I am writing a new pattern and the block involved 4 of the same 3″ x 3″ finished HST’s. I could have made 2 at a time but I thought wouldn’t it be easier to cut two pieces, mark them where i wanted to cut and then in one continual sewing motion make 4 at once that did not have bias edges.
There are easy ways to make 2 and 8 HST at a time without bias edges. Most people use these when making HST quilts. I am not a fan of the 4 HST method with bais edges. (The one where you sew around the edge of a your 2 squares, 1/4″ in from edge then make 2 diagonal cuts. A bit stretchy for me).
Here is how I did it.
- I cut 2 – 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles from 2 different fabrics and placed them right sides together.
- Found the centre and drew a line for cutting.
- Drew 2 lines on the diagonal from corner to centre
- Sewed continually on either side of the line (1/4″ away). The secret to sewing a continuous line is when you reach the edge of the fabric, keep sewing until you have enough length to manoeuvre to the next start point. Stop, turn the fabric and continue sewing. Sometimes you have to pull the top and bottom thread a little.
- Cut on the solid lines. Pressed to the dark side.
- Trim your HST’s to 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ square.
Why 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″?
If I wanted a 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ unfinished HST, I would generally cut 4″ x 4″ square. Sewing 2 – 1/4″ seams on either side of the diagonal line would mean I would lose 1/2″ so, when pressed I would have a 3 1/2″ HST. That would be in a perfect sewing world. Making the seam scant 1/4″ helps but I like a little wiggle room when trimming.
To make 4 – 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ HST, I added 3/4″ to the unfinshed side for the width of the strip and doubled that for the length.
There may be an occasion where you want to make 6 of the same HST. I used the same technique. This time I cut my rectangles – 4 1/4″ x 12 3/4″ (3 x 4 1/4″).
This method can be used to make any number of HST. I would recommend keeping the strip length under 22″ so it is easy to manipulate under the sewing machine.
If you want to make your HST scrappy for the wings block:
- Cut 5 – 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ light squares and 5 – 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ medium/dark squares. (gives you plenty of room to trim HST)
- Sew light squares into a strip.
- Sew dark squares into a strip.
- Press seams open.
- On the light strip, draw a diagonal line (zig zagging along strip).
- Place the light and darker strip, right sides together.
- Sew 1/4″ either side of the diagional lines.
- Cut on the diagonal line and unpick the open seams (Don’t worry if you catch the seam. It will be trimmed).
- Press HST to darker side and trim to 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″