…put one down, square it up 1279 half square triangles on the mat. My apologies to those of you who like 199 bottles of beer on the wall, but I think I’m going to need 199 bottles of beer to finish this quilt. I had promised myself last year when I made another quilt that needed a huge number of HSTs that I was done with HSTs for all time, but then I fell in love with the quilt that I posted about in “After a forced hiatus…” So here I have been for the last two weeks diligently making half square triangles. Each block in the quilt calls for 20 HSTs, and I’m making a queen-sized quilt. So far I have half of them actually made, but half of those are waiting to be squared up…the most tedious part of the whole thing.
But do let me share with you one nifty shortcut that I discovered some time back to make things go faster. Instead of marking the stitch lines on the HST, I use the Angler 2 guide. Following the directions for positioning the guide on my machine, which is easy, I tape it down with painter’s tape, and I mark a corner of it with blue painter’s tape because I have to take the guide off every time I change the bobbin. You just line up the left “shoulder” of your square with the dotted line, the right “shoulder” with the line on the right, and the bottom point with the 1/4 inch line on the bottom and sew away.
Then you just flip your piece around 180 degrees and do the second line of stitching. What a timesaver! I do a lot of multiiple HSTs using larger squares (refer to the March 6 post entitled Lazy Quilter’s Quick Half Square Triangle Method for how to do this), and the squares tend to hang off the end of the machine so that you can’t line the point up with the 1/4 inch line on the guide. I solved that problem by putting yet another piece of painter’s tape on the appropriate spot, although I’ve found if you have your two “shoulders” lined up properly, the point is going to end up in the right place, but the tape is a helpful guide to make sure you stay on target once you start sewing.
One caveat regarding the Angler 2 and its availability. I heard last year that the woman who created it was tragically killed and her children did not wish to continue with the production and sale of the item, so they may be very hard to get ahold of. So if you think you’d like to try it and you find one available, you should grab it while you can.
I’d like to say this will be my last quilt with so many HSTs in it, but I’m not making any more promises to myself. These are just such versatile little shapes that I just know I won’t be able to help myself.