When I recently posted about half-square triangle options I received a few e-mails asking me for some more details about my construction method. Since I had to make some half-square triangles for this months Bee blocks, I took a few pictures along the way. Half-square triangles are so much fun to make with gorgeous fabrics, and they really are some of my favorite quilt blocks to make. It was fun to get to sew with the Flea Market Fancy prints!
I use a mechanical pencil and a ¼″ wide ruler to draw lines on the back of the light fabrics. There are other brands available, but I’ve had these two different Quilter’s Quick Quarter-8″ and Quilters Rule Quick Quarter II 12 inch tools for several years. They are exactly ¼″ wide and have slits along the center to line up with the center points of your fabric squares. I probably use the larger size the most, although the smaller size is handy for small blocks.
I usually draw the lines fairly light, but I drew darker lines on this block so it would show up a bit better. After marking all of my light-colored squares, I place them right sides together with the same size print squares. Then I sew along each of my drawn lines.
I like to make my half-square triangles a bit bigger than they need to be and then trim them to the perfect size. I generally add 1″ to the finished measurement of my desired block size and cut my light and print squares that size. So to make 3″ finished blocks I’ll cut 4″ squares.
After sewing I cut the squares in the middle of my two sewn lines. I don’t press yet.
I use the “Fit to be Quarter” square ruler (by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts) to trim my blocks. Again, there are other brands available, but I love this ruler because it will trim blocks at every quarter inch up to 6 ½″ square. I also have a larger “Fit to be Quarter” ruler which trims blocks up to 9 ½″ square.
With this ruler you simply line up your sewn line with the desired block size line and trim away the extra fabric at the side and top. For this example the fabrics had been cut even larger than normal for photography. Normally I am trimming smaller pieces off of the side and top.
At this point I press the half-square triangle blocks. I press these seams open unless I’m following a pattern with specific pressing directions. I find that pressing these seams open really helps my piecing to be more accurate as I use these sections in blocks.
Please feel free to email me with any questions or clarifications. Things have been pretty busy around here with the holiday weekend, but I’ll get to your email as soon as I can!
I had fun finishing up a couple of Bee blocks today…
And I made two matching blocks for me…I have 5 of my 25 finished now!
Thanks so very much for stopping by!