You know how it is…..you have done one task in the same way for years and years and years, and someone tells you another way to do it. Your first thought is “nah…that wont work” and so you continue on in your old way. Well, let me tell you my story……
I hate making Half-square triangles, and I have tried EVERY WAY possible. I started out by cutting the squares 7/8” larger than the finished size, cutting thru the diagonal and then trying to sew the triangles together with a correct 1/4 inch seam. The points would jam under the needle, my seam allowance would vary and it NEVER worked!!!!
Then, I started placing two (7/8” larger) squares together, drawing the diagonal line and then sewing 1/4 inch on each side of the line. I would cut them in half, press and behold….they were NEVER the right size.
SO, I joined the ranks of people who would cut the squares too big, sew on the diagonals, cut, press and THEN use a ruler to square-up the patches to the correct size. This process provided for perfect size squares, but it was very time intensive.
Enough history….. move onto current events…..in the last couple of weeks, I have just wanted to sew. It didn’t matter what I was working on, but I just needed to feel the fabric, see the stitches and use my rotary cutter!!! So, I turned to Bonnie Hunter’s website and selected one of her scrap quilt patterns to work on. This is Nine Patch Split…..
Since my plan is to make it much bigger, the first thing that I needed were 500+ half-square triangles. Well, I almost stopped right there!!!! But in Bonnie’s instructions, she told how to use the “Easy Angle II” ruler to make 1/2 square triangles .
Since I had the ruler already, I decided to give it a try…..just to prove to myself that it wouldn’t work!!!!!
These are the steps that you use….
Cut strips of fabric that are the finished block size plus 1/2 inch. Place them face sides together.
Use the Easy Angle to cut one triangle “thingy”……
Then flip the ruler to the other side and cut another…….
Sew the shapes together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance
and….VOILA…..perfect sized 1/2 square triangles (you just have to clip that one point)!!!!!!
I also found that if I was chain piecing and started sewing with the pointed end of the triangle and ended on the cut off point it was easier to start the next triangle.
So, in a very short time I made hundreds of half square triangles!!!!!
THEN, I read in her instructions about keeping the “chains” together until after they were pressed. Again, I thought…..”no, no, no”. But once again the practical side of my brain said “why don’t you give it a try” and once again, BONNIE WAS RIGHT!!!!!
If you place the chains on your ironing board, they line up beautifully for pressing and I found that it was WAY faster and easier to do.
(note here that it is NOT easy to iron with your left hand and take a photo with your right)
So here I say THANK YOU BONNIE for making my life easier and for providing such wonderful hints and instructions!!!!!