Thursday, December 29, 2011

Secrets of the PERFECT quarter square triangle!!!!

I remember my first project with half square triangles. I sewed the squares together, cut them in half, and then trimmed. What did I know about trimming and using the diagonal line as a reference. Nope - I just laid that ruler on and cut out the size I needed. There wasn't a SINGLE point on that quilt. I have since learned how to trim half square triangles and it is now one of my favourite units.

The quarter square triangle used to give me grief until recently - yes - even I am still learning. The day I stop - I'll be dead!!!!    And yes - I still get frustrated and I still make mistakes, but I am really trying to learn.

So this is what I learned about quarter square triangles and I'm going to share with you - but you must NEVER confess that you didn't really know how to do them. Once you know these secrets you wonder "why didn't I think of that sooner?"

While this is NOT a tutorial on making quarter square triangles - this is the critical parts where errors can happen.

The first part is making TWO half square triangles (note you can also make QST by using four triangles - I do not use that method)

Make sure the two half square triangles are PERFECTLY pressed. No tucks along that seam at all. Ensure that you are pressing from the right side of the half square triangle - NEVER press from the wrong side of your project.

ensure the seam of the HST is well pressed in particular the ends

Then place your ruler on the wrong side of one of the HST and lining up a line  from the ruler on the seam line - draw a line. 

The KEY - make sure the new drawn line is 90 DEGREES (perpendicular) to the seam line. Notice the line does NOT necessarily go into the corners of the block. 

Then you sew 1/4" on both sides of this drawn line (keep those seam lines STRAIGHT) - the straighter they are - the more perfect the QST. Then cut on the drawn line and PRESS - good pressing just like with the HST ensuring the corners are well pressed.

Then using a ruler (I use the Tucker Trimmer but a regular ruler works - just has more lines)  - Line up the ruler so that the  FOUR corners of the UNFINISHED size is on each seam line. 

Trim up the right hand side and along the top

Rotate the quarter square triangle (line up the ruler) and trim off the last two sides

a PERFECT quarter square triangle

Here are the two Tucker Trimmers...................

Tucker Trimmer (this one trims the full inch increments on the one end (note the full black dot) and the other side does 1/2" increments (note the half black dot)

Tucker Trimmer II - trims 3/4" increments on one side and 1/4" increments on the other

As I said earlier - I am NOT into gimmicks and gadgets anymore - but these rulers are definitely a MUST have if you are into these quarter square triangles (and if you were not before) you will be after you try these.

Remember the same trimming can be done with a regular SQUARE ruler. My preference is 6 1/2" square - make sure you have the 1" markings on the top right hand corner.!!!!

And there you have it - I should be taking my own advice and getting those Bonnie Hunter ones done. But I am still working on the HST.

I did get another folder of paperwork done!!!!   Yeah!!!!   Then follow up - I hate follow up!!!

Got another folder set out to work on today. Again - won't take long - just the fact of doing it!!!!

My day was NOT as productive as I would have liked it to be. I did manage to get the Monday quilt top done.....................

Quilt top for Monday Motivators - DONE

And so is the backing and binding!!!!

I was quilting away last night and ALMOST got another quilt quilted and then BANG - something happened to the machine. I think I know what needs to be adjusted, but I was tired and didn't want to mess with it last night. This stupid quilt has been a nightmare - the top is minky - the back is flannel. And for some reason when I started, the tension was a DISASTER. I didn't notice but I wasn't far along when I knew something was wrong. I'll deal with adjusting the bobbin thingy this afternoon.

Errands and the gym took up the rest of my day. Drat - I hate when that happens!!!!!

I have a bucket of stuff that needs to be hung up in the studio. Yesterday I thought I had better make a stab at some of the things in the bucket. I framed THREE pictures. Now don't THE GIRLS look cute??????

The Girls!!!!!!   - They are SOOOOOOOOO Cute!!!!!

On that note - I have a play date scheduled for this morning and I had better go and get ready.

Have a great day!!!!!!


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