Making half square triangle units just doesn't get any easier than this!
Four lines of stitching.
And you've got four HST units ready to go into your blocks.
Now let's see how it's done!
Print our free cutting chart for these units. There you'll find the size to cut your squares. (You'll find it in the 'Downloadable Chart' section.)
Layer two contrasting squares, right sides together. Align all the edges.
Pin, if necessary to hold them in place.
The square below measures 4-3/4" and I did use pins...that's my nature!
Sew around the entire square, 1/4" away from the edge. You can stitch continuously, pivoting at the corners, or stitch each side separately--easier to chain piece if you've got loads of HST to stitch.
Try pressing the patches together as they are layered to hold them together instead of pins. Cotton fibers WANT to stick to each other.
Cut the sewn unit, once on the diagonal from corner to corner.
This is one of those times that it's helpful to have a small cutting mat—like the 12"x18"(link opens in a new window)—because then you just turn the mat to make the second cut. You don't disturb the patches.
Now cut on the remaining diagonal. You now have four HST units.
Press the unit in the unopened position to set the seams.
And now press it open.
REMEMBER: ALL the outside edges are on the bias.
You can press the seam towards the dark fabric (traditional), towards the light (perhaps to reduce bulk), or open (to reduce bulk and/or prevent shadowing if your fabrics are high contrast).
If you find that your bias edges are too stretchy for your taste, try starching your quilt fabric before you cut your squares. The starch helps to tame the edges and makes pressing a dream.
The only drawback is that the starch must be washed out when your project is complete.
Trim off the dog ears...they have not been trimmed in the picture below...
That's all there is to making four half square triangle units at once!
If it sounds like a good technique for you, then do print our free...
The math for calculating what size squares to cut is a bit wonky. [Click here to see what it looks like...]
If you're math-adverse that might have made you throw up in your mouth a little bit. That's OK...you're a QUILTER first! Nothing to apologize for.
But me, I've got a bit of math geek in me...I really do LIKE to figure this stuff out.
So, to make things easier for you, click on our 'Stamp our Math' button to the right to download your free chart with many sizes of finished half square triangle units (the page opens in a new window).
Because I personally like to trim my final units to size (and thus ensure perfect little units that make my blocks practically stitch themselves together) the chart also includes cutting dimensions calculated with some 'fudge factor' built in. Easy peasy!
If you would prefer a chart that starts with the Cut Square size and then computes what the resulting Finished/Unfinished HST size is, click here. Personally, I'd print both charts.
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