diagonal line on the back of every 5” X 5” square of the cream-colored fabric.
Make diagonal line on the back of every 5” X 5” square of the cream-colored fabric.

 

Pair each of the 50 – 5” x 5” squares of cream-colored fabric to a corresponding 5” x 5” square of the yellow, green and orange fabrics.

Sew ¼” along each side of the diagonal line.

 

Sew a ¼” seam on each side of the diagonal line.
Sew a ¼” seam on each side of the diagonal line.

 

When finished sewing the seams, cut along the marked diagonal line using a rotary cutter.

 

Cut the squares into 2 halves by cutting along diagonal line.
Cut the squares into 2 halves by cutting along diagonal line.

 

…And the last 2 steps for today are:

  1. Press all seams, then
  2. Trim to square off every piece to ensure a 4½” X 4½” square.

 

Square off every piece to ensure a 4½” X 4½” square.
Square off every piece to ensure a 4½” X 4½” square.

 

We accomplished a lot today!

  • cutting the fabrics
  • sewing HSTs, and then
  • trimming a total of 100 HSTs!

We need a snack and a nap. Join me tomorrow we’ll make Quarter Square Triangles using Northcott Canvas fabrics!

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 1: Making a quilt using Northcott Fabric, Canvas Collection

Go to part 3: Making quarter square triangles the easy way

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

4 Comments

  1. Quilty

    Great tip for fast and accurate piecing!

  2. Laura

    Love these how-to posts. Thanks for the effort you put into them.

  3. Christina G.

    What a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Delaine

    I measure to make my HSTs this way as well. The extra bit of wiggle room makes a big difference! Thanks!

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