Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quilter's Tool Kit - Blue Painter's Tape!

Painter's Tape - a must have for every quilter!!!

This may not be something you have thought of before but one of the handiest things in my sewing room is a roll of blue painter's tape!

I know you are probably thinking I have lost my mind but that is a subject for another day! LOL


Just about every quilt I make has a half square triangle included somewhere.  Some quilts have lots of them...

The usual way of making them involved marking the fabric with a pencil or chalk line on one of the squares, pairing it up with another and then when you sew, you put the edge of the 1/4" presser foot on the line sew across the square, turn and sew down the other side and thus end up with a perfect 1/4" seam on both sides of the line and two half square triangles after trimming on the line.


To do this I use a scrap piece of fabric and lay the square on top - the fabrics stick together and slip around less as you draw the line.  Some people use sand paper but fabric scraps are always available in my sewing room and since they work that is what I use.  




TIP: Accurately drawing the line from one corner to the other is important and will help ensure your HST units are square and dead on. 

Seems simple enough right?  It is until you have to mark a few hundred of them. 


So in my quest to make the process easier I got out my trusty painter's tape. 

I took the tape and placed the edge of it along the 1/4" seam marking line on my machine (using the 1/4" foot as a guide helps too) and brought the tape across the bed of my machine and down onto the desk. It is very important that you keep that line straight and accurate.  Remember you need the tape edge to be on the 1/4" seam line.


Once the tape is in place you just lay your pair of squares on the machine placing the point of the square under the 1/4" foot with the point aligned on the edge of the foot.  Then align the bottom of the square (point) along the edge of the tape. Do you see in the pic how the points of the square are at the edge of the foot and also the edge of the tape? Very important!  As you sew, keep the bottom point on that tape edge and your HST units will come out perfect. 

After you chain as many as you like, just flip them around and do the opposite side, you then end up with 2 perfect half square triangles after trimming that you didn't have to mark!


Another Tip: If you have to make a lot of small ones and accuracy is important to you, make them a little bigger and trim up using a bias ruler like the one Winnie is holding down. (I was using it to trim the edge of a border in this pic - not HST) Trimming them ensures that they will all be the correct size.

This ruler is another must have in my sewing room!

Easy Peasy!!!

After all the hard work you can reward yourself (or your assistant) with a nap!

Winston (aka Winnie) is always ready to help.


Have a great day!!!   ~ LT


  1. Winnie is SO helpful, but you really shouldn't work her so hard. :-)

    1. Like I have a choice in the matter!!! If I'm doing something in either my sewing room (where I play) or my studio (where I work) Winnie HAS to be part of the action!!!

  2. Thank you for this great tip! :)

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