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6 easy steps for making perfect Half Rectangle Triangles

by Robin Bogaert

Yesterday I talked about preparing and cutting the fabric for Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs) to make a fresh and modern style spring table runner. This is an exciting technique with some unique shortcuts I’ve found to make the process so much easier. Today, I will demonstrate the sewing process to make the individual HRTs using SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid rulers, an OLFA Rotary Cutter, a Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat and Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Let the fun part begin!

A red, white and blue table runner made with Half Rectangle Triangles. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Modern Half Rectangle Triangle Table Runner

Today, I’ll show you how a diagonal line is drawn on the background rectangles. Special attention must be shown to the direction of the diagonal lines with Half Rectangle Triangles in order for them to be sewn and laid out in the proper direction for this project. This is very important.

With Half Square Triangles, we don’t have to pay attention to the direction of the diagonal line. This will take some getting used to with Half Rectangle Triangle units. I recommend you pay attention the method I show you today, and if the directions are followed accurately, the results will be gorgeous!

A quilting ruler, a marking pen, and two white fabric rectangles with blue diagonal drawn lines, sitting on a grey cutting mat. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Marking the background pieces with diagonals to the left and diagonals to the right

Step 1

Mark the background fabric as shown with your Fast Fade fabric marker and a ruler. I used a 4″ x 8″ ruler with this project because it worked out to be the perfect size for marking and trimming each unit. Rotate your cutting mat to move the mat around for marking and trimming easily. You’ll need 16 background rectangles marked on the wrong side with the diagonal towards the right and eight marked on the wrong side with the diagonal towards the left, as shown.

Step 2

Lay all the medium and dark colored rectangle fabric (cut yesterday) above the 16 right diagonally marked backgrounds, and the light-colored fabric above the eight left diagonally marked backgrounds.

Two stacks of colored fabric rectangles, and two white fabric rectangles with diagonal lines drawn on the wrong side of the fabric. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Marking the wrong side of the background pieces, ready to lay out for sewing.

Step 3

Lay the marked background rectangles right side down on top of the light medium and dark fabrics as shown. This looks awkward yes, but it’s the way Half Rectangle Triangle units work the best. They don’t operate like the square shapes. You need eight of the light fabric units and 16 of the medium and dark fabric units.

Two white fabric rectangles on top of two-colored rectangle fabrics in preparation for sewing into Half Rectangle Triangles. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Laying out the fabric for sewing.

Step 4

Pin all the fabric units for sewing as shown. I like to use flat flower head pins to keep the units secure and flat for sewing.

A white fabric rectangle pinned to a colored fabric rectangle. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Fabric pinned, ready for sewing.

Step 5

Take all the pinned Half Rectangle Triangle units to a sewing machine and, with a ¼” foot attached, sew ¼” from the diagonal line on both sides.

Note: Accuracy and a ¼ foot is very important!

Two white fabric rectangles sewn to two colored fabric rectangles. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Sew ¼” on both sides of the marked diagonal lines.

Step 6

Cut apart along the blue line, as shown.

Two sewn rectangle units cut apart to make four Half Rectangle Triangle units. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Fabric cut with a rotary cutter and ruler, down the center marked blue line to make the HRTs.

Your fabric pieces should look like this:

Fabric, sewn, cut and stacked ready to make a table runner. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Light, medium & dark fabric sewn, cut and stacked.

Step 7

Press all HRT units with a hot, steamy iron with seams towards the colored fabric (away from the background), as shown.

Half Rectangle Triangle units pressed open and sorted into six piles. SCHMETZ Quilting needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid Rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

HRTs pressed with seams towards the colored fabric.

At this point, the table runner is halfway done! Join me tomorrow when I show a very unique and easy way to trim up these units and lay out the table runner for sewing, using some freezer paper, Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid rulers, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat and Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric. That’ll be the method for trimming Half Rectangle Triangles to go in your quilting rulebook. It’s a keeper!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Learn to make Half Rectangle Triangles with THIS easy technique! 

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