2-Cent Tuesday

Happy Tuesday to you, my Friends! I know some of you got a whole bunch of snow. We haven’t gotten any significant snow yet where I’m at, but it does look like we might have some in the forecast.

Have you seen my La Rouge Basket quilt in the Feb 2021 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting? Complete instructions are in the magazine. This quilt is actually not complicated — it has 2 blocks that you just make over and over again. Then, the quilt design emerges from tweaking the block orientations. This design is a great segway to my 2-cent for today: Half-Square-Triangles (HST). This quilt has a total of 936 HST units.

DISCLAIMER: I want you to know my 2-cents are NEVER dogmatic — there are MANY other ways to successfully make HST units!

I always cut the squares for making HST larger than the conventionally recomended size — and that’s my 2-cent for constructing HST units.

For example, if you are to make a 6″ finished HST unit. The conventional measurement for the squares would be 6 7/8″. I would instead cut my squares at either 7″ or 7 1/4″. Then, I would do the usual: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one 7″ square. Place it, right sides together, on another 7″ square. Sew 1/4″ away on both sides of the drawn line. Cut along drawn line to yield two HST units. Open and press.

NOW — I press my seam OPEN in this case to distribute the bulk from the seams. Then, I line up the diagonal seam of the HST unit (on the right side) against the 45 degree angle line on the quilting ruler. And square up and trim my HST unit to the right unfinished size. So if we are using the previous example 6″ finished HST unit, the unit would measure 6 1/2″ unfinished after squaring up and trimming.

Then, I would treat the HST unit as if it is a 6 1/2″ square cut up to be used to make a quilt block.

And that is all there is to it. This little trick has served me well for large, small, and tiny HST units. I have made them as small as 1″.

Here is a closeup of the basket block. You can see my little trick works out quite nicely for the points to come out decent.

I just used the same trick to start making a few blocks for my Patriot Dream quilt sample, granted, there aren’t 936 of them I have to make, ha! You may purchase the pattern HERE if you want to sew this quilt with me. I will be sharing snippets of the process as I make it.

So, that’s my 2 cents for today — and next week, I will have sort of a sequel to this trick that kept my basket blocks from turning into problem children.

NOW — it’s your turn to share your quilting 2-cents with the rest of us!


Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

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My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

9 thoughts on “2-Cent Tuesday

  1. Hmmm… I like your idea of cutting the fabrics for the HST blocks a bit larger. It doesn’t matter how careful one is when stitching and pressing, those sneaky fabrics can have a mind of their own. Thanks for your two-cents Tuesday, Wendy. No snow here in TN, but we did get to the mid 60’s yesterday and forecast the same for today. Cold is supposed to sneak in by tomorrow, along with some rain. Keep on stitching’ ❤️

  2. good advice. The sewn seams always need to be taken into consideration…. and careful ironing. tiny bit bigger is so much better to cope with than, a tiny bit to small. (we worry and regret if ignored)
    Happy Tuesday Wendy

  3. Pressing the seams open – now that’s worth two cents! There is always so much bulk with HST’s. I’m wondering, though, about matching accuracy with not being able to butt those seams together. You win some, you lose some. I’ll definitely give this a try! (We also seldom get snow in southwestern WA. When we do, I love it! I also love the rain.)

  4. I never did quite understand why the pattern always called for 6 7/8″ when the block will be trimmed after sewing it anyway. Thank you for the info. I will try to remember this in the future for patterns. A beautiful basket quilt with many hsts.

  5. I, too, always oversize my HST, but don’t press the seams open. I can’t get the seams to match when pressed open even with pinning. So I hope your next two-cents explains how you accomplish such perfect points.

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