Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Explaining Bonus HSTs

I figured I'd explain how I come up with my bonus Half Square Triangles.

Any time I'm sewing a square on diagonally, I like to sew 3/8th of an inch away for another block. It's almost like getting 2 quilts for the effort of one. ;)

On the Pinapple Blossom quilt, on each block I needed to sew four 3.5" squares diagonally. In the picture above, it's the line on the left.

Then if you look really closely at my needle's position, it's not in the center of the foot, but 1mm to the right. I had the hardest time understanding that at first!

I place the original diagonal line on the edge of the left side of the presser foot. The gap between the two lines make a 3/8" measurement. Bigger than 1/4", smaller than 1/2".

I try to cut exactly between the two lines. I use my ruler and rotary cutter to make the clean cut.

Basically, you have a 1/8th inch seam allowance for both blocks. I know that sounds tiny, but it's never given me any trouble.

By doing it this way, I get an 3" unfinished HST.

Hence the name of Bonus HST. :)

Now it's time for a confession. I'm a lazy quilter too. I don't like some parts of quilting, like pinning blocks together (can't sew as fast) or trimming... well, anything. So I didn't trim my HSTs at all. Sometimes I have to fudge it a bit, but usually it works out ok. I'm not aiming to be a perfectionist, I'm aiming to have fun. So what if one side is an inch longer than the other? I'm not sending it out to become somebody else's problem (like a long armer's). It's my quilt; I'll do what I want. ;)

With the Country Pineapple Blossom, I ended up with 120 HSTs.

I thought this would be a fun setting, almost like Birds in the Air pattern. With some borders, it should make a decent sized baby quilt.

The smallest size of a block that I'll "double sew" for the bonus HST is 2.5". I'll end up with a 2" unfinished HST, and that's as small as I'll go. Sometimes I even skip double sewing 2.5" squares. But bigger than that, I'll feel like I'm wasting fabric if I don't do the bonus HSTs. :)

I've done this a few times now. Like when I made Ann's NYE 2005 Mystery, all those pink and purple "points" gave me the bonus HSTs for the Girly Bear's Paw claws.

With my sister Sarah's Pineapple Blossom quilt, I turned the bonus HSTs into this green, purple and white baby quilt. I DID trim those bonus HSTs, and swore never again!

Overall, I really like doing Bonus HSTs, and hopefully I won't ever get sick of so many HSTs. Thankfully there's MANY different ways to use them! :)



Norma said...

I don't trim much either and sometimes I expect the quilt police to just out and grab me. I do more finger pressing than I should.........but like you, it's MY quilt.

The pineapple quilt is wonderful, love those colors together. Glad you are back blogging again.

Are you enjoying AZ fall? I am ready for some WEATHER..........still wearing shorts and it is time for sweaters!

Dannielle said...

aha! I usually just cut the triangles off with scissors. Then I look at the pile of triangles and think that I should do something with them. But they are wonky and it looks like too much work.

I love your way!

Chrissie said...

Wow, Busy Bee! You're doing great! Your bonus HST quilt is lovely. Thanks for the tutorial. I'll keep that in mind when I do a pineapple quilt. I've been too busy to post lately, but I finished those projects, and now on to another!
God bless you!