Thursday, July 15, 2010

Half Square Triangles...To tool or not?

Per request, I will throw out a brief post on some of the Half Square rulers that are out there....

Some??????





Tape tool when "adding 7/8"


This little collection doesn't even include the triangle papers that are out there!!!! Go ahead and google "Half Square Triangle tools"; the pictures and methods go on and on.

My ruler of choice is Sharon Hultgren's Easy Angle ruler. I like the black, slightly raised lettering. For me, some other rulers are difficult to read depending on what color cutting mat you use. (ie: Omnigrids use yellow, Nifty Notions uses red/pink).

The advantage (as I see it) in using the rulers is you only need to follow the "add the 1/2"" rule as you do with simple squares, RATHER than needing to following the "adding 7/8" rule". Reasoning: now that I have become a die-hard Bonnie K. Hunter scrap user, I like to keep my strips and scraps at whole and half inch cuts; those 7/8" cuts annoy me! This doesn't mean that YOU must have or use a tool! This is a personal preference....

Having said all this....The lesson part...

If you want to create a simple 4-patch block that finishes to 4", by now many of you know that each square unit needs to finish at 2", so you need to add 1/2" to allow for the seams. Therefore, you cut the square 2.5" x 2.5"

So now, let's move to a lovely "Jacob's Ladder" layout (which if you rearrange these units, you could have a Buckeye-Beauty, etc. LOVELY UNITS!!!!

If this block finishes at 8", the 4-patch finishes at 4", AND the HALF-SQUARE-TRIANGLE (HST) unit also finishes at 4". Hopefully, your mind shouts "4.5 unfinished" because that follows the typical rule. If you have the Easy Angle ruler (or other similar rulers) to cut the HST, this rule doesn't change! Cut a strip to 4.5" and use the ruler to cut the HST. Does that make sense?

Here is another Easy Angle Ruler tutorial sponsored by EZquilt, the company of EZTools....

5 comments:

Winona said...

I have the June Tailor Perfect Half-Square and Quarter-Square Triangle ruler. It is my favorite. I cut my blocks 1 inch bigger than their 'finished' size then trim. Works great for me. I also have the Easy Angle. I haven't used it a lot, but do like it. Thanks for sharing all this with us. Winona

Tracy said...

Thanks Amy for bringing this up. I've been wanting to learn more about these. I learned to do the half square triangles by drawing the line down thru the blocks and sewing on either side and then cutting the line.
Also, I've bought some patterns that call for cutting the actual triangles and well, I'm confused but then that's normal for me! I think I need to fool around some with these to understand better. I guess I'm a hands on learner!
Hey, this gives me a chance to buy another ruler!

jaycad said...

WHAT?! It's that easy with your nifty little HST ruler?! No more math and sitting there with my calculator and trying to work out patterns and angles? Okay.... I'm sold - I'm breaking my 'no spending' vow and am going to look at getting myself one of these.
Thank you so much for sharing your preference and the tutorial Amy - you're a star!

jillquilts said...

I just got myself an Easy Angle ruler at the last Joann's sale. I haven't used it yet, but I am anxious to at some point soon.

Also, in light of the fun that I had sewing on Sunday with the 3 projects at once, I am ready to pull fabrics for another of Bonnie's quilts! lol

Candace said...

Thank's for the lesson, and yes it does make sense. I also got the Easy Angle when doing Bonnie Hunter's mysteries, and have liked it very much.