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Half square triangles made easy with the No-Hassles Triangle Gauge

 

I felt that the lone star block on the tree skirt center was a bit too simple and decided to add a border to the tree skirt to dress it up a bit. I’m always looking for ways to make half square triangles easier and faster to make. They are such an important part of quilting and are found in so many blocks, patterns and quilts. One day at my LQS I found a cool gadget I should try today. HST made easy with the No-Hassles Triangle Gauge from Clover is going to be used to create a classy border for this lone star tree skirt.

 

The No-Hassles Triangle Gauge
The No-Hassles Triangle Gauge

 

No hassle half square triangles

Not only is this gauge for half square triangles but it’s also for quarter square triangles. Today though I’m only making half square triangles.

The numbers along the left side are the ones I’ll be using. At first I was going to make 2″ finished half square triangles but then I thought, “That’s a lot of half square triangles considering I would need 36 per side times 4 that would be 144 half square triangles total!”

Back to re-configuring the border… I decided to make 3″ finished half square triangles. This means I only need 96 total – 24 per side.

For the 3½″ unfinished half square triangles the squares need to be cut at 3⅞″ each. This will result in a 3″ finished half square triangle.

Bring the wing tip green piece down to the 3⅞″ mark by pushing in the button that says push and sliding it down the center plastic piece.

 

Gauge set up for a 3 ½″ half square triangle
Gauge set up for a 3 ½″ half square triangle

 

 

Place the fabric squares under the gauge and line up the edges of the fabric with the green wing tips.

Draw a line, with a pencil or find tipped fabric pencil/pen, in the center cut out slots on the fabric.

 

Fabric under gauge ready for pencil line
Fabric under gauge ready for pencil line

 

 

Sew a ¼″ seam on either side of the pencil line. An accurate quarter inch seam allowance and a straight seam allowance is required to ensure that all the squares come out the same size.

 

¼″ seams sewn on either side of pencil line
¼″ seams sewn on either side of pencil line

 

 

Cut apart on the pencil line and press open. The only trimming required is of the dog ears. With this handy gadget the half square triangles are the correct size when sewn together. Wow, that’s awesome as every other method I have used for making half square triangles I end up standing at the cutting table trimming forever – okay maybe not quite forever but some days it feels that way.

The other bonus of using this triangle gauge is that there are no triangles to sew together which means no bias edges to stretch out of shape.

 

One 3 ½″ half square triangle
One 3 ½″ half square triangle

 

 

The border design required that I sew the half square triangles in two sets. I placed them with right sides together in two rows on my table so that I wouldn’t get anything mixed up or turned around.

 

Squares laid out and ready for sewing
Squares laid out and ready for sewing

 

 

It seems that even with the greatest intentions and best laid plans that I still managed to get 2 of them turned around. Oh well, it’s a good thing I’m experienced at reverse sewing (aka ripping out).

 

Oops, those 2 don't look like the others
Oops, those 2 don’t look like the others

 

 

Once I had all my half square triangles made I sewed them together to form a zigzag pattern with a four patch in each corner to form the border of the tree skirt. Now the tree skirt measures 48″ square. I think that will be big enough – any bigger and it will be a lap quilt.

 

Half square triangle zigzag border around the lone star
Half square triangle zigzag border around the lone star

 

 

Oh boy, I sure am loving this design but the big white squares and triangles in the tree center around the star are a bit too stark and bare for me. I’m going to have to add some applique to these areas.

The tree skirt is coming along nicely and those half square triangles made easy with the No-Hassles Triangle Gauge were a piece of cake. Tune in tomorrow as I add the final touches to this tree skirt.

Happy Quilting

 

 

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

3 Comments

  1. Allison CB

    Looks like a great tool to have!!!

  2. Patrizia Greco

    Thank you very much! Very interesting post. I’m new to quilting but this explained a lot.

    • Thank you Patrizia. Have fun as you embark into the world of quilting – there is so much to learn, explore and create. Jen

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