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THE easy way to trim Half Rectangle Triangles perfectly every time

by Robin Bogaert

Yesterday, I demonstrated a super-easy way to mark, layout, and sew Half Rectangle Triangle units for a Modern Half Rectangle Triangle Table Runner. Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs) look a little wonky and not comparable to Half Square Triangles, but nevertheless it’s a super easy sewing method using SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Markers, Omnigrid rulers, my OLFA Rotary Cutter, a Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat and Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric.

Today is trimming and layout day. It’s a fun day because we’ll get to see the visual idea of how it’ll all come together.

Step 1

Some trimming of each HRT is needed before the layout starts. To do this, cut out 3-4 pieces of freezer paper or copy paper, 2½” x 4½” each, and mark an arrow in each corner of the papers with a water-soluble or fast fade marker.

Freezer paper cut to 2½" x 4½" and the four corners marked with a fast fade fabric marker. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Freezer paper cut and corners marked with a fast fade fabric marker

Step 2

Press each freezer paper piece with wax side down onto the right side of the HRTs until they stick temporarily. Match the corner of the freezer paper to the diagonal lines as shown. The arrows are drawn to help with positioning.

Note: If using paper, you may need to pin them to the center so they hold in place.

A rectangle piece of freezer paper is ironed to the right side of the Half Rectangle Triangle unit and the corner arrows are lined up with the seams on the unit. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Freezer paper ironed to the right side of a light-colored HRT, to use as a trimming guide

A rectangle piece of freezer paper is ironed to the right side of the Half Rectangle Triangle unit and the corner arrows are lined up with the seams on the unit. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Freezer paper ironed to the right side of a medium-colored HRT, to use as a trimming guide

Step 3

Trim each HRT carefully with a rotary cutter and rotate your Komfort Kut cutting mat, this makes it easier to get around all sides! Use a ruler as a guide to cut carefully along the paper. The freezer paper can be used numerous times before it loses its stickiness.

A Half Rectangle Triangle is trimmed to 2½" x 4½" using freezer paper, a rotary cutter, ruler, and rotating cutting mat. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Trim the HRTs to 2½” x 4½” using freezer paper, a rotary cutter, ruler, and rotating cutting mat.

Six stacks of Half Rectangle Triangles all trimmed to 2½" x 4½" using freezer paper, a rotary cutter, ruler, and rotating cutting mat. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

The HRTs are all trimmed and measure 2½” x 4½”.

Step 4

It’s layout time, and time to get the visual idea as to how this table runner goes together! As a reference, I’m including a layout guide with letters L, M and D to show where the Light, Medium, and Dark fabrics are placed. I also recommend the table runner be sewn row by row so there’s no confusion. The first two rows are simply repeated over and over until there are eight rows.

Layout guide showing the placement of fabric units for the Modern Half Rectangle Triangle Table Runner. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Layout guide showing placement of Light, Medium, and Dark fabrics

Six Half Rectangle Triangles arranged in two rows on a cutting mat. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Rows 1 and 2 are repeated until there are 8 diamond shapes.

Half Rectangle Triangles laid out in four rows according to the layout diagram. Gütermann Thread, SCHMETZ Quilting Needles, UNIQUE Sewing Fast Fade Fabric Marker, Omnigrid Ruler, OLFA Rotary Cutter, Komfort Kut Rotating Cutting Mat, Fabric Creations Cotton Fabric

Half the table runner is laid out.

We are almost there! Tomorrow I’ll explain the ironing method needed to get a lovely flat table runner, and final construction of the quilt top using 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.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: 6 easy steps for making perfect Half Rectangle Triangles

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