Hi there everyone. Have a good weekend? Me too. While I was puttering around in my sewing room, fondling all the lovely cream colored strips my swap partners have been sending me for the Red and White Snowball challenge, I had an idea.
The swap strips are five inches wide, correct? The pattern calls for 3 inch squares to make the half square triangles and 2 1/2 inch squares for the solid squares. How could I use my five inch swap strips to the best advantage?
What if I used a different method for making half square triangles out of 2 1/2 inch strips? Instead of cutting 3 inch squares, drawing a line, stitching and cutting in half?
I cut one of my 5 x 42 inch swap strips in half. Then I cut the 42 inch strips in half so I had four strips 21" x 2 1/2".
I layered one light strip with one red strip, right sides together.
Then, I got out my fabulous Easy Angle ruler and started cutting triangles. This tool allows you to make 2 1/2 inch half square triangles out of 2 1/2 inch fabric strips. (Or 3 inch HSTs out of 3 inch strips, or 1 1/2 inch HSTs out of 1 1/2 inch strips etc etc). Fabulous tool. Comes in two different sizes, small and large. I used the small size.
I got 12 half square triangles out of one 21 x 2 1/2 inch strip combo.
Stack them up and sew.
I use my Angler 2 guide on the throat plate of my sewing machine, so there is no marking necessary. If you don't have the Angler 2, don't worry, just sew your 1/4 seam using your presser foot as a guide.
And Bob's your uncle, you have 12 perfect little 2 1/2 inch half square triangles. And with this method, you end up with a "dog ear" on just one corner of the square, so there is less trimming. And no drawing lines.
You will need 40 2 1/2 inch red strips and 40 2 1/2 inch light strips to make 480 half square triangles with this method.
Use your remaining 2 1/2 inch red and light strips to make your strip units as directed in the pattern instructions. (36 2 1/2 inch strips each of the reds and the lights).
I think this method makes better use of the fabric strips. Otherwise, you are wasting fabric when you cut the strips 3 inches wide as the pattern instructions call for. And I don't know about you, but I get really tired of drawing those stitching lines on hundreds of fabric squares.
Just another idea!