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Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial - Fastbreak Quilt Edition

Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs) and I have a love/hate relationship. I love how they add versatility to the lines of a quilt pattern but I hate how long it has taken me to become comfortable with them. There was always something about them made my brain spin in ways only Foundation Paper Piecing has done in the past. But here we are, with my first pattern release and there are HRTs in it! Gasp.

In this tutorial, I will show you my favorite method for making HRTs, specifically for my FREE Fastbreak Quilt pattern (click here to get your copy if you don't have it yet).

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The typical ratio for HRTs is a 2:1 ratio, meaning the width is half the size of the length. For the Fastbreak Quilt, we are using an unfinished HRT size of 3"x3.5". Not quite a Half Square Triangle, but not the 2:1 ratio that is more common.

One note of caution when making HRTs: it is important to pay close attention to the direction of the diagonal when piecing your rectangles together. Different than a Half Square Triangle, the diagonal on a HRT is not interchangeable and can only be oriented one direction once it's pieced together.

Let's walk through it together.


Making your HRTs for the Fastbreak Quilt:

1. Begin with two 3.75"x4.25" rectangles in two different fabrics. Place one right side up and the other right side down.

2. Mark 1/4" away from both edges on opposite corners of the front of the fabric facing right side up. Mark a diagonal line from point to point. Repeat on the back of the other rectangle with the diagonal going the