Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tutorial: This Way That Way Quilt {a half rectangle triangle pattern}

Good afternoon from Austin, Texas! It's only fitting that here at QuiltCon writing this tutorial, isn't it? 

Last week, I made this quilt top from an Oakshott 10" square pack of colors 31-57 and 2 1/2 yards of background fabric, color number 32 Amalfi ) which has a grey warp and a white weft.) I LOVE shot cottons, they have such a nice weight and feel to them, almost like linen but with crisp softness that doesn't wrinkle quite as much. They also have a really lovely vibrant, subtle color shift in them. This is because they're woven one direction (warp) in one color and the other direction (weft) in a second color. The result is a fabric that blends beautifully with other fabrics in a way that an ordinary solid fabric wouldn't. 

As you can see in the above photo, I was given plenty to work with. I wanted to create a quilt that was not only a challenge for me, but also something that would showcase just how incredibly colorful and gorgeous this fabric is.

I didn't really have a plan, I almost never do when it comes to my quilts. Instead, I laid the fabrics out on my design wall and let them speak to me. 

I loved how each color complimented the others, so I knew I needed to keep the quilt simple. I also wanted to use every last bit of fabric that I was given. So, I decided to try something new, and I set about figuring out how to make a half rectangle triangle (HRT). I've done plenty of half square triangles, but this was new territory. I'm actually kind of shocked that I got it right on the first try! 

Are you ready to try something new? Ok then, let's jump in head-first!

What you will need:
27 precut 10" squares
2 1/2 yards 54" background fabric
Fabric pen
Acrylic Grid ruler
Rotary cutter/mat
Iron/ironing board
Sewing machine etc

Start by pressing each 10" square, then cutting them in half to create 54 5" x 10" rectangles.

From the pressed background fabric, cut 5" strips, then subcut into 10" pieces. 

On the wrong side of the background fabric, align your grid ruler with the upper left corner to the bottom right corner and draw a line.

With right sides together, match the corners of the background rectangle with the opposite corners of the solid. (Technically, it's the same corners, but because they're laid out right sides together, it'll look like the opposite corners.)

Sew 1/4" away from the line on both sides.

Using a rotary cutter, cut on the drawn line to separate.

Press the HRT's open, with the seam facing the solid, or darker color.

Make sure that the diagonal line is always going from upper left to bottom right, until you get to the halfway mark. Switch corners for the second half so the HRT's face the other direction-hence the name "This Way That Way". 

I'm afraid I don't have any graphic design skills, so you'll have to use the following photo as a layout guide for your quilt top.

Keep in mind that there should be four HRT's of each color, but you can't see all of them on the top row because of the way it's draped against the wall.

I finished the quilt by stitching one long 5" strip on either side. You will probably have to piece the strips together. I used 5" x WOF (width of fold) and a 15" piece for each side, then trimmed after stitching.

I plan to finish this quilt when I get back home from QuiltCon. I think I'm going to do a whole lot of matchstick quilting to finish it off, won't that look amazing? 

I'll post a finished quilt photo once it's completed, so be on the look out for that! 

Happy quilting!


  1. This is truly beautiful!!! Can't wait to see it completed. And what you choose for binding. Have fun a Quiltcon!!!

  2. Gorgeous, Kristi!! I've got a fat eighth bundle of peppered cottons that I've been stumped on what to use it for and I think this is that use. ��

  3. Love your design for this precut election of fabrics. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Fun design! I've been wanting to play with rectangles, this pattern will be just the ticket!

  5. Great design!!! Love those colours!

  6. This is a great quilt and a great tutorial.

  7. Thanks for the tutorial, Kristi! HRTs are definitely a skill I'd like to work on. The quilt is awesome!

  8. Cool how you made this quilt!!! Love those colours too!!

  9. Great use of the fabrics. So will the finished quilt be about 56" x 88?

  10. Love the design and the colours. Love Oakshott anyway!
    If you'd want to rectangle each block up (instead of squaring it up); how big should one block/rectangle be?
    And how big is your quilt?

  11. I knew there had to be a way to do rectangles, but I had never figured it out. This looks like a great pattern for my precut board. I found this on and other Pinterest board.

  12. This is just genius! Love your quilt.

  13. A great job. Do you know how/where to sew the first seam so that the points meet when you sew the HRT together with a 1/4" seam? I have tried my best but it is trickier than it looks.

  14. I'm so excited. I have wondered how to make hrts and you have explained it so well Thanks

  15. I was teaching triangles for sew-a-row last week and one student wanted to do half-rectangle tall triangles just like this. If you have the right ruler it's a doddle, but if you haven't it's not so easy, and most people cut out a template to use. This method is very much easier and good to go. And it should work with any measurement you choose to do. The 10-inch size is a bit large for most sew-a-rows, but you could cut smaller rectangles. Did you measure your final rectangle with both pieces on it? How much smaller than 10x5 was it?

    1. The finished rectangle is 4"x9"; it would be easy to adjust the size larger or smaller in width. height or both. Thanks for the nice comments :)