Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Half Square Triangles Made Easy - Part 2 and Flying Geese

Remember my last post on half square triangles?   I went into a couple of my favorite ways to make half square triangles.  One way was the Wondercut Ruler, and I gave you a link to a tutorial on how that works.   I love this ruler for a VERY easy and fast way to make many half square triangle blocks when you have larger pieces of fabric.   The other was a link to free half square triangle paper in many sizes.  If you want to see the details go to the previous post here.

Since then I have found another method that I love.  At a class I took from Sharon Rotz we made lots of flying geese in our quilts.  This was a wonderful class on her pattern Keep Your Quackers in a Row.  The picture below is the one my husband sleeps with every night.  It is so soft.

 This is a delightful, fast and easy quilt that has no batting, just fleece on the back and extremely easy to quilt.  Very nice weight and super soft.  I have made four of them and counting.  They take me about a day.  My family grabs them up as soon as I can make them.  So, you know I have lots of leftover scraps of triangles from these four quilts.

The method used for the flying geese was the Mary Ellen Hopkin's method of putting a square in the corner and sewing diagonally on the square, then flipping it over.  Mary Ellen Hopkins tells you to never clip off the extra fabric underneath, as this adds stability to the quilt.  Many people do clip these extra little triangle pieces off and sew them together later or throw them away, as they add bulk when you want to quilt.

Sharon Rotz gave our class the idea of sewing an extra line parallel 1/2 inch away from the first diagonal line before clipping the extras off.  This saved lots of matching and work. You cut them apart after sewing the second diagonal line. You then have many half square triangle blocks left over after the quilt was done to square up and use in some other quilt some other day.  I love this idea!  I did this and had enough to make this quilt.  It is not finished yet, but you get the picture.  This is my pattern for using up half square triangles.  Just two blocks.  Sorry for my photography.  If anyone wants a clearer picture. let me know, and I will try again.

I was surfing the Internet looking for ideas for you, and I found a wonderfully perfected tutorial of what I just shared with you at Sew Many Ways.  Karen's version is much neater and not so hard on you when you go to square up the half square triangles, ie. standing for hours at a table with ruler and rotary cutter squaring up hundreds of HST (half square triangles).  As a small preview, she draws the lines before stitching, which makes things much more accurate in the first place, and then she has another secret to square them up, which can be done in front of the TV with a scissors.  You will just have to go there and see that part, as I don't want to steal her hard work.

 I love it when you can quilt in front of the TV with the family.  You will end up with a bucket of half square triangles to go in no time.   She gave me permission to copy a picture from her blog and send you her way. You will have to see her blog for all of her secrets to this method.  Believe me, you don't want to miss this tutorial.  She has wonderful pictures to show you exactly how it is done.  Thank you Karen.  Please see her tutorial at Sew Many Ways.  Karen also has many wonderful posts on how to use tools in ways you never thought of.  I love her blog and check there weekly for her endless ideas.  I know you will love it too.

Lastly, what do you do with all of the half square triangle blocks?  There are a wealth of patterns to use scrap half square triangle blocks at Bonnie Hunter's Quiltsville.  You will be amazed.