|Today's New Skill: Another way to make half-square triangles.|
This post will show how to make them with paper, which is my favorite way of making them. I love using paper because my triangles turn out very accurate. Accuracy is my number two goal when I'm quilting. (Number one is trying to get the colors right!)
Accurate units make accurate blocks, which means less trimming and fewer lost points on stars and other block shapes.
- Stack two pieces of fabrics right sides together, and (usually) dark fabric on the bottom.
- Place the half-square triangle paper on top of the fabrics.
- Set machine stitch length to a smaller setting (I use 1.5) and tighten the tension just a bit.
- Sew on the dashed (dotted) lines until all of the dashed (or dotted) lines have stitching.
- Cut along the solid lines.
- Press open.
- Tear paper off.
- Check your half square triangle for size and trim if necessary.
|Cut two pieces of fabric 1/2" or more than your finished half-square triangle. Place them right sides together. I usually cut about 3/4" bigger, but in the tutorial I've cut the rectangles much larger so you can see the process easier.|
|Pin the paper on the fabric in a spot where you won't catch it with your sewing machine needle. he solid lines or in the middle of triangles are both good places.|
|You will eventually run out of dashed lines to follow. When that happens, turn your paper and start on the next set of dashed lines.|
|All the dashed lines are sewn, now it is time to trim the paper and extra fabric.|
|All the excess fabric and paper have been trimmed away, and the half-square triangles have been cut|
|Here's what I threw away. Usually there is less fabric to throw away, but I wanted all the seams and trimming to show up really well in these photos.|
|Press open. The triangles on the left are right side up, the triangles on the right are paper side up. Woops! I put the dark fabric on top, which means when I press with the paper still on, my seam is pressed towards the light fabric.|
|Carefully tear the paper off, you can see the paper on the left.|
|I trim the 'ears' off my blocks because I think it makes them easier to sew in the next step. You don't have to do that, lots and lots of quilters leave the 'ears' on!|
If you want to print your own half-square triangle paper here are a few links:
Block Central (1", 2", 3", and 4" half-square triangle paper)
Quilting and Whatnot (1/2" to 2 1/2" finished half-square triangles in 1/2" increments)
When printing your own triangle paper, make sure you check the 1" test box that prints out on each page to make sure your printer is printing your triangles to the correct size.
Purchased half-square triangle paper:
Quilt-Pro Systems (purchased program with every size of half-square triangles, print on your own printer)
Quiltime (half-square triangle paper in packages of 25 sheets)
Fat Quarter Shop (triangle paper on a roll--great for when you have a bazillion half-square triangles to make because you can cut as long a strip of paper as you need! This is my favorite half-square triangle paper.)
Thangles (all sizes of half-square triangles on a strip of paper)
Here is a video tutorial on using Thangles (a purchased triangle paper).
Don't want to rip out paper but still like the idea of using paper? Check out this video:
Trish Stewart has a great tutorial on how to make your own half-square triangle paper for you to print out and add to your quilting notebook or file. (You gotta be able to do a little bit of math, though. Just a little, I promise!)
And finally, here is the paper I used in the tutorial. If I don't have the size of half-square triangle paper I need (that I've purchased), I will often draw the size on my computer and print it out.
These trim out to 3" (and finish at 2 1/2") which is the size we need for our next block.
If I've left out a step or you need a better explanation, please comment below and I'll do my best to answer and/or fix my post.