Welcome back to the 2022 Block of the Week! If you are just joining the fun, you can go to this link: Welcome to the Block of the Week! to start at the beginning. We are now on to block 2 of this BOW.
2022 BOW Block 2 – Lady of the Lake
This week’s block has a lot of half-square triangle squares in it, so you’ll get a lot of practice with those. After I show you the block, I will cover some tips on making half-square triangle squares. These units are also referred to as HSTs so if you see that in a pattern, you’ll know what it is. So, here is the block:
The instructions to make this block are found here: 2022 BOW Block 2. This block is thought to be named after an 1810 poem by Sir Walter Scott. Men and women who traveled west in the 19th century were great fans of his poetry and the poem by this name. So, to pay tribute, this patchwork block was named for the poem and first published in the 1820s.
Because this block has a lot of units and a lot of seams, precise and accurate 1/4″ stitching is important for it to measure correctly. Below, I’ll talk about different ways to make HSTs and the importance of measuring all your units before piecing them into a block.
Tip of the Week – Half-Square Triangle (HSTs) Squares
There are a lot of different methods to make HSTs. The first I will cover is one step up from the traditional method of joining two triangles. This common method (as I call it) will give you two HSTs at a time.
For this method, start with 2 squares that measure 7/8″ larger than the finished size of your HST unit. Finished size refers to the size of the unit minus the seam allowance (how it measures when it is stitched into a block). For example, if your HST finished size is 2″, then you need to cut your squares 2 7/8 x 2 7/8″. Then when you make the HST, it will measure 2 1/2″ with the seam allowances and 2″ finished.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the squares, then lay the two squares right sides together and stitch 1/4″ on each side of the drawn line. It’s important to have an accurate 1/4″ or a scant (just under). If your seam is too large, your HST will come out too small. Cut the unit apart on the drawn line:
Press open the two halves and you have two HSTs.
If you need to, you can trim your HSTs to measure the correct size. Just make sure to lay the ruler’s 45 degree line on the diagonal seam.
There’s a cool tool that allows you to trim the HSTs before you press them open. Then you only have to make two cuts instead of four. It’s call the Triangle Square Up Ruler by Quilt in a Day.
You simply choose the size your unit should measure (with seam allowance) and line up that line on the ruler with the seam on your unit. Trim the two sides, press open and you have your HST!
Method 1 – Makes 4 HSTs:
Determine the size of your HST you want (including seam allowance), divide that number by .64. Round up to the nearest 1/8″. Then cut 2 squares of different colors that size. For example, for 2 1/2″ HSTs:
2 1/2″ / .64 = 3.906, round up to 4″
Lay the two squares right sides together matching up raw edges so they are completely one on top of the other. Pin in place. Sew 1/4″ around all 4 sides of the square unit (see my finger pointing in last photo).
Cut the sewn square diagonally as shown and then press open each section for 4 HSTs.
Method 2 – Makes 8 HSTs:
This method is great when you have a scrap quilt that has lots and lots of HSTs.
Start with 2 squares that are each 2 times the size of the HST you are making plus 1 3/4″. For an HST that measures 1 1/2 x 1 1/2″ , here is the calculation:
1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ = 2 1/4″
2 1/4″ + 1 3/4″ = 4″.
Draw two diagonal lines on the wrong side of one of the squares. Place the squares right sides together with the square with the drawn lines on top so they are visible. Pin. Sew a 1/4″ on each side of each drawn line.
Cut the unit apart evenly into 4 squares and then cut each square on the diagonal line.
Press open and you have 8 HSTs!
So those are a few of the different ways you can make HSTs. It’s fun to try new methods once in a while. Enjoy making block 2!
Remember, comment or ask questions throughout this series. At the end, I will have a grand prize giveaway. This will include my book, two of my newer patterns, some fat quarters and sewing scissors!