Where I go wrong is usually in pressing the dang things open. I have to be very careful not to stretch the fabric.
The other thing I do is square up my half square triangles BEFORE I open them up: I use my version of the square-'em-up ruler (a la Eleanor Burns) to trim the triangles to the desired unfinished size.Then when I open them up, they should be the right size, a perfect square. If you don't want to do this, after you have opened them and pressed them into a Half Square Triangle patches, use your ruler to square them up just as you square up finished blocks. This will help. When you sew them together, sew with the triangle patch on top so you can guide the stitching line across the tip of the point and not chop it off.
I am using Eleanor Burns' techinque of placing larger fabric squares rigth sides together and sewing 1/4" from the two lines drawn on the diagonals, and then cutting the squares into eight pieces to make eight HST's. I find that this keeps their shape better than the other techniques I have tried and is much faster than using the Wonder Cut Ruler or drawing diagonals on a lot of little squares.
Hi,Sew thru the X in the center where the seams meet. Also,use freezer paper templates (minus the seam allowance) and line them up and sew only by or at the edge of the paper,don't sew on the paper.Use only as a sewing guide.
Having "old" eyes, and using size 11 quilting needles, to thread them is a project. When the sun is up and there is plenty of light, I thread 30 needles at a time on the spool. It takes a while, but when you have those nights when quilting is all you want to do, no time for sleeping, I do not have to try to thread in the dark.
I guess I love my fabric so much I do not buy too many goodies. I use a baby jar with a hole in the top for all my thread spools. It is funny the first time I started asking for them I got looks, now my quilters in crime hord them. They are great to just carry around with your quilt while on the go. I have yet to drop one :)
No baby here, but maybe a yogurt container would do the job, or old jalapeno jar. There is something in that kitchen I can use for this. Road trip half way cross country in a few days. This will be handy.
Here is a good tip. If you buy less expensive fabric and it seems to ravel when pre-washed? Cut the corner edges off (just the tip) and it stops all of those strings that seem to find their way around and around the washer, other fabric and finally you do not loose so much new fabric. It works!
I have a pinking blade for my cutter, but I've never tried it on my quilt fabric. Would you have to trim it again when you are ready to cut the pieces to put into a quilt? How would you measure to cut the size you need? I hate the raveling.