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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:
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. )
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:
However, if you do that, you will get a weird kite shaped unit, which is not what we want!
Place the rectangles right sides together like this:
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:
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.
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.
Use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim 1/4″ from the edge of the template.
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.)
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:
You now have perfect HRT units!