Thursday, October 15, 2015

Speed Piecing Half Square Triangles

Great job, everbody, on making your first block tonight.  Now that you have a pattern for yourself, you are ready to rinse and repeat...and repeat and repeat.  We will make a total of 12 blocks like the one we did tonight.  Think of these as half-and-half blocks, half light and half-dark.

To make the half-square triangles, we will only be working with the 4-inch squares.  You have 4-inch squares from three of the fabrics.
  • Accent/Medium (red on the pattern)--32 4-in squares
  • Background/Light (cream on the pattern)--20 4-in squares
  • Dark (gray on the pattern) 12 4-in squares

    Since 20 + 12 = 32, it makes sense that each of your half-square triangle pairs will contain a piece of the Accent/Medium fabric. Remember you already made one of each pair tonight, so you should have 30/19/11 left.
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the backs of each of the 32 Accent/Medium 4-inch squares.  Pair each of these with either a Background/Light 4-in square or a Dark 4-in square, right sides together.  I like to pin these on either side of the line.

You will have two piles, one with 12 pairs (Accent and Dark) and one with 20 pairs (Accent and Light).  Here's the fun part.  Sew a 1/4-inch seam on either side of the diagonal line.

Chain these together.  Don't stop and cut your thread.  Just keep feeding them through, one after the other until you've sewn them all on one side of the line.  Leaving the squares chained together, just turn them around and sew a quarter-inch seam along the other side.

Once you've run the chain of squares through on the second side, you are ready to cut them apart from each other.
You will then cut each square along the diagonal line you drew.  Press open, and make stacks of your half-square triangles.

These squares are going to be larger than you need.  Remember our other pieces are 3-inch squares.  Trim each of these half-square triangles down to be 3-inch squares.  Unwonkify as necessary.  Use the 45 degree line on your cutting mat to help keep that center diagonal seam straight.

Now you're ready to make some blocks!

Our next meeting will be on November 19.  There is no pressure to have a certain amount done by that time.  This project is not a race.  Just do what you're comfortable doing, at the pace that makes you happy.

I'm so glad you were all able to be there tonight.  This project is going to be a lot of fun!

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