Author Topic: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot  (Read 2620 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« on: December 20, 2011, 09:49:34 PM »
One of those quilts I wish I hadn't started.....

http://www.quilterscache.com/F/FourWindsBlock.html

I am making a quilt with 48 blocks with 48 triangles in each block which is 2,304 triangles to sew.....

So, although I hate them, I will do as the pattern suggests and sew half square triangles. The problem is that my standard quilting foot with the 1/4" quide has a "fat toe" on the outside edge, and it is this outside edge that I need as a quide when sewing the inside part of the triangles on each fabric strip.

At this point I am willing to buy such a foot if one exists (that has the 1/4" mark on the "outside" -  AND on the inside). It would have to be a Singer short shank screw on type.

I have already cut all of my strips so I either find that foot or pick another quilt pattern where I can use 2 7/8" strips.

Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Back2Sew

  • Member
  • Posts: 146
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 10:14:44 PM »
Mmmm ... I was thinking you could use paper piecing but that can be a pain too.

What about marking the sewing line with a stencil? I am thinking making a stencil for the the lengths and then using a chalk pounce to mark the sewing lines. Then you would just have to sew on the line.

Another option might be to put some tape on the sewing machine bed on both sides of the foot. The tape would have to span the bed all the way from front to back so you would be able to follow the guide. I did this for my daughters at the 1/2 inch when they started sewing pouches because they could not see the little line. Actually worked pretty well!

Do you have one those quilting feet where you can put the little bar to sew exact lines. Not sure what this is called, but I wonder if that could be set to a 1/4 inch.

By the way, great pattern! You are very courageous to try such an complicated pattern -- over 2000 trianges! I can see why all the trianges would have to be exact.

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 10:28:58 PM »
The tape on the machine bed would work, but may not give me the accuracy that I need. Drawing the stitching line is a lot of work....I have already almost finished drawing the square lines in each strip and then the diagonal lines...I think I'll go crazy if I have to draw any more lines! I'm not sure about the stenciling....

I know such a presser foot does exist...with 1/4 inch markings on BOTH sides. But where to look? I have already checked ebay and there isn't one there, not for a screw on low shank machine like my Singer 15-91. I thought there may be one out there made for the Singer Featherweight 221 considering it is supposed to be a "quilting machine" and it would take the same presser feet as my Singer 15-91
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 10:30:36 PM »
As for the pattern I think I may make less blocks and do some sashing. I'll see how it goes.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 11:24:20 PM »
I found this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/160586638019?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

and bought it. I don't really like the idea of a "plastic" foot but I can't see anything else that would do the job. I have a vintage foot that looks like this (with the extension) but it has a shorted foot that is narrow on both sides and would not help me to guide the fabric along a 1/4 inch seam.

Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Back2Sew

  • Member
  • Posts: 146
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2011, 12:11:54 AM »
I bought a quarter inch foot for my featherweight from Sew Classic. I don't have much luck with mail order, but Sew Classic was excellent! My paypal did not go through and she emailed me right away to make different payment arrangements.

But I think it was only a quarter inch on one side.

Please post a finished square when you get that far. I would very much like to see what it looks like! 

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 01:50:02 AM »
Yes, my quilting foot is from Sew Classic, but it's the one with the fat toe on the left side so it won't do for this job. But I just saw that she also sells a plastic 1/4 inch foot with an extension but again it is 1/4 inch only on the right side (I think, from the description). Hopefully the one I purchased on ebay will be the right one. If not, I will just make the triangles best I can, take the good ones, make up the blocks and use sashing and borders to make it the right size. It will probably take me all winter.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Laurie H

  • Member
  • Posts: 5671
    • My Quilts
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 01:49:49 PM »
I like having a piece of masking tape placed on my machine that I've first marked sewing line on.  I line it up with my needle, using a ruler as a guide and I lay it down in place all the way down the front of my machine.  If I'm sewing along 1/4" from the center as you need to, I simply draw my center line AND my 1/4" sewing line on the masking tape.  I lay my pieces on this as a guide as I'm sewing. 

I have no idea if this would help you, but it helps me keep it all straight.  Ever so often I would have a slight hiccup, but as a rule, mine come out nice and straight.  I don't have to use this trick much anymore, since I usually do them differently if I can....I agree, they are a pain this way, but when I do, this is how I do them.  I hate drawing lines on them.
Laurie H

http://my.inbox.com/photos/missjean/index.aspx   password is 'photos'

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 02:27:03 PM »
It helps only if you can see the machine bed. But if you are doing half square triangles in a strip all in the same direction you have to sew on both sides of the diagonal line dividing the squares, so the machine bed is not visible and cannot be used as a guide. I could go one direction one way, then the other direction the other way which is what I will probably do and maybe that's what this method calls for in the first place. It would just give me more options if I had a 1/4 foot that is a 1/4 inch on both sides.

Normal sewing is fine because I purchased a lined throatplate for my 15-91 and have sewn a number of quilts using it - but again only if it is visible.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Skye

  • Member
  • Posts: 127
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 08:14:34 PM »
Have you thought about using tiger tape. It can be used several times before it loses its stickablity.
 I have used it with my walking foot  the tape has a line marked down the centre so it is easy to line up the diagonal centreof the squares.

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 09:18:06 PM »
I've never heard of tiger tape. Of course we up here (in Canada) sometimes can't get everything that's available in the USA. But next week I'm going south of the border to Joann Fabrics. Is it something that's sold in a fabric store?
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Doris W. in TN

  • Member
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 11:15:38 PM »
Joybell - take a look at this and see if it might work for your machine.   
http://www.littlefoot.net/


Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 11:46:00 PM »
It looks similar to the one I bought except that this one looks like a snap-on foot, not for my vintage machine. But it does look like the same foot.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Skye

  • Member
  • Posts: 127
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2011, 01:51:40 AM »
Joybell  I live in New Zealand so that goes double regarding access to notions etc.
Found link so that you can see what it looks like (NAVY -)  http://www.keepsakequilting.com/productdetail/8139.htm

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2011, 02:00:07 AM »
What a neat notion that tiger tape! Somebody had a bright idea! Maybe I'll find it at Joann's - although I have already drawn my diagonal lines on most of my strips. I won't be sewing during the holidays anyway so I have time. The only thing that might concern me about the tiger tape is laying it perfectly straight from corner to corner!
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Susan in Saint John

  • Member
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2011, 02:37:52 AM »
Perhaps I'm missing something but when I make half-square triangles, I draw the cutting line on with pencil.  Then, I sew the first pass with the right edge of my 1/4" quilting foot against the drawn line.  For the second pass, I turn the piece around and again sew with the right edge of my quilting foot against the drawn line.  The two seams are sewn in opposite directions.

When I check that with the turn of the cloth my block will be the correct finished size, I may find it necessary to run the quilting foot exactly down the middle of the pencil line or slightly to one side or the other.  Another option can be to adjust the needle position 1 click to the left or right [check that you can do that by turning the handwheel first without the needle hitting the side of the presser foot].

The other gadget/notion that I use is the "Angler II" which means that I don't have to draw any lines.  It's available in Canada from Joanne's Creative Notions [not related to Joann's in the US] http://joannescreativenotions.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Angler&osCsid=920be42b121c4ca8ddc3944078eb52b2&search_in_description=1  I've ordered several times from this company without any problem.

When you're going to be sewing so many half-square triangle blocks, you might be interested in having a look at "Quilters Academy Volume 3" http://www.ctpub.com/productdetails.cfm?SKU=10698.  It is all about sewing half square triangles -- a dozen different methods or more.  In Canada, you can get it from either Chapters or Amazon.ca.

Remember that the method that the quilt pattern designer gave for making the half-square triangles is only one method and you may find that a different method works better for you.

In a quilt block like this one, it's important to be consistent in your block size.  I would not cut any of the plain squares until I had the half square triangles done.  I would cut them based on my finished block size [which might vary 1/8" or so from the design block size].  Some quilters would cut the squares/rectangles for the half square triangles over size and then square them up to the proper size after they had been pressed.  Half square triangle blocks can be easily squared up.

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2011, 02:13:55 PM »
Thank you Susan! The pattern does call for sewing in both directions but I find it akward if I am going to speed piece a lot of the strips together at the same time. So the other option is to go only one direction speed piecing - then cutting them apart and starting over speed piecing in the other direction. Either way, I don't think I will enjoy this. I may have to do a block at a time, SLOWLY, which is not my style! The other quilts I have made I always cut the triangles first and then sewed them.

That tool that goes on the machine bed - I think it would be more accurate than the tiger tape.

You wrote

I may find it necessary to run the quilting foot exactly down the middle of the pencil line or slightly to one side or the other.
 
I can't really figure out what you mean by this.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Back2Sew

  • Member
  • Posts: 146
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2011, 02:21:29 PM »
The Angler II looks very similar to the square-in-a-square ruler I have -- except my ruler does not work on top of the machine. I was not a big fan of the square-in-a-square until I started using it and it really works well. When I bought the ruler I didn't realize you could do so much with it - half square triangle and flying geese as well as the other one which I cannot remember at this time! I think with the Square-in-a-square ruler you can make multiple half square triangles at once.

Offline Terri B

  • Member
  • Posts: 891
  • Gender: Female
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2011, 01:43:02 AM »
This is a pretty crafty way of making a lot of half square triangles accurately.  I have the program, have used it extensively, and it works great.  http://www.bearpawproductions.com/store-detail.php?cat=1&ID=2

Offline Pina

  • Member
  • Posts: 6368
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2011, 03:21:03 AM »
It helps only if you can see the machine bed. But if you are doing half square triangles in a strip all in the same direction you have to sew on both sides of the diagonal line dividing the squares, so the machine bed is not visible and cannot be used as a guide. I could go one direction one way, then the other direction the other way which is what I will probably do and maybe that's what this method calls for in the first place. It would just give me more options if I had a 1/4 foot that is a 1/4 inch on both sides.

Normal sewing is fine because I purchased a lined throatplate for my 15-91 and have sewn a number of quilts using it - but again only if it is visible.

Joybell,I'm late to the game.Have you watched this video ? Learn how to sew half-square triangles for your quilt using a stop rather than marked lines or papers.



Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2011, 02:24:22 PM »
With this method all of the squares have to be cut first. I kind of like the method of stitching the seams while the squares are still in the strip. I'm just going to try a block (after Christmas) with this method to see how it works out. If it is too inaccurate then I'll need to try one of the other methods. I really like the tape on the machine bed idea - my finished HST will be 2 inches so no problem there. I don't know if I would choose ironing instead of drawing the diagonal but this is one way to check if you really have a proper square or not to start with!
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2012, 05:07:27 PM »
I found the perfect quilting foot! It is the vintage presser foot that I mentioned in another post. It has short toes and an extension. I took the extension off and it is a perfect 1/4" along the inside of the foot. I tried the 1/4" foot with the 1/4" guide and found it akward to use in all applications. The same goes for the plastic foot - not only does it feel light and cheap but it is not all that accurate. The best one is that old short toed foot because I can actually see the stitching very clearly as I go!

I am attaching a photo of my first block "Four Winds" and the vintage quilting foot.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2012, 05:48:58 PM »
Here is a side view of that quilting foot:
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Back2Sew

  • Member
  • Posts: 146
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2012, 04:53:06 AM »
What great news! I am so glad you found a solution that works for you. Love the block and the color choice too! 

Is the foot on your featherweight?

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2012, 01:37:03 PM »
Thank you! It took a long time for me to collect those colours. The pink print used to be curtains and the white was the liner for the curtains (both 100% cotton). The blue is from a 70's long dress (or so I think because I salvaged that fabric a long time ago) and the red is a remnant I found in my Mom's stash when I was cleaning out her house. I have just enough to make 42 blocks and enough pink for the edging (although blue would look better I don't have enough of that).

The foot is on my Singer 15-91 which I love the most of all of my machines. My daughter uses the Featherweight. But of course the foot will fit both.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline Joybell

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2012, 01:31:31 PM »
OK I have about a third of the top done so far. It's a lot faster and easier than I thought. Since this is the first time I am making a quilt entirely out of triangles, with a definate pattern in the block, I am starting to wonder how I will quilt it.

Should I outline the pink "tulip" and the red center? Then maybe just stitch in the ditch for the rest? If I outline the pattern in the block, how can I manage this on my sewing machine if I have to continually turn the quilt? All of my quilting so far has just been straight lines, but if I do this here I think it will ruin the look of my blocks.
Singer 221 Featherweight
Singer 127 Treadle
Singer 15-91 (x3)
Singer 301a
Elna TSP
Bernina 530-2

Offline WesternWilson

  • Member
  • Posts: 516
  • Gender: Female
    • Greenwich Minus Eight
Re: Nitpicky half square triangles and the quilting foot
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2012, 11:01:01 PM »
I make all my HST's using HST paper (bought a CD which has all sizes on it). The papers make it much faster and more accurate to sew up HST's.

I did a blog on the process:
http://greenwich-8.blogspot.ca/2011/08/ode-to-half-square-triangles-hsts.html

 

Gorgeous Fabrics Fabric Mart Fabrics