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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Half Square Triangles...Do they scare you?

An Angel has visited the IHAN blog and the photos now appear before your very eyes.  THANK YOU Angel....I so needed you....gigantic hugs to you!!

Bias edges and weird half square triangles....not my cup of tea at all.  I have  avoided those like the
plague.   Do you do that too?  Blocks that wobble or are off kilter make me nuts when I'm trying to get a pattern to work out.  

I have discovered a way to make half square triangles and quarter square triangles that are a breeze.  The Square Me Up Ruler (SMUP) by Elisa Wilson at Elisa's Backporch Designs does the trick pretty darn easily if I don't say so myself.  The Square Me Up Ruler was designed to be used with 10" and 5" fabric squares to make half-square triangles.

For this demo I used this Life's A Hoot Layer Cake by ADORNit .  I folded one 10" square in half and finger pressed the crease in the middle.
After opening it back up I could see the crease and I lined up the SMUP withe the center line on the fold.

Then I marked the outside of the ruler on the wrong side of the fabric.  I used my new Sewline Air Erasable Pen too.  It makes a nice fine line....oh yeah....dark enough for this 47 year old chick-e-poo to still see it.

Nice line isn't it?  I have to admit, the older I get the darker I need the lines and the brighter I need the lights.
Next I took that block and placed it with right sides together on another 10" piece of my layer cake fabric.  Then I stitched on both sides of the line (1/4 " away).
Here you can see I have right sides together...and I stitched 1/4 inch away on both sides of the line.

This is a close up so you can see that I'm not just lying....I actually stitched a pretty good 1/4' away from the line didn't I?
Then, I put the SMUP back on the block and cut on the line.

Then it looked just like this.  Well, didn't look like this....I had the 1/2 square triangles in a messy pile.  I took the time to straighten them up for the photo.  Didn't want you thinking your messy pile was messy and mine was neat and cute :)
Then I took another ruler and cut the remaining square into quarters as well.  I don't like to press seams on blocks because mine typically either stretch out or one side lays over the other.  So, I got smart and took my "roll-e tool" and rolled them to the one side before I set my iron on top of them to heat set the seam.

Mary Jane gave me my "Roll-e Tool" back in 09....I had her autograph it.  For those of you who can be as naive as me....this is not a sewing tool per se'.  I think it is for wall paper seams or something like that.  I'd be the one doing a Google search for "Roll-e Tool" and becoming very frustrated when it did not show up...LOL (I only wish I were kidding)

I ended up with 8 very nice 4 1/2" blocks....aint' they purdy?

Believe it or not I've had this Square Me Up Ruler since October 2010 when I met Elisa Wilson at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.  It's true.....I've known about it and it has sat right here in my Quilt Market file  next to my desk.  Will someone please tell me why it takes me so long to get the the good stuff? 

Here are some photos I took of Elisa's booth in Houston.

The quilt on the back wall is Fan Dance.  I think it is very unique and I like the colors Elisa choose.

Afternoon Delight is the quilt hanging behind Elisa's books, Crazy Curves Continues and The Melon Block.

And this pretty face belongs to Elisa Wilson, the wise woman who designed the Square Me Up Ruler.  The Christmas Tree she is holding was made from small half-square triangles using the SMUP.  If you want to see her video demos (they are excellent) you can click here.  There are a few on Elisa's Blog so be sure to scroll down to see each of them.
Elisa has a variety of  patterns that use some of her other templates and the arc on the SMUP is very handy for squaring those up too.  Can you believe I sat on this information since October?  What is wrong with me anyway? 
Speaking of Quilt Market....Spring Quilt Market is right around the corner in May.  I still have not committed to going for several reasons.  First, it falls on Zachary's birthday and I feel conflicted about being away for his 7th birthday.  Second, I can't believe how many more photos and great products I still have to share from Fall Quilt I dare go and take even more photos and feel guilty when I don't get to all of them right away?   
I know what Molly and Jake think...."ahhhh this cold tile floor feels great to take a nap on."


  1. Hmm. I think I now understand your concern on Picassa photos. I'll check back later as I don't think I grasped all your great insights in this post. Intrigued, but want to see the photos later.


  2. No pics at this point so my comment may be off base.

    When I draw a line that I will be cutting on (like for some methods of half square triangles) I use a very fine point sharpie marker. The mark will not be visible as it is in the seam allowance. AND the Sharpie doesn't bleed in the wash.

    I have used lots of methods for HSTs and have never been afraid of them. :-)

  3. This post would be great if we could "see" what you were talking about LOL I am so sorry you having such difficulty!!!!

  4. I just save my pictures on my computer.. and post them from there.. and even when my computer died.. and the pictures were lost from here..once they were posted to blogger, they were there forever, I didn't have to worry about them. They didn't disappear. Perhaps a zip drive? anything..

  5. Thanks for the info on the ruler. I don't really mind HSTs...but when a whole quilt is made up of them, it's a different story:/

    Picasa gave me an update yesterday, so maybe there are some kinks that need to be worked out or things are a little out of sort with the update. I think that happens sometimes. Hopefully you will be able to be good friends again with them :)

  6. I'll come back later to see if the pics posted, Kelly.

  7. You had two posts the last day or two that I could not even read because blogger said they didn't exist or some such silliness. Now this one is without photos. You poor thing. I hope you can get it fixed soon.

  8. Kelly do you always post your pictures via Picasa?? I post mine through Blogger and have not had any problems with it. At least until my free count is up ;-D

  9. I hope the photos show up again, would love to see what you are doing;)


  10. I'm sorry you're having issues with Picasa. I don't use blogger or Picasa for pictures likc many tend to do. I actually use Photobucket and then link to those pictures within my posts.

    I'll have to come back and see this post with pictures as i was terribly lost without them! :-D

  11. I saw the SMU ruler in Houston at Market, and I was in awe--I love it! I'm not afraid of HSTs but this ruler makes it downright fun!!

  12. AARG no pictures but ok for text! Will check back.

  13. Lucky me! I got to see all pics but one, and I even understood all the descriptions. I've been using that little line trick for a while, and it sure does make things easier, and quicker too!

    I can relate to missing Zach's 7th...hubby & I had a chance to go to Colorado for a week, during which our twins' 16th birthday fell. We went. Left them with trusted friends - and they're STILL po'd! And they're over 30 now!!!! But, we had fun & truth be told, it probably saved our marriage (currently at 21 years young!).
    LOOOOOOVE the pups! Wish mine could get together with yours and spend some of her energy!

  14. The photos were there for me....the absolute best tip was the Roll-e tool! LOL That is my big problem with HSTs. Thanks for the tip - next time I'm at the big orange toy store (Home Depot) I'm gonna pick up one of those!
    Jacque in SC

  15. Thanks for this very useful post and info on the marking pen and SMUP - hadn't heard of that before ! And I agree about ironing HST's.... seriously, where would one get that roll-e device?

  16. What a great way to make HST's! Going to check out Elisa's blog, thanks for the tutorial on using her ruler.


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


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