Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Easy . . An Easy Angler . .

So, in addition to working on my latest quilt project, I've also been creating half square triangle units for a future project, Belle Meade, by Paula Barnes, which requires 656 of them.

This pattern was also on Nicole of Sister's Choice Quilts' list, so we decided to work on the quilts together, after the holidays. We thought it would be a good idea to get a jump start on the hsts now.

Carol, at Brown Quilts, thought she would sew along with us, then realized she had an even better method for completing this quilt. Start it, put it away, and forget about it. Carol's already finished her Belle Meade, click here for a looksie.....it's beautiful!!
A real motivator for me...it's not too late for you, if you want to join in!

It's been fun making the hst units and reporting my progress on my blog. I'm about a third of the way through them, they've accumulated quickly.



I've gotten several questions about my method for making these beauties, so I figured a tutorial was in order.

I'm using the Easy Angle ruler by Sharon Hultgren. Here's a link to her website that has a great tutorial. I noticed I do mine a little differently, but it works for me, so here's the Thelma method......

First off, you need an Easy Angle ruler, they're everywhere online and in quilt shops.


You also need two strips of fabric the same width as the hsts units you're wanting to make, unfinished. Since my hsts need to be 2 1/2 inches, my strips of fabric are 2 1/2 inches. It's very important that the strips be the required width, any smaller, even a smidge, and your unit will be too small.

So you stack one strip on top of the other, like sides together,

and trim the left edge

to create a clean straight starting place.

See all those number on that ruler, I don't know what they're for, I don't use them.

All I do is line up the straight edge on the left side of the ruler with the left side of the fabric, the flat part of the top of the ruler with the straight edge of the top of the fabric,

and the bottom edge of the fabric, with whatever line on the ruler that fits. I have no idea why the ruler says 4", all that matters is that that line is straight across the bottom of the fabric.

Then I cut right along that diagonal edge of the ruler,

and get this.

Then I spin the ruler around, line up the 3 edges, and cut on the 4th.

Added Later - OK, I guess the reason the numbers make no sense is that I'm using this ruler upside down!! How embarrassing...but what a ruler, you can use it wrong and still get perfect half square triangle units!! This is so me, my first tutorial and it's all backwards....but I like lining up the flat edge! I think I picked that up from using the Marti Michell templates, try both ways and use what works for you!!

Then you sew right down that diagonal edge.

I start sewing on the unit with the flat corner, not the pointed corner....I'm not sure why.

Press the unit open,

and here you go. A perfectly square unit that just needs the ear trimmed off.

If the unit doesn't look wonky, I just trim off the ear and move on, I don't square them all up.

If you're they type of person who just has to make them a little bigger and then square them up,
just cut your strips 1/8 inch wider.


and align the top and side of the ruler to the fabric.


This is what I trimmed off to square up the unit.

Here are the units, side by side. The one on the left was not squared up, the one on the right was. I used to be a "make it bigger then square up" kind of girl, no longer. This ruler is too accurate, why waste the time?

If I only have a few units to make, or need to mix up my colors, I still cut my squares, draw my line, sew on each side, cut, then square them up. But for a huge number of units, where you don't mind a having a few identical ones, you can't beat the Easy Angle.

Nicole is making her units using a paper method and is giving a tutorial on her blog today for that method, be sure to check it out.

Don't have an Easy Angle ruler?



I'm giving this one away, just leave a comment by 5:00 am Central Standard Time, tomorrow, Thursday, November 11th. No restrictions, if the post office will deliver it, you can win it. I'll announce the winner on Thursday along with the winner of the Fresh Palette fabric and rulers.

I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. I'm sure this ruler does all kinds of amazing things that I haven't even thought of, plus those numbers have to mean something.........
oh well, it works for me!!

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81 comments:

  1. Hi Thelma. just wanted to say AGAIN, how much I enjoy this blog...one of the best out there..great tutorial too! Mind you I am sure you have the patience of a saint! good luck with the draw...

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  2. How helpful was this! I'd love to win this ruler -- my HSTs are often a bit wonky.

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  3. You have inspired me. I need to try this! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  4. Love this ruler and your tutorial on how to use it. I'm a beginning quilter and just learning how to put together different blocks (and get them to come out to the right size...lol). This ruler sure would come in handy!

