Jacquelynne Steves

Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial (no special ruler required!)

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Today we are going to learn about Half Rectangle Triangle (HRT) units!! This Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial will require no special rulers. You probably know what Half Square Triangle units are- we use them A LOT in quilting. They look like this:

(For my HST tutorial and cheat sheet, please click here.)

HST (Half Square Triangle) Tutorial and Cheat Sheet | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

 

HRT’s look similar, but are, well, rectangles instead of squares. This method requires no special rulers or equipment, other than a rotary cutter, ruler, and freezer paper. If you are making the I Love Home Block of the Month, you will find this tutorial very useful!

Below you will find my tutorial for making these units. I also have a video, which you may find easier to follow:

 

Note that this video tutorial shows you the technique for making the units- refer to your pattern for the correct size to cut your rectangles and templates. 

 

Here is how to make perfect Half Rectangle Triangle units!

To figure out what size rectangles to cut, take the FINISHED size of your HRT unit, and add            1 1/2″ to the short measurement, and 1 3/4″ to the long measurement. For example:

For a finished size of unit 4 x 5″ (4 1/2 x 5 1/2″ including seam allowance)  —> cut your rectangles 5 1/2 x 6 3/4″

Draw a line diagonally down the center of one of the rectangles. NOTE that it’s important to draw the line going to correct direction! Draw a line 1/4″ on each side of the center line. (A tool which I find very useful, but not required, for both HST’s and HRT’s is a 1/4″ seam marker, which can be found here. )

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Now we need to sew our rectangles together. If you’ve made HST’s before, you may be tempted to just place the rectangles together and sew together as you would for HST’s:

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

However, if you do that, you will get a weird kite shaped unit, which is not what we want!

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Place the rectangles right sides together like this:

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Sew on the “side” lines that you’ve drawn (the lines which are 1/4″ away from the center line; this process is like making HST’s).

Before cutting the triangles apart, I like to flip them open, to make sure that they look the way I want them to. Note that because I drew the lines in opposite directions for these, the red triangles in the HRT’s are a mirror image of each other. No matter how I rotate the unit, I cannot get the red triangles to be in the same position:

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Once I know that the units are going the way I want them to go, I cut on the center line, and press my units.

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Now I need to trim my units. To do this, cut a rectangle from freezer paper which is the size that I want the finished unit to be (not including seam allowance.) For example, if I want my rectangle to be 4 x 5″ in my project (4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ including seam allowance, before I sew into my project), I will cut my freezer paper template 4 x 5″.

Draw a line diagonally on the non-shiny side of the freezer paper.

Line up the line on the template with the seam of the HRT and iron to fuse in place.

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim 1/4″ from the edge of the template.

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

Peel off the freezer paper. The freezer paper is reusable so you can use it to trim your other units (though the line may be going the wrong way, just draw another line going the opposite direction if necessary.)

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

You will notice that the seam is offset a tiny bit at the corners, this will make sure that your seam allowance is correct when you sew it into your project:

Easy HRT Tutorial- Make perfect half rectangle units, no special ruler required! | JacquelynneSteves.com #quilt #quilting

 

You now have perfect HRT units!

 

 

 

 

15 Comments

  • Peggy
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Looks difficult but probably isn’t.

  • Chris K.
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Bookmarking this! Thanks, this will be so useful.

  • ann
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Excellent tutorial.

  • Yvonne Thomas
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    What a great technique! I recently fell in love with a quilt in a magazine that required a special ruler so you could make 2.5″ HST using the jelly roll, which we all know is 2.5″ wide. It was such a pain – had I read everything through first, I would have used wider width fabric strips. I love this technique you’ve shown and think it might have helped with the quilt I just mentioned. Thanks!

  • Elaine
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Excellent, Jacquelynne! Thank you

  • Josephine Tucker
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Very clear instructions.

  • michelle
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Fab video, thanks so much :)

  • Jane Modjeski
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps I am having a bad hair day….trying to make a PDF with my iPad of the HRT tutorial. It actually sent me to download Print Fruendly App. Now I can’t seem to get back there to where it said could make the PDF. Am wishing my laptop was here right now…..

  • Bev Baker
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks!!!

  • Melanie
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Genius, Jacquelynne! Thank you for a wonderful and easy technique w/o specialty rulers. So much appreciated.

  • Melanie
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Genius, Jacquelynne! Thanks so much for this great tutorial.

  • Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this! I tried to do this years ago and came out with kites. Never tried it again. Looking forward to trying it now!

  • Lorraine Thomson
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Well done Jacquelynne for researching and working so hard to make HRT’s work, your video is very easy to understand. I am a newbie at quilting but I have bought a quarter inch ruler and it has already paid for itself with time saved in marking my HST’s, so I know it will be a great help with HRT’s as well.

  • FATIMA LUCAS
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I love this method!!! THANK YOU for taking the time to share it. I bookmarked the page, so that when I am in need, I will likely succeed with your help!

  • Loretta Scott
    Posted November 6, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    thank-you for this tutorial, seems so easy after you’ve explained it. :-)

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  • […] wrong. Fortunately, I noticed the mistake before I cut the fabric. Jacquelynne has created a tutorial and video to walk you through making and trimming the units to size. They are not hard, but you do […]

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