Hi! Welcome back to my 2021 Block of the Week series. If you missed week 1 you can find the first post here. This week’s block is just as fun and scrappy as last week’s. I will once again review the block and then cover some quilting techniques that will help you complete the block. Since this week’s block has a lot of half-square triangle (HST) squares, I will cover how to make HSTs the traditional way and how to make them in multiples. Once again, have fun rummaging through your stash of scraps to put together your favorite combination of colors! Like last week, there will be a drawing from the comments for a prize and you will be entered into the grand prize drawing at the end. Sorry, drawing is open only for US residents. Let’s get started!
Block #2 – Double X
For the instructions to make this block, find the pattern here: 2021 BOW Block 2.
Now onto this week’s quilting technique tips that I hope will help you to complete this block or just provide a refresher for those of you who are experienced quilters.
Making HSTs – Traditional Methods
There are two traditional methods to make half-square triangle (HST) squares. The oldest is to cut two different fabric squares in half, then stitch together two of the triangles with a bias seam.
I stitch the two pieces using a “scant” 1/4″ seam. I like to use a scant 1/4″ because then I can trim the square to size. We’ll get to the trimming after I finish going over these two methods.
This next method is the quicker way to get two HST squares from two separate pieces of fabric. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the squares, lay them right sides together, stitch a scant 1/4″ on each side of the line and then cut the unit apart.
Now to the trimming. There’s two ways to do that too. The first way is to press open the stitched units, then trim all 4 sides by laying the ruler’s 45 degree line on the diagonal seam. In the first photo below, I show the measurement of the seam showing the scant 1/4″.
The second way to trim these squares is to trim them while they are still not pressed open by using the Quilt in a Day ruler that is part of my grand prize give-away. You lay the line marked with the square size on the seam and trim the excess. Using this ruler means you only have to make two trimming cuts instead of four like above. Then you press open the unit for an HST square!
This is a great method to use when you have to make a lot of HST squares of the same color and you’d like to make more than two at once. This method gives you eight HST squares at once!
Start with 2 squares that are 2 times the size of the HST you are making plus 1 3/4″. For this block, my HSTs needed to be 1 1/2″. So, 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 = 2 1/4 then 2 1/4 + 1 3/4 = 4″. Once you have your squares cut to size, draw diagonal lines on the wrong side of one of the squares as shown. Lay the 2 squares right sides together, keeping the square with the drawn lines on top.
Now, stitch a scant 1/4″ on each side of the drawn lines. Like in the traditional method, I use a scant 1/4″ seam because I then have the option to trim the HSTs if needed. If you make them too small …. no way to make them grow!
Once you have the squares stitched this way, use a ruler to cut this unit into four quadrants, and then cut the quadrants apart. Use one of the trimming and pressing methods above for eight HST squares!
So, that’s it for Block #2 and this week’s quilt technique tutorial! Leave me a comment on this blog to be entered in a drawing for my quilt pattern, Village Square, where you will get a lot of practice with one of these HST square methods. There’s 384 HST squares in this quilt!
The drawing for this pattern will be on Monday, April 26th. Have fun making block #2! **We have a winner! Congrats, June Kempston!**