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  5. i think i like this ruler. no sewing & pulling paper off. would love to win the ruler.

    kim

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  6. Thanks for the tutorial! Most of the patterns I do have HSTs and I usually do the trimming method... I'd love to try this with the Easy Angle.

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  7. Thank You for the tutorial. This is alot faster than paper piecing. Would love to win the ruler.

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  8. I love my Easy Angle! Actually, on the numbers, if you flip the ruler around and line the bottom of the black tip at the top of your strip, the 2 1/2" line on the ruler should line up with the bottom of your strip so you can always be sure your strip measures the correct width as you go along cutting. :o)

    Belle Meade is a wonderful quilt..can't wait to see it done.

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  9. I would love to try the "Easy Angle". I always have a wonky triangle and have to square it up! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. I must say, this method looks alot easier than the paper piecing! I've always done alot of trimming so the ruler looks like a great way to be more accurate!

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  11. I've always used the draw the line, sew on both sides, cut then square up and trim method but yours or Nicole's looks much, much faster. Thanks for sharing. I've never know how to us that ruler before but will certainly look for one now.
    Sue

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  12. Well now that looks like an easy way to do HST. Love the colors that you and Nichole are using on your quilts.

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  13. Thelma! You are sooooo generous! I love it! Great tutorial! Seems to be a pretty quick method for making all the HSTs!! You are plugging right along on them. They'll be done before you know it!

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  14. Thanks for posting this tutorial. I'm going to have to go back to see where I'm failing because I was off a good bit. >(
    BTW: Congrats on your 200th post. I can never post from work and completely forgot to come back later and send you my good wishes for another 200!!
    Oh.. No need to enter me on this giveaway. I have one. Just needed to know how to use the darn thing! LOL!

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  15. How easy is that! Thanks for the tutorial. It makes me want to sew along with you and Nicole

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  16. Well, I have never seen this method and would love to win that ruler.

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  17. I havent been able to find these but have been looking, so would love to win one.

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  18. You certainly make this look easy! I would love to win the Easy Angle. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  19. What a chuckle reading your tutorial. You are like me...as long as it works !
    However this almost seems too good to be true. If I don't win this ruler, I need to know where to buy one. do you have any idea how bad I am at making hst's? If you did, it would be no contest...you would send me one out of pure pity. lol

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  20. I would love to win this ruler. I have started making some HST and this seems like such an easy way to cut them.

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  21. Thelma, Thank you for the tutortial. I have one of those rulers and did not know how to use it. Now I do. Please don't enter me for this drawing as I already have one. Thank you again.

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  22. Why didn't I know about this sooner!! I have just about finished my depression quit pattern...it as taken me forever to do those 50 million "triangles". Now my sister wants one..........please pick me.....all I've ever won is a toilet.... A ruler would be soooooo much better!

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  23. Hi Thelma...I have one of these rulers (also with wonky corners, how do we do that to them??? LOL) However, it is so much easier and a much more accurate method for making HST's than the method I was taught in my first quilting class. (putting the two squares right sides together, drawing the diagonal line, corner to corner then sewing 1/4" on each side of the line and cutting it down the center for two HST's.) But this method was never as accurate as this wonderful ruler makes it. I personally find it faster making my HST's with this ruler too. I am actually not entering for myself though, I would love to win this ruler for another quilter, born in the UK but now living in France, who like me, joined the ranks of quilters later than most. At 60, I have only been quilting for 2 years and Linda just started this year. So if I have the lucky number, here is the link to the blog for Linda of "Living the Dream"...

    http://linda-living-the-dream.blogspot.com/

    I would like the ruler to go to her, if possible! Thanks so much, and thanks for the great giveaways. Hugs...

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  24. Thank you for sharing these helpful hints. I am fairly new to quilting and get lots of great ideas from blogs. I am so happy I fell upon yours. Thank you for the great ideas, hints, and pictures that inspire me to tackle new projects.

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  25. Once I discovered these type of rulers for making HST and flying geese units, I've never used anything else. Love, love, love them! My HST ruler is an Omnigrid and my flying geese one is an EZ Angle. I prefer the EZ Angle, so you would love to win this ruler to go with the Companion Angle I have for the flying geese.

    Oh, and the numbers are in reference to the strip width to use. If you place the bottom of the ruler at the bottom of your strip, the top of the strip should be at the number reference that is the width of your strip. Make sense?

