Sunday, May 16, 2010

Half-Square Triangles

I feel like I've been making half-square triangles for days and days! I got the last ones finished up this afternoon and the fourth border for the Cub Scout quilt is almost complete.

I've used many different methods to make half-square triangles in the past. When I started quilting I just used the formula of add 7/8" to your finished size square. Cut a square that size and then cut it in half on the diagonal and sew two triangles together and press open. My squares never came out square with this method though. I don't know if I was just not accurate enough with my sewing or pressing, but I quickly realized this method wasn't going to work well for me.

Then I discovered Thangles - the triangle papers. I used these for a queen size quilt that had a lot of half-square triangles in it. They worked well but then I had to pull off the paper and that was a lot of work. Plus it left little bits of paper all over the place, which didn't make me very happy.

My next method was to cut a square 1" larger than the finished size half-square triangle needed. Draw a line along the diagonal of one of the fabrics, sew 1/4" away from the line on each side. Cut on the line, press the half-square triangles open and then square them up to the needed unfinished size. This worked great, but drawing lines on 100 squares gets old fast.

Then I discovered the Angler 2. I love my Angler.

It can be a bit of chore to get it lined up right with the needle. It's a lot faster than drawing the bunch of diagonal lines though! Once it is set up properly and taped down, I can make a lot of half-square triangles pretty quickly. I still cut my square 1" larger than the needed finished size. I line up the tip of one corner with the appropriate line on my angler and sew. Then I just flip the square over and sew the other side. Cut on the diagonal, press open and square up.

I had to make 192 half-square triangles for the border of the Cub Scout quilt. Whew!


Barb said...

I have not used thangles...maybe I should?

Stephanie in Michigan said...

Lynn, I have used the angler also. I like it. I really love paper piecing, however, and though I don't care for Thangles, I really like triangulations paper and other such paper. If you're interested in swapping some 2 and 1/2" unfinished half-square triangles, let me know. A couple of friends of mine and I are swapping to try to get a lot of variety in our stashes. We're each going to make 100 triangles (I'm making four of each kind--I'm swapping two and keeping two, but I could swap three and keep one!) and swap. Does this make sense? We're doing one side medium/dark and the other side light. I'm using batiks and civil war prints. I bet my friend Michelle uses Thimbleberries, Bound to the Prairie, and the like. (She's a "dark and dirty" quilter.) Don't know for sure what the other friend will send--she's still trying to decide if she wants to participate.