Monday, July 1, 2013

AIMING FOR ACCURACY QUILT-ALONG and a tutorial to make 8 HSTs at once

Here's my first block for the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt-Along.  This is a ginormous 15" fs block, so I used some of my larger prints.  You can find the entire tutorial for the block here, on the quilt-along web site.  There is also a link to this activity on my side-bar.

This block contains eight half-square-triangles, all made from the same two fabrics, so I used a quick-piecing method (which I did not invent) and decided to make a tutorial as I went along, to share my method to quickly and accurately construct the block.

Step 1:  Figure out the size you need to cut your fabric to start with.  I am making 5" finished size (the size they will be when sewn into a quilt, fs) half-square-triangles (HSTs).  Take that number and add 1" to it.  You may have been taught to add 7/8" instead.  That is the number to add if you are extremely accurate and your HSTs turn out perfect every time (not me!).   That extra eighth gives you wiggle room and wastes only a tiny bit of fabric.  So now I'm at 6".  Now double that and I'm at 12".  Cut a 12" square of each of your two fabrics.

Position your fabric squares right-sides-together (rst). 

Using your ruler, draw a line diagonally from each corner making an X, and again horizontally and vertically across the center making a cross.  This is a square-on photo, but the lines are light for a tutorial.  I darkened them and took the next picture, but it isn't straight-on.

Next, stitch 1/4" away from each side of the diagonal lines (the X).

I used gray thread, so it might look like more drawn lines, but that is stitching.   Now cut your block apart on the drawn lines..............
horizontally, vertically, and on both diagonals.

Press each of the eight blocks open and square up to 5.5".  There are many methods of squaring up; use your favorite.  I have a 5.5" square ruler, so I just laid it over each block with the diagonal line on the seam line, and trimmed.
You get very little waste with this method (this is all the scraps from 8 blocks),
and very accurate HSTs.
Here's my eight, made in very little time.
There are many other tutorials out there about the importance of pressing, using sizing, etc.  This tutorial was created with the intent of sharing how to make 8 HSTs quickly and accurately.  And, drum roll........................ 8 HSTs were just what I needed for this block.
There are many ways to make HSTs.  This is what I used for this:)
The next installment of the QAL comes out July 4, so I need to get going with my sashing cutting.


Elaine said...

I have seen this and have actually done this-once. But, your tutorial is great! I am going to follow you.

Dianne said...

Great tutorial thanks!!

carla said...

Hi!!! Thanks for the great tutorial!!!!

Linette Greene said...

What fabric did you use for the center square?

Charo said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial, I wish I had seen it before doing my block for this quilt along. I will have a look at your blog before doing the next block, just in case you give any other tip.

Pat, I love the fabric with the blak background, it's lovely!

Greetings from Mallorca (Spain)

Helen McNaught said...

Hi Pat, great tutorial! I haven't made HST's in the traditional method for ages so I decided to go back to it for this project. I usually use my Wonder Cut Ruler. Your method is fantastic! I've never seen it before.
I'm sewing all of the AFA blocks on my antique Singer 201K knee shifter. Block 1 has come out spot on 15-1/2" pieced. I had to adjust my seam guide to achieve a true scant 1/4" seam as I don't own a foot to suit the Singer. Can't wait for Block 2. I love your fabrics in Block 1.

knitandpatch said...

This is a very interesting technique, haven´t seen it before. Thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

thank you Pat. what a fabulous way to get 8 HSTs