My quilty friends, this week in our sew along I have a two-for-one post dedicated completely to the simple HST. In Weeks 3 and 4 of the Gather sew along we make all of our HSTs. There are a few different ways to do this, so read on if you enjoy a good buffet of options.
(Remember buffets? Ahhh our pre-Covid world. I never thought I could miss a salad bar so much!)
If you are hearing about this sew along for the first time and wondering if it's too late to join, the answer is still NO! You really can grab some fabric, start making this quilt and still catch up. Week 4 will probably be the last week I feel absolutely confident saying that. However, since these sew along blog posts will forever be on the blog, you can use this info at your leisure.
For details on how this sew along works, check out the original informational post here. And don't forget to join me for the live video this Wednesday at 7:30pm CST on both Instagram and in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group.
Gather Quilt Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, January 20: Pick fabric and gather supplies
- Week 2, January 27: Cut all fabric
- Week 3, February 3: Sew, trim and press HSTs for Colors 1-5
- Week 4, February 10: Sew, trim and press HSTs for Colors 6-9
- Week 5, February 17: Sew HSTs into rows
- Week 6, February 24: Sew strips as needed and assemble the quilt top up to row k
- Week 7, March 3: Assemble the rest of the quilt top and trim
Weeks 3 & 4 Assignment: Sew, Trim & Press HSTs
To make a Gather throw quilt you need 6" unfinished HSTs. If you are brand new to quilting, let me break down what that actually means.
- HST = half square triangle quilt block (what you see in the pictures throughout this post)
- Unless stated otherwise, we sew quilts together with a 1/4" seam.
- If anything is labeled "unfinished" that means the seam allowance is included in the measurement.
- For example: a 6" unfinished HST is the same as a 5 1/2" finished HST. So that same 6" unfinished HST will have raw edges on all 4 sides, while the 5 1/2" finished HST while be sewn to something else and thus have finished sides.
Make Your HSTs According to the Gather Pattern
If you are following the pattern exactly, you are using yardage based on the Fabric Requirements chart and cutting 9 1/4" squares. Pair each one of your Color squares with a Background square and proceed with the 4-at-a-time HST method seen on page 4 of the pattern.
This method will give you some wiggle room for trimming. I always love when that happens.
Step 1: Sew.
Sewing your square pairs together is really straight forward. Simply sew a 1/4 " around the perimeter. If stopping, keeping your needle down and pivoting at the corners is too much of a challenge, you can simply chain-piece all of your pairs together on one side. Snip. Then do the same thing on the other sides until all four sides are sewn together. Both techniques work great!
Step 2: Slice.
With your rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat, cut your square pairs into quadrants from corner to corner. Fig. 6 and 7 show this in the pattern.
Step 3: Choose your own adventure!
I've got two options for you on what to do next! For both options I highly suggest a couple tools that will really help with speed and accuracy:
Option 1 is currently my prefered method.
- Before pressing your HSTs open, trim them. I describe this method in detail in this blog post - How to Trim Half Square Triangles and also in the video below. I am using the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer, but the video also shows how to use this method without that special ruler.
- Once all of your HSTs are trimmed, press the blocks with the seam facing the darker fabric. If you haven't read the post How to Press Seams in a Quilt (with Video Tutorial!) I recommend popping over and giving it a quick 2 minute skim.
Option 2 is still a great method, so maybe try both and see which you personally prefer! I list out all of the details of this second method in the post, 3 Tools to Make the Perfect Half Square Triangle.
- Press your HSTs so they are nice and flat. You can do this using starch or a tailor's clapper. Can you see in the picture below how crazy flat my seams are? That's the magic of the tailor's clapper. I prewashed and starched my fabric before I cut it into squares. I then used the clapper to press my HST seams.
- After pressing, use a ruler to trim all four sides and the dog ears. You can use either a square ruler that is the size of the unfinished block (in this case that would be 6") or a ruler that is larger than your unfinished block. If using a larger ruler, trim two sides of the HST, rotate the HST (or your rotating cutting mat), then trim the other two sides. You can use masking tape on your ruler if that helps.
Once you have a system that works for you, it's time to flow! Put on your headphones and listen to an audiobook, podcast or watch an old movie you love. Enjoy yourself! There are moments in quilting that can feel monotonous, but only if you let them.
Make Your HSTs Using Smaller Scraps
This question came up in last week's live video, "Will you address making HSTs from smaller pieces of fabric other than what's listed in the pattern? I want to use scraps!"
Of course! Here's how – if you are using pieces of fabric smaller than 9 1/4", which is required for the 4-at-a-time method, all you need to do is switch up your HST method.
Use the 2-at-a-time HST method instead. You actually already have instructions for that in the pattern. The baby quilt uses that method to make 6" unfinished HSTs, so check out Fig. 1-4 on page 4 of the pattern. You will cut your squares 6 1/2" instead of 9 1/4".
If you are making a larger Gather quilt, use the charts found in this blog post to figure out what size to cut you squares, Easy Half Square Triangles Tutorial.
Do you have questions about supplies, sewing, trimming, pressing or converting your HSTs using the charts provided? Any question you have that's Gather quilt related, there are multiple places for you to ask them!
- Here in the blog comments.
- In the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group.
- During one of the weekly live videos. (Honestly though, this one is the least reliable. I miss a lot of questions during those videos.)
Weeks 3 & 4 Sponsors & Prizes
These next two weeks are a one-two PUNCH to your fabric stash. It will soon be exploding with beautiful new pieces! Our Week 3 sponsor is Lamb & Loom Fabrics, giving away a $100 gift certificate. Woot! Woot!
In Week 4 our winner will get a beautiful FQ bundle made by Cottoneer Fabrics featuring Kelly Ventura's new Wildflower collection.
How to Win During Both Weeks
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your Gather quilt progress. Use #GatherQuiltSA in the caption.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- Week 3: Your photo must be posted between 12:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, February 3 and 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.
- Week 4: Your photo must be posted between 12:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, February 10 and 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
- Both prizes are open internationally.