Thursday, April 17, 2014

One for the Toolbox

May is my month as queen bee for the Always Bee Learning bee. Of course I debated a bit on what to have them do. 'Learning' is in our name after all, and as an underlying goal of the bee, I finally chose a relatively simple block but one I had never tried. Plus it definitely seemed like one my bee-mates could use in future projects of their own. Meet the half-rectangle triangle block. Obviously so similar to the more prevalent half-square triangle block, but construction has it's unique differences.
I found a terrific tutorial by The Quilt Engineer on The Modern Quilt Guild site: Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial.

A few specific notes for my bee-mates:
  • I am sending fat-quarters of 2 fabrics, a solid and a print. Cut your fabrics 7.5x13.5". You should have enough for two pairs of blocks. 
  • See step #2 of the tutorial: lay out your fabrics so the solid is on the left and your print is on the right, as shown. 
  • Please ignore the instructions for Directions for Opposite HRT (Right-Left HRT’s). I only want Left-Right HRT’s - the first kind shown. 
  • Press seams open before trimming. 
  • Trim each block carefully following the instructions, checking for the seam allowances as shown in step #5 in the “Squaring” Up Your HRT section. Each of my blocks measured 7x13" unfinished. 
  • Please don't sew your finished blocks to each other. I'll mix them up when I get them all back.
So one thing about this block - my bee will be making 4-7x13" blocks, which works out ever so slightly larger than our normal 2-6 1/2x12 1/2", but the calculations for this block (starting size to ending size) aren't that clear cut, so I'm trusting this minor difference is ok. In general, blocks will be 1/4-1/2" smaller than the size of beginning rectangles, but I didn't trust that, so cut my rectangles a little larger. I should have gone with those calculations and I would have ended up closer to my goal.
Anyway, the fabrics I am sending are La Femme by Melissa Crawley for Kaufman, a fat-quarter bundle I won a couple of years ago. It's been waiting for just the right use, and I think the simplicity of these hrt blocks are just the ticket. The fabric is an Essex linen/cotton blend, and I'm pairing them with a new American Made Brand solid in Light Cream.

So there's something new to try - a new technique to add to your quilting toolbox, which I think is always a good thing!


  1. I've been intrigued with this block since I saw it awhile back (a month or two) on another blog. It was so striking in bright colors. I've been wanting to do it, but didn't want to buy the special ruler the blogger had used. I will have to try the tutorial you included. Can't wait to see your quilt completed.

  2. I've never done HSR either, so this is a great one, and I'm so glad you posted about the fabric, I was curious what line it was, it sure is pretty!

  3. I'm sure your bee mates won't mind giving you an inch ;o)

  4. That'll be great! Nice assortment of fabrics too.

  5. And well wouldn't you know it, I went to pin the tutorial and I already have it pinned!!

  6. I'm looking forward to making these.

  7. Thanks for something new to try! Now I've got to go and rack my brain for something interesting for the group when it's my turn.