Sunday, July 5, 2015

Itty Bitty HSTs

Recently, on one of my far-ranging blog-reading adventures, I came across someone lamenting how hard it is to sew tiny HSTs, and I was nodding my head right along.
Because I'd just sewn these:

little 5" finished blocks, where those triangle are only 1" big.  Or, rather, 1" small.
So, I thought "There's gotta be an easier way" (which as far as I'm concerned is the precursor to all great inventions) (Except for CorningWare, where the precursor was "Oops.  Did I leave the kiln on overnight?").  I let the problem kick around in the back of my head for a couple of days while I made Ohio Stars using an easy cheat for the hourglasses.
All that easy cheating put my head in just the right place.  I had a sudden Good Idea.

So here's what I came up with for an easy way to make Itty Bitty HSTs, which are not only easier to sew, but easier to press without burning your fingers.

The HSTs I'm making are 1.5", finishing to 1".

Start by cutting two 3.5" squares.  I'm using a dark and a light to make it easy to see what I'm doing.

On the back of one of the squares, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, run a row of stitching along each side of the drawn line.

Cut along the line,

and press the squares open.  Square up to 3", making sure to keep the diagonal line running from corner to corner.  (Note, if your scant 1/4" seam allowance isn't as scanty as mine, your squares might measure less than 3".  In that case, I'd trim those squares down to 2.5" HSTs, set them aside for another project, and try again, aiming for a narrower seam allowance.)

Now for the fun part.  Line up your ruler to cut the square in half vertically, using the 1.5" line on your ruler.

And either turn your ruler or, if you have a fancy rotating mat, turn your mat, and make another cut 1.5" from the horizontal edge.

Spread them out and you'll have two perfect 1.5" HSTs, and two 1.5" squares. 

Now cut that other square the same way and you'll have double the fun.

Those Little Sister's Choice blocks just started to look a whole lot easier...

Now, I'm sure someone else has thought of this before, so I haven't invented anything.  This is just what Left Brain came up with in the background while Right Brain was having fun picking out colors for stars.  But it fits perfectly into my style of scrappy project, where I always seem to need an infinite number of teensy squares and triangles, so I'm sharing with anyone who likes those sorts of things, too.
And since it's so scrap-happy, I'm linking to Oh, Scrap!  Come join the fun!


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Oh, great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Two plus two for the work of one--sounds like a good plan. Then fun mixing and matching. Seems it economizes fabric use too instead of adding an inch for each pair of HSTs.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Great idea Gayle! But what came into my head as I read this was who would make 1" HSTs? ;)

I can live vicariously through you! Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed and in awe, and in love with this idea! I rarely like shortcuts, but this one is a GOOD one! Thank you for sharing your brainwork with the rest of us. I might actually make something small now. LOL