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This post has been a while in the making, but I really wanted to do this as a tutorial using the Creative Grids 45/90 Triangle Ruler. Making Half Square Triangles (HST) the traditional way is on my list of loathed activities, this ruler makes them super quick and easy. As an added bonus you can cut your strips 1/2" larger than the finished size of your block (as opposed to 7/8"). This makes it very useful for precuts, and means you can use a slotted strip ruler for faster strip cutting.
Of all the rulers in my arsenal, outside of your standard squares/rectangles, this is the one most used. When you are cutting hundreds (or more) HST this ruler really speeds up the process. You also aren't limited to HST. You can make flying geese, quarter square triangles, and more.
This chevron quilt was made as a gift for a co-worker who wanted a variety of soft pinks. After lots of searching I settled on 3 fabrics, each in a different value.
Important - None of the recommended supplies in this tutorial are sponsored, or provided to me by the companies that create them.
Requirements assume you are making a scrappy back and using the creative grids ruler listed in the tools list.
- 1 yard cuts of 3 different fabrics (chevrons)
- 2 yards (scrappy back)
- Crib Size Batting
Cut 6 - 5 1/2" strips from each of the 3 fabrics for the chevrons.
**Note - I will not cover other methods of making HST in this post, but you will cut your strips at 5 7/8", or 6" if you want to trim down all your blocks, to make them using the traditional method.
Next, make sets that combine 2 different fabrics. There will be a total of 3 different combinations with 2 strips of each fabric in the set. The breakdown is like this.
- Fabric 1 & 2 - 2 strips of each fabric.
- Fabric 1 & 3 - 2 strips of each fabric.
- Fabric 2 & 3 - 2 strips of each fabric.
Take one of your strip sets and place the strips right sides together. Line up the strips, as well as possible, and press with a hot iron. This will help set the fibers and result in more accurate cutting.
HST will be cut using the Creative Grids 45/90 Triangle Ruler and the 45 degree side of the ruler. Images below can be clicked to view larger images.
- First, use the flat side of the ruler to trim off the selvage edge of the strip set.
- Next, turn your mat 180 degrees (you can move the fabric, but rotating the mat is ideal) then line up the flat side of the ruler and the line marked 5 on the edges of the strip set. Cut on the angled edge.
- Rotate the ruler 180 degrees and line up the ruler on the angled edge and 5 line. Cut on the strait edge of the ruler.
For each of the 3 fabric combinations, cut 24 sets. There will be leftover from the strips, set these aside for the scrappy back.
For sewing these units I highly recommend setting the stitch width on your machine to somewhere in the range of 1.8 mm - 2.0 mm (since seams will be pressed open). Using a 1/4" seam, sew the longest side of all the triangle sets.
Press the seams of the HST open. The Strip Stick is great for this.
Note - I did not press open and had issues later in the quilt with bulk where the seams come together.
Finished HST sets should measure 5 1/2" square. Don't worry if they are a hair off. They will still work.
Lay out the HST blocks on your design wall/floor. The arrangement can be adjusted until you are happy with the placement. Different layouts will each create a different feel and impact in your quilt.
The layout will consist of 9 rows that are 8 HST across.
Sew your HST blocks into rows that are 8 blocks across. Press seams open. I highly recommend using The Strip Stick. This helps the seams pop open as well as lay flatter when being pressed. This was given to my by my aunt, and it has proven to be a valuable addition to my quilting toolbox.
- Start by laying your seam over the curved side of the stick. You will see the seam start to pop open a little.
- Pinch your fabric down around the sides of the stick and it will pop open even more making it easier to spread the seam.
- Open the seam fully along the stick.
- Keeping the seam on the curved part of the stick, press seam open.
- Flip over and press from the front. This will give you a very nice, flat, seam.
Sew together the rows, taking care to line up seams and pin well. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the rows to secure the stitching.
Note - I suggest sewing the rows into 3 sets of 3 rows, and then sew the sets into final top.
Press seams open.
Finished top should measure approximately 40 1/2" x 45 1/2"
If you are quilting your quilt on a domestic machine, the yard and a half of backing fabric should be adequate, but I suggest adding a 5"-6" finished strip down the length of the yardage.
For my back, I cut my yardage in unequal widths, and randomly pieced my extras into a 5 1/2" strip (finished at 5") and pieced it all together.
Note - Make sure you back is large enough if sending it to a long arm quilter. Most request at least 6" extra around the outside of the top for loading onto the machine.
Take the time to gather all supplies prior to basting. Follow your preferred basting method.
I baste my quilts on my tile floor and tape down the back, making sure the back is taut. In this case I chose not to spray baste (to avoid the chemicals).
Next I center and spread the batting over the back, taking time to smooth the batting from the center outward. For the batting I tried Warm and Natural. It was okay to work with, but I still prefer Dream Cotton batting.
Position your top on the batting and spread from the inside out, be careful not to go over the edge of the backing. I slightly offset mine from the center because of where I wanted the strip to be on the back.
I pinned every triangle throughout the quilt to ensure even coverage. and then stitched in the ditch using King Tut #940 - Candy thread. My original plan had more quilting, but after stitching in the ditch, it wasn't needed, and there wasn't time to do more.
After attaching the binding I used Clover Wonder Clips to secure the binding, then stitched it down by machine.
Finally, here is the finished quilt top. It was a fun quilt to make. Can't wait to make another. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my blog!