Creating Half square triangle units, quickly, easily and accurately, with Valerie Nesbitt.
Triangles are one of the bedrock elements of quilt design. We are very fortunate that with the help of the sewing machine and modern cutting equipment, there are various ways of achieving these perfectly, quickly and easily. In this workshop Valerie has grouped several of these methods together for you. Your decision of which method to use will usually lie with how much fabric you have.
First of all you can cut squares that are 1″ larger than your finished unit. Place the two fabrics right sides together. Then draw a diagonal line, sew either side of it, cut up the middle, press and trim back. The measurement for this will be your finished size plus 1/2″
Another method is to use a product called ‘Thangles’. These allow you to cut both the squares and create the half-square triangle units from the same strip of fabric. It’s great as both shapes can come from a 2.5″ strip (a jelly roll).
Thangles have also produced a ‘T sheet’ which works in a similar way as their strips, but for use with a larger piece of fabric – say a Fat 1/4m. These were used recently in the Paris Romance table runner that was designed by Nicola Wayman. These T sheets save you a lot of drawing time, which would be our traditional method – but you can of course do this and Valerie shows you how to use your ruler equipment to do so accurately (no tape measures please!)
And finally Valerie guides you through how to create 8 half-square triangle units from 6.5″ squares of fabric, where you mark the two diagonals; sew either side of these and then cut the square into units – BUT you must be sure to cut the vertical and horizontal before the drawn diagonals; and then you need to square up and trim.
So no excuse – you can now include lots of triangles in the next quilt you make.
Valerie is the founder and Creative Director of justhands-on.tv , as well as our very own ‘Queen of Scrap’. She founded Creative Quilting, a quilt shop in Hampton Court, where she still teaches to this day.
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