Monday, October 29, 2012

HST Question..

I have learned so much over the past couple of years about quilting...a lot of it from reading blogs, and asking questions.

I have been getting that I tried HST.....and have made a couple of things that are more than just jelly roll strips! (Although I have to say I still love Jelly Roll strips!!)

So now I have a few more questions!

I am working on a quilt pattern that calls for 164 HST..that is quite a pile... (and I am sure with a bigger quilt, the pile could get very big !!)

I am using the method where you draw a line on the diagonal, then cut 1/4 " on each side of the line. I have been cutting each one individually. There seems like very little room for error here, and I was afraid that they would shift if I tried to stack 2 or more together. What do you do? Cut each one,or stack and cut a few together??

And do you cut of those little dog ears???

I did...but then I think I am a obsessive.....yes, I have all the dollar bills in my wallet facing the same direction....doesn't everyone????

And trimming!!!  These squares started at  5" , so finished at 4 1/2 " . And mine were all pretty close to exact. Then I read that I had to cut them all down to 4"!!  All 164 of them !!!

Because I have the attention span of a mosquito, I used tape on my ruler as a guide...

That seemed to work well..

But...that was a lot of trimming!

Is that usual to trim them down to size, or could I have stated with a smaller square and finished at the size I wanted in the first place?. I guess that doesn't leave any room for error,  but 164 blocks??

So that is what I have been wondering about! Looking forward to hearing what you think.


  1. a lot of times if you aren't precise things can move and you need to trim. I always make them a little bigger than needed so I can have them all exactly the size called for. I trim the dog ears off and yes I just sit and trim each individual, I don't stack and do more than one at a time because I know I will screw up! It does leave for a lot of trimming but I would rather do that then have some turn out not big enough.

  2. I like the method of doing two at a time, Flo. Here is a tutorial I refer back to all the time.
    I use her second method.
    Hope it helps.

  3. I start 1/2 inch larger, cut the dog ears, and trim down once at a time. Worth the extra effort.

  4. I have a hst ruler for making the lines. I have seen people use thangles and or hst rulers to make mutilple hst's out of strips.

  5. When you are making HST's, you cut the squares 7/8 inch bigger than the finished size. So, in your case, the finished size would be 3 1/2 inch, so you would cut your squares 4 3/8. If you want a little wiggle room, cut them a full inch bigger, so 4 1/2. You shouldn't have to trim off a full half inch - I think someone messed up on those instructions.

    I cut strips of the same colour, then line up the two colours of strips, right side to right side, and cut the squares from that. That way, they are all lined up ready to go. Then you can mark the lines and chain sew.

    Another great alternative, when you are doing lots of HST's is the Angler 2. It is taped to your sewing machine bed and has lines on it that you line up with your square, so that you don't have to mark the diagonal line. It is a bit of a nuisance to set up, so I wouldn't use it if I was just making a few HST's. But for 164, it is definitely worth it! I bought mine years ago, so I don't remember the price, but it's not expensive.

    Or, you could use Thangles or some other kind of triangle paper. That is quick to sew and cut, but you do have to rip off all the paper, which is not fun.

    And I have my dollar bills all facing the same way too. What's wrong with that??? :-)

  6. Trimming is completely normal when making HSTs. If you don't want to have to do as much trimming there are a few rulers you can buy that eliminate the need to trim. That being said, I just cut mine 1/2" larger than the size I need, sew them and trim down. So if I need a 4" square I would cut them to 4.5". They look great!

  7. I like to make mine a little larger so I can trim them all down so they are the same size. Makes piecing so much neater.
    What dollar bills? haha

  8. I ended up with a bunch of hst's left over from a quilt I made recently - a simple result of trimming the edges. A whole bunch of sweet little hst's! I'm newish at this and I realized they weren't 100% accurate so I have been trimming and trimming and trimming. I think I have about 400 of the little things with 100 left to trim. I'm curious to know what you plan to make with yours. I haven't decided what to do with mine yet.


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