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Perfect Points Sampler: Lesson Three (This discussion is available as PDF to download below - called Lesson 3 Posting Notes)

Lesson Three gets more challenging. The Bear's Paw and Friendship Star blocks are made with half-square triangles (HSTs). The one-inch finished size of the HSTs requires precise piecing and most likely a scant 1/4" seam allowance. The blocks are surrounded by frames to allow them to fit in the 8" finished framework of the sampler. This lets you practice maintaining sharp points set against another block or border.

A grid method is used to make the HSTs but you may make yours with individual pairs of squares or the method of your choice. Use a size larger than the one needed for 1" finished squares so you can trim them to the correct size for increased precision.

Please reread the positioning pin tutorial and hints on precision piecing if needed. This may be a time to try cutting the pieces one threadwidth larger than stated. Experiment with techniques for making HSTs to find one that works well for you.

HSTs too small? For quilt along members new to quilting, the Friendship Star block may be especially difficult. You can substitute a block made with fewer, larger HSTs. Pair individual  squares or use the grid from Step 7; make the squares 3" or even 3-1/4". Combine a lighter and darker fabric, draw the lines, sew, cut and press. Square-up to 2-1/2" square. Experiment placing them in different 2 x 3 layouts (the block is 6" x 8" finished). To substitute the Bear's Paw block, place the HSTs in a 4 x 4 layout to create a star or other pleasing formation. Neither block would have a frame.

Other Resources: Check out our tutorials on HSTs

Video Intro to Half Square Triangles (note swirling of seams for pinwheel)

Half Square Triangles: Specialty Tools

Wonder Cut Ruler Demo (the HSTs will have bias edges, consider making with bias strips)

Brenda Hennings Triangulations

June Tailor Perfect Half Square and Quarter Square Ruler Demo

Fons and Porter Half and Quarter Square Ruler Demo

Quick Quarter ll

Related Products: Here are some useful products for making HSTs and quarter-square triangles (QSTs) from the CT website. Hint - there are more HSTs and some QSTs in your near future!

Square Ruler: You will need a square ruler with a 45 degree angle line for squaring up! Check out the options for OmniGrip, Creative Grid (Olfa) or 81990 Fons & Porter Square Up Ruler. I will post a blog about rulers very soon...check the comment wall.

HSTs and QSTs:

81963 Half Square Triangle Sets  (smaller set for our lessons) and 81964 (haven't used them but great idea - would be my choice of tools)

81762 Sew Easy Guide (to guide your sewing of diagonal lines, even without drawing them)

90174 Triangulations 3 (useful for when you have lots, very small or odd-sizes; sewn on paper grid and but have to remove paper afterwards)

81907 Perfect Half Square and Quarter Square Ruler

81826 Fons & Porter Half Square and Quarter Square Ruler (cutting and sewing triangles)

81053 Quick Quarter ll (used to draw diagonal cutting and sewing lines)

81315 Wonder Cut Ruler (recommend using with bias strips to avoid bias edges on all four sides of HST or QST)

Lessons 4 & 5 Supplies: Just in case you want to order ahead; all are optional. Lesson 5 has paper piecing so you may want to order some foundation paper. Note: you could use it to draw and print your own grids for making HSTs and QSTs if  you like that method.

20712 C & T Simple Foundations Translucent Vellum Paper

Carol Doak's Foundation Paper 20824 Letter Size and 21139 Legal Size

90134 Carol Doak Teaches you to Paper Piece DVD (useful if you have never done paper piecing or want a review)

You may want a ruler with 60 degree angle for a surprise optional block...most 6-1/2' x24" ruler have it.

81849 Fons & Porter Binding Tool (discussed in Ann's Binding Basics tutorial)

81892 Perfect Binding Miter



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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Ann, - You've supplied us with a lot of good information above. Would it be possible to put it in a pdf, like you did with Ann's Thoughts? I would like to print it and save it with my other printed information.  Thank you.


Hi Ann. I agree with Kathleen - you've mentioned that we make these little HST using the grid method - what colors, what size grid, etc., etc..  Is there a 'pdf' forthcoming?  I've totaly enjoyed the 'Perfect Points'  excersizes and finally finished Lesson #2 and ready for #3. 

I posted the discussion notes for this lesson as a PDF.

Just a reminder to follow along with discussion on the Comment Wall as well.

The three main things to remember about HSTs for  this lesson:

  1. If using another method than the grid in the Lesson 3 pattern, use a square/grid a litte larger than needed to allow for piecing errors and squaring up to the precise unfinished size (already included in the Lesson 3 pattern).
  2. Sew a straight line; slightly crooked or curved lines will cause problems with your seam allowances.
  3. Square-up each HST with the 45 degree angle line exactly on the seam corner-to-corner.

If the HSTs are too small for your skill level, have fun with some larger 2" finished

HSTs. Looking forward to your comments (limited whining allowed) and photos. Hang in there...you can do it!

Thank you Ann, for the pdf on the notes!! You're the best! :)

Thanks, Ann, that's just what we need.    Off to Curves before I get to go into the sewing room. 

Oh wow, this will be fun! This will be a challenge with the points. Can you believe it, I have been so busy today, that it just dawned on me, at 9:15 PM that it is Tuesday, and that means a new lesson! I crack me up.

~Hopppy quilting~

Hi Ann, What a great lesson in patience!  Really love the blocks, have completed my Bear Paws, but haven't squared it up yet.  Wanted to let you know in the instructions for this lesson, on Page 2 , step 6 you have the second set of strips for the top & bottom at 8-1/2".  Shouldn't it be 9"?  That's what the cutting sheet says and that's what my block measured at. I cut the strips at 8-1/2" per instructions and had to re-cut them.  Started my other block but was to tired to finish - will start when fresh tomorrow.

Carol, I love your block.  The colors are gorgeous.

Thanks Barbara!  You didn't include a picture of your block. Can't wait to see it.

Carol, thanks for finding the error. 8-1/2" would have been okay because that is the size you square up to for the block's unfinished size. I just made it 9" in case someone's block turned out too small and the frame needed to be larger. I changed the pattern and reposted it. Thanks for letting me know.

BTW Your block looks great.


I just finished my Bear Paws (sans border) and this is the first time EVER that a block came out perfectly the first time.  No do-overs.  Thank you Ann for your excellent instructions.

AND....I finally got the hang of the scant 1/4 ", I"m sure that's what helped me.

This is my Bear Paw done with scraps from a quilt I made with the Charlottesville collection.  I really enjoyed this one.  Now to start Friendship stars.  I've never sent a photo before I hope this works.



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