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  26. Addendum to previous comment...in comparing the Easy Angle to my Omnigrid HST ruler, the numbers seem backwards to me on the Easy Angle. On the Omnigrid ruler, for the size strips you are using, if you align the top of the ruler with the top of your fabric strip, the 2 1/2 inch line would be at the bottom of your strip whereas with the Easy Angle, you end up with the bottom lining up with the 4" line. That IS confusing!

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  27. Thanks for the great tutorial. I have never used this ruler. It looks like it would be really helpful.

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  28. I like how you and Nicole provided tutorials on how to make hst's. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this fun-give-a-way!
    Laura T.

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  29. Count me in on the drawing for the easy angler!

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  30. I didn't think I needed one of these until your tutorial. Thanks!

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  31. Awesome tutorial, Thelma! I'll have to give this method a try.

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  32. You know. I *think* I may have this ruler or at least the smaller one and I've NEVER used it because I didn't know how. Now I know! I will be giving this method a try for sure! Thanks for a chance at the giveaway!

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  33. You are so generous with your knowledge and supplies--and in such a warm, comforting manner. I had seen these rules but really didn't think they would work. You proved me wrong. Keep up the good work.

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  34. Thanks for the tutorial and agree this looks like a more accurate & easier method for HSTs.
    What a time saver too! More time for sewing instead of picking off those pesky little paper pieces...and saving a tree ;)

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  35. Thank you for this tutorial! As I get a bit older I find that the hands and shoulders don't like when I trim up hundreds of HST at at a time, I've been looking for a way to create accurate HST without all that trimming.

    I'd love to win one of these and thanks ever so much for this tip!

    Elizabeth
    e(dot)eastmond[at]gmail(dot)com

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  36. I keep trying the different methods to make HST - maybe I will find one I like someday.
    marksey3@msn.com

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  37. I would love to try this method with the ruler. Thanks for giving one away.
    barberg@sbcglobal.net

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  38. Wow! If I don't win, then it's definitely an item I have to buy. I avoid half square triangles (or any other triangle) because I can never get them sewn correctly.

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  39. Hey...how come I haven't ever heard of that ruler. sounds great... I have a half square triangle quilt on my "list"....so would love to win it...

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  40. I checked both yours and Nicole's method. Think yours is less time consuming. Guess it's just what you are comfortable with.

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  41. Hi. I really like the way you think things through. And THANKS for giving everyone an opportunity to win this ruler. I checked. I don't have it, but it looks like one I would use a lot.

    Marilyn
    marilynjw1971@gmail.com

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  42. Neat tutorial. Great tool to have in the quilt box.

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  43. I don't have that ruler, but after reading your tutorial, I think I need one. I've wondered how they work, and it seems great. Certainly easier than Nicole's way. Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Thanks so much for this post...I actually have this ruler but have never known how to use it! I'll be trying it out soon!

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  45. I enjoyed the tutorial and found it very informative. I quess I should try the easy angle ruler since my hst's are sometimes a little off. Thanks for the opportunity to win this ruler.

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  46. Wow. You made that all look so easy! I definitely need to invest in one of those rulers. Wish I had known this technique when I started one of my projects a few months ago!

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  47. That looks like a great way to make HST. I could have used that for the Red and White Snowball. Lots, and lots of trimming there!

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  48. Great tutorial! This is my favorite method of sewing HST's now...they come out perfect every time and no trimming (which I think is a waste of my sewing time!). I lose my ruler regularly (it's with all the missing socks I guess) so I can always use an extra!

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  49. Great tutorial. I've got all these rulers but really haven't used them much. Don't enter me in the draw, I just wanted to comment on the great post.Thanks

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  50. That ruler would sure be a handy tool to have in my collection! Thanks for a great quilting blog; I do enjoy each new post!

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  51. That is just about the cleverest thing I ever saw! And now, of course, you know I have to have one! So keeping my fingers crossed on your giveaway!

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  52. I LOVE this ruler and have been using it for awhile. A couple things I do that seem to help. First, use some starch, I like Mary Ellen's best, on the strips. It really helps stop any distortion. Second, I open up my strips and place them rights sides together when I cut them, that way they're already all paired up.

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  53. What a great ruler! And your tutorial was very informative. I've stayed away from making HSTs', but this ruler makes it look so simple. Thanks for the chance to win one.

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  54. Great tutorial! The ruler makes it look so easy.

    Nancy E

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  55. I'm always looking for an easier way to make HST's & this looks like a good one. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  56. A fun post about HSTs. Thanks for the chance to win this great tool.

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  57. Well how cool is that....I would love to win one! Lisa in Texas

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  58. Thanks for the chance to get one of these rulers. I have been using the paper way but hate removing the paper. I would love to try the ruler way.

    Judy

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  59. I used that ruler for the snowball challenge last year and it helped tremendously. I think there were about 200 of them in that quilt.

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  60. Oh I'd love a chance to get a ruler like that! I have plenty of half squares to make for a quilt I'm making and it is a bit tedious drawing the line ,sewing and cutting them apart.... Sigh

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  61. Oooo...I've not seen this ruler before, it looks fantastic and I'd love to win it. Like many people I've always been a 'square with a line down the middle' girl, although I do have an (as yet) unused roll of Thangles somewhere in my sewing room...one of these days I'll take the plastic wrap off them and give them a whirl!

    Thanks for another fabulous giveaway!

    P.S. Love your blog, I always look forward to a new post from you!

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  62. Thank you for posting this. I know what I am going to be asking Santa to put in my stocking this year if I am not chosen...maybe I will just buy one and help him out! Faithfully read you blog...thanks so much.

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  63. I love rulers, but I wish my local quilt shop (100 miles away!) would give lessons on how to use them all. I'm sure it would make my life so much easier. My sewing time is so limited, anything to speed up the process would be nice. Can't wait to see how this quilt looks.

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  64. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm about to begin my first project using hsts and any advice is always helpful! Winning the ruler would be an extra bonus1

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  65. ohhhh, I'd love to win this ruler! I have a few HST quilts on my to-do list and would love a quick way to get those done!

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  66. that ruler looks wonderful to use...would be fun to win!!

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  67. thanks for the giveaway! i just finished a quilt top that needed tons of HSTs and i used the paper piecing method (like nicole)--accurate but time-consuming! would love to win a ruler :-)

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  68. Wow - I am so glad I came across this tutorial ;-) Thanks for sharing - now I need to keep a look out for that ruler next time I am at my LQS

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  69. Hmmmmmm, I'd love one. I'm tired of drawing lines and trimming down!

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  70. thelma, thanks for sharing the tutorial...i actually have this ruler but never used it...but i think this will change soon!
    i'd love to enter on behalf of my friend m. who wouldn't ever enter a giveaway but could use this ruler very well.
    thanks for sharing so generously,
    julia

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  71. I'm not ambitious to make this quilt, but I sure would like the ruler for other projects! Thanks, Thelma.

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  72. Fun tutorial. And funny. I will try this method out!

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  73. Great tutorial. This ruler looks like something I need! Maybe I'll win it if not I sure am going to buy one. Thanks for the give away and the tut!

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  74. I would love to try this ruler.

    Thanks, Sherrell
    tnthomas1@att.net

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  75. Great tutorial. Thanks. You've convinced me and now I want to try it.

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  76. Thank you for the great tutorial! I have been wondering out to use this ruler :-) I would love to win the one you are offering because I only have the small one and have since learned the bigger size might suit me better. Bonnie Hunter uses these often for her mystery quilts. I'm hoping to start the one she has going now. *s*

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  77. I'll have to get one of these if I don't win it. I have the perfect project that I have been putting off, not knowing how to deal with making 2" finished hst's out of a jelly roll. This would be perfect!

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  78. I've seen this ruler, but never gave it enough attention to realize just how easy it works! Thanks for the play by play photos showing just how easy it is!

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  79. Oh, I want one SO. BAD! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE quilts with triangles, but I don't make them because I didn't know how to make perfect triangles. :-(

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  80. I had to laugh at your tutorial. I too use the ruler like you. Upside down with no regards to the numbers. I think its the best! Amazing that all quilters aren't taught this way in their first classes. Good job. In my newest book I tried to explain it like this. Not sure what the editor did with it.

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  81. This method looks so easy! I took a look in my collection of specialty rulers and I already have this ruler so I will be trying it out next time I need hsts. Thanks for the tip. (I'm a little behind in my blog reading.)

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