Wednesday, October 12, 2016

the Half Rectangle Triangle

Have you sewn a half rectangle triangle block?  It's the stretched out cousin to the half square triangle.  I don't know if I've sewn one before, but if I did it was definitely not an independent design. I love the shape and am looking forward to getting cozy with its construction.

Half Square Rectangles

Today I sat down with this sketch to begin work on my new quilt, the one I mentioned on Friday was all "angles and drama." I'll be using those Loominous II fabrics!  Before I could start cutting I needed to get a general idea of my construction approach.  Luckily, my first internet search led to Heidi's post at Buttons & Butterflies which summarizes different construction approaches to the half rectangle triangle block.

Half Square Rectangles

Generally, I agreed with Heidi on construction approach.  You can find another tutorial of the approach she and I are using right here.  Unfortunately this approach calls for marking 4 points and drawing 2 lines per rectangle set.  That's too much prep for my taste.  On my first test rectangle set, I only marked 2 points and drew 1 line, all on the top fabric (the gray plaid above), leaving the bottom fabric (mint green) alone.  For orienting the blocks I aimed to set things up so that I would be able to start and end my stitch lines where the raw edges of the fabrics meet, which is a concept that will be quite familiar to my Angled students.  It always helps with sewing points!

sewing fine wovens like Loominous

Before sewing, I fitted my machine with a brand new size 10 needle.  Some of these wovens are fine (like shot cottons), so a smallish needle seems wise.  I also set my stitch length to 1.5; whereas, I normally sew at 2.

Half Square Rectangles

Here's my first pair of half rectangle triangle blocks. The construction method worked, but they ended up quite a bit smaller than I expected based on the tutorial's guidelines.  Also, I decided I need to slant all my angles for this quilt in the opposite direction so that I can create the same effect as my sketch.  You'll see, if you compare these blocks and my sketch, that these are reversed in the orientation of the slant.  I feel the opposite slant has more of a sharp, contrary feel, almost a backward-pointing feel, which is what I'm going for in a quilt meant to capture the fact that some things are "Never Easy."

Half Square Rectangles

Now I'm going to be fiddling with cut sizes until I land on the right size rectangles to yield the desired finished block sizes.  Wonder how I even start with that?  After I've sketched a quilt on graph paper, I begin to bring it to life by deciding on the scale for the drawing.  In this case, in order to yield a throw quilt from this sketch, I've decided that each graph square is equal to 3.5".  Based on that scale, my quilt will finish 63" x 77".  Next I look at each block to see what size it was drawn.  Today I'm working on row 3, which has blocks that should finish 5.25" x 10.5".  (I've purposely drawn a 1:2 ratio in height vs. width for the dimensions of my half rectangle triangle blocks.)  My second batch of test blocks demonstrated that cutting rectangles 6.5" x 11.5" will yield blocks that trim nicely to 5.75" x 11", which of course will finish at 5.25" x 10.5", as desired.

Yes, that's quilt math!  I don't mind it at all, if I know where to start.  And, if I don't know where to start, the internet is always there to help.  I'll keep you posted on how things progress!

12 comments:

  1. These fabrics are a treat to look at. And yes, I also very much want to find out how to do half rectangle blocks. I am looking forward to you making progress with this project. Congratulations to the finish of the NICU quilts.

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  2. I am using a Creative Grid Half Rectangle ruler. Much easier for me and my lack of math skills!
    Accuquilt has a die, too.

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  3. What a coincidence. I'm just starting the "inspiration stage" of planning mY own HRT quilt. My mother came to stay with us this past weekend and brought some quilting supplies my grandmother had given her years ago. There was an unopened Tri Recs template set that my Grandma had never used, so now my creative juices are flowing and I'm thinking I'll make something as a memento of my Grandma Ruth.
    I'm looking forward to seeing your lovely quilt come together!

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  4. Oh this will be most excellent fun! You have caused me to seriously crush on those fabrics too! The only HRTs I have made were when I made Jeni Baker's Flagged quilt. As I recall, it was pretty straight forward...you might refence her tutorial as well... :)

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  5. I love the fabrics, Rachel.
    Quilt math is fun. I love it.
    HRT are cool too. I think they are fun to make.
    I am already planning more projects, I just have to finish things first.... at least a few.

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  6. Have you checked into the HRT ruler set from bloc loc? I made a whole HRT quilt with it lickety split! I think you would like it!

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  7. I am lazy - I only use HRT sizes that correspond to my bloc loc ruler, unlike the sizes you have here. I love your design though, so I'm happy to hear you'll persist! Good luck and happy computing x

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    1. Sounds like I need to look into Bloc Loc. I've been wanting to try something from that brand anyways...

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  8. Love the aqua and purple together. And a whole quilt of points! Sharp points are my Achilles heel: you're so brave to do so many!

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  9. I love your design and your fabrics! I know there are several ruler out there you can use for making Half REctangel tRianlge blocks but I think it depends on if you wanna use it in the future too or not. Otherwise they all are a bit expensive. Or ou could make your own paper-piecing papers for them. Then your points would be sharp and the size you want.

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    1. I might want to get a ruler eventually =) I thought about paper piecing, but it would take soooo much paper for a full size quilt. But maybe...

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  10. I love the varying sizes and can't wait to see the finish.

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