Nine Patch Sampler – week four BONUS – Other HST methods

For the Shoo Fly block, you learned the basic method for doing HST squares.  There are a lot of different methods, so you might want to try a few and see what you like best.

Here are some methods, along with my opinions about each one.

1.easiest HST in the world


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pros for easiest HST: no math, no dog ears, no trimming

cons for easiest HST: wasteful (See that cut-off triangle?  It’s thrown away into the scrap bin.)

verdict:  good for beginners or people who want fast and simple

3 out of 5


2. four at a time

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pros for four at a time: fast

cons for four at a time: edges of the squares are biases and very easy to stretch, have to trim up each square, sometimes the squares shift during sewing, so they don’t line up at the end when you go to cut.

verdict: Some people like it, but it’s not for me.  The pros don’t outweigh the cons

2 out of 5


3. strip piecing method

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pros for strip piecing: short stitching time, easy if you want small squares and have jelly rolls to work with

cons for strip piecing: cutting is tricky, edges of the square are bias, still have dog ears

verdict: This works if your fabric is not wide enough for any other method.  I would not use it normally.

2 out of 5


4. cutting triangles with a ruler

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pros for cutting triangles: great for scraps, easy to understand, goes quickly, doesn’t require trimming if you have a perfect 1/4″

cons for cutting triangles: sewing on a bias line is easy to stretch, cutting slightly more time consuming

verdict: good for people with sewing experience

4 out of 5


5. paper piecing

There are a few different brands of paper for piecing HST’s.  Some you buy, and some you print out yourself.  For this tutorial, I am using Thangles brand.  Thangles is my favourite because the strips you cut for the triangles are the same width as you would cut for an equivalent square.  So if you are piecing squares and HSTs (like in the Nine Patch Sampler), you only need one strip.

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pros: accurate stitching, no trimming, fast

cons: paper is one-time use, so could be expensive, have to remove paper at the end

verdict: This is my favourite method for HSTs.  Ripping the paper off at the end is a bit annoying, but not nearly as much as squaring up pieces.

5 out of 5


There are even more methods of HSTs, but this is enough for a start.  Try some different ones and see what you like.

spoiler alert:  There are more HSTs in next week’s Nine Patch Sampler block, so you can use your samples.