The Spring Tulips table runner uses a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) in the pieced tulips blocks. In fact, every table runner I’ve designed so far uses them. For much of my early years as a quilter, cutting and piecing accurate HSTs was a mystery to me. I followed all of the instructions, tried the triangle paper, triangles on a roll, and just didn’t find a way that suited me. I even did Debbie Caffrey’s method of cutting bias strips, seaming them, and then cutting the HSTs. It was accurate, but a headache too.
I needed something simpler. I like simplicity: clean, accurate, easy, no weird tools, just the basics on how to do it right. I finally figured out the secrets of accurate HSTs, and now I’m sharing them with you in this checklist. I’ve become a huge fan of checklists after reading Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto. It’s a fascinating look at how pilots, surgeons, architects, and other creative and technical people nail down a procedure so there are no mistakes. So here’s my gift to you: a HST Checklist for getting them right. Every. Time.
To view this full-size and print it out, click here for the link. I suggest putting it next to your sewing machine or cutting table: someplace visible so you don’t miss it!