Monday, September 14, 2015

Half Rectangle Triangles {Tutorial}


 Let’s chat about Half Rectangle Triangles or HRT’s.  I promise...a tutorial following.

First off, half rectangle triangles (HRTs) can expand your design world out of the half square triangles (HSTs) corner you may be caged in.  Don't get me wrong, HSTs are fabulous, but this takes you to the next step!
 I designed my Twizzle Pattern with them.


See Michelle's awesome Dancing Horses quilt using HRTs.  She also used the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars like I did with Hello Darling for the same blog hop.  They say great minds think alike!

http://frombolttobeauty.blogspot.com/

How can I make these great HRTs, you say?   Let me walk you through a few techniques.

Technique one: Also known as the, What Not to Do Technique. It will be your first instinct after making so many Half Square Triangles (HSTs) in the past.  By placing two rectangles right sides together, drawing a diagonal line and then sewing 1/4” along each side? It is simply NOT going to work.  At all. Unless you had plans for paper airplanes using your coveted fabric?
  

Technique two: The traditional technique. Cut your right angle triangles from your rectangles.  Sew the cut edges, right sides together, while shifting the two pieces 1/4” each end.  It isn’t a bad technique at all. I just find it to be super sensitive to presser feet mangling and definitely require some squaring up/trimming.


Technique three:  The Accuquilt die cut.  Similar to the one above, but you it takes away the 1/4" shifting. You line up the blunt edges and sew your seam.  The Accuquilt tutorial is HERE




Technique four:  I think it’s my favorite. It's the one I'm sharing below.  I call it the Magic technique.  I find it to be a unique and fun way to make them.  I feel they need less fussing at the sewing machine and require much less trimming.

Designing a quilt with HRTs: 

The other important part of HRTs is the direction you create them.  I will admit, I made the mistake when designing my most recent quilt by assuming that all HRTs were the same.  At first glance, it appears that you can flip them and get two different angled HRTs.



However, your diagonal line will be in the same orientation on both of your finished Half Rectangle Triangles no matter how you turn it.
 Flip the left one?  You can see they are the same orientation.


IMPORTANT NOTE:  I've seen a lot of tutorials where they use the terminology left-right and right left triangles...but to be honest?  It's confusing to me because I spend more time thinking (upper left? lower right? Wait.  Right...Upper? Lower? Wait a minute. Whaaaaat?)

 I've renamed them A-B and B-C blocks to hopefully clear up the confusion when using this in conjuction with my Twizzle pattern (and maybe more in the future).

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  Half Rectangle Triangles or HRTs Tutorial 

This particular tutorial will result in 4.5 x 9.75″ final block size for the purpose of my Twizzle Quilt using Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars.  You can easily learn this technique using ANY SIZE rectangle as long as you use the same size rectangles. There does not seem to be an exact formula for finished sizes, but I have found that it should be 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller in either direction. When changing the dimension drastically, I encourage you to make a sample block to test it out.

Supplies
2 – 5 x 10” pieces of fabric

Fabric Marking 
Pen/Pencil

Rotary Cutter & Mat

Ruler


A/B HRT Blocks: 


1.  Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit
right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side. 

2.  Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots at corners (see step 3 for specific locations)






3. You will place them on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up fabric. Draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners on the back of the face down background fabric. 







4.  Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.
 (I used a black sharpie for the purpose of the tutorial.  Even though it would be cut out, I do not recommend it. I would use a quilt marking pencil or a soluble marker)












5.  Lift the face down piece and rotate it to the right, slightly.  Place it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.

5.  Using the diagonal line as a guide sew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the line. (Red thread is just for the sake of the tutorial.  Use a matching thread)
6. Cut on diagonal line.
7. Open blocks, press, and trim.


You will have two HRTs.  Finished HRT size: 4 1/2” x 9 3/4


C/D HRT Blocks: (opposite of the A/B Blocks)


1. Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side.

2. Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners of the face down fabric. Draw dots on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up background fabric.


3. Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.









4.  Lift the face down piece and rotating to the left slighting, placing it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.












Complete steps 5-7 from the A/B HRT blocks to yield C-D HRT blocks.

 Just so you can see the comparison, once more.   Not all half rectangle triangles are alike.

AB Blocks                        vs.                   CD blocks

As always, I strive to make sure my tutorials are thorough and helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and ask questions.  I had a lot of fun designing my Twizzle Pattern using the HRTs and have a few more patterns in the works where I plan on using them.  By changing the dimensions, like all quilt blocks, the possibilities are endless.


Disclaimer: Only old quilting scraps were used for this tutorial.  They were somewhat harmed by the rotary cutter, but appreciated being pieced together.

11 comments:

  1. You know my first HRT was done using the What Not to Do Technique, right?! I couldn't figure out why HRTs got such bad rap ... until I tried making one. Thanks for demystifying the process further here. : )

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  2. Thanks so much for this explanation of HRTs. Have you Twizzle pattern ready to print and really needed the help with the HRTs.

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  3. Thanks so much for this explanation of HRTs. Have you Twizzle pattern ready to print and really needed the help with the HRTs.

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  4. Excellent tutorial! Thank you!!

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  5. Excellent tutorial! Thank you so much. Recommended by Gotham Quilts, NYC.

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  6. LOVE THIS! I'm making some wall-e movie themed wall hangings. Have them all designed thinking "I can snowball" all the corners - hahahaha - about 75% are 45 deg and I can snowball - the rest are variations on HSR and I totally confused myself. I hadn't started cutting yet at least! Going back to EQ7 to force them all to HSR and adding a plain rectangle in the middle and then using this method but it will take some trial & error on the original block size add since you have a 1/4 - 1/2" add - it's funny that yours takes 1/4 on 1 side & 1/2 on another.

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  7. Your disclaimer made me smile =) Thanks for the overview of different methods. I sat down today to think about how I want to sew my half rectangles and your post was the first I clicked on. Nice to see a familiar face (er blog)!

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  8. Thank you Heidi, this was really good tutorial! I would love to make paper planes too and propably would have made those if tried this by myself. I love these blocks and have made many but always one by one. x Teje

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  9. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I just saw a pillow that used this block and wondered how to do it. Now I understand.

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  10. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I am a visual person. Period.
    This is great. Got it the first time through. Don't yah love it when that happens!

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I cannot wait to hear what you have to say! Seriously! It makes my day!

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