I’m popping in today with a handy tutorial on how to make and trim two-at-a-time Half-Rectangle Triangles (also known as HRT).
They’ve been all the rage the last few years in the quilting world and, unlike their cute cousin the half-square triangle, they’re not as straightforward and easy to stitch up.
So, why go to all the extra trouble to make HRT when you have the adorable HST as an option? Well, half-rectangle triangles create lovely and dynamic shapes and movement in your quilts which just can’t be achieved with half-square triangles. It gives you another design option in your quilty toolbox to turn to when you want extra impact in your quilts.
This is the main pieing technique featured in the Refracted Star quilt block pattern I designed for this year’s Quiltmas Spectacular.
For more holiday quilting inspiration, see previous Quiltmas Spectacular blocks:
To help you get in on this fun quilt technique, I thought a step-by-step tutorial on how to make them yourself at home might just do the trick 😉
I know they can be a little bit tricky to stitch up and, especially, to trim down, so today I’m walking you through how to make these adorable HRT.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
Materials needed to make half rectangle triangles
Before diving into making your HRT, let’s first review what you’ll need to stitch them up.
- Fabric – I’m using this and this
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Marking tool
- Sewing machine
- Ironing board or wool pressing mat
- Tailor’s clapper (optional)
- Rotating mat (optional, read why I love it here)
- Washi tape (optional, but recommended)
How to Make two-at-a-time Half-Rectangle Triangles
Now that you’ve pulled together all your materials and tools, you can dive in and start making your HRT.
The first step is to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of one of your rectangles.
Place the two fabrics right sides together (RST) aligning the drawn line with the corners of the bottom rectangle as shown in the photo below.
Pin in place to secure and prevent from shifting on you.
Stitch a ¼” seam on either side from your drawn line.
Cut directly on the drawn line to reveal two half-rectangle triangles.
Set your seams and press to the side or open.
You can use a tailor’s clapper for extra flat seams.
How to trim your half-rectangle triangle blocks
Step 6 Pre-preparation
Before you start trimming your HRT, I highly recommend using some washi tape to mark on your ruler the trimmed size you want your half-rectangle triangles to be. Once you have your washi tape in place, use a marker to mark a ¼” from the top and bottom corners.
Why all this preparation?
Things can get confusing really fast when it comes to trimming your HRT. This is probably the number one confusing element of making HRTs and it’s super easy to get off track and trim incorrectly.
The washi tape will help you visualize what the trimmed size will be and ensure you don’t lop off your seam allowance.
Step 7 Trimming
Slide your ruler up and down the HRT until you have both ¼” dots right on the diagonal line. Depending on whether things have shifted/stretched while you were piecing and pressing, you may need to place your ruler on a slight angle to center the HRT within the boundary of your washi tape.
You’ll notice that most of the trimming will occur at the top and bottom of your HRTs; however, if things have shifted quite a bit, then you may have some extra trimming on the sides, but it shouldn’t be very much.
It’s going to look a little weird, but that’s a sign you’re on the right track!
Take your time with this step as it can be quite confusing until you have a few under your quilty belt 😉
But once you’ve made a few, you’ll find yourself getting into the half-rectangle triangle trimming zone and you’ll know exactly what to look for.
For more quilty inspiration, check out:
- 2-at-a-time HST Tutorial
- 4-at-a-time HST Tutorial
- 8-at-a-time HST Tutorial
- How to trim HST with a regular ruler
- Top 3 notions to make HST trimming a breeze
Happy HRT making!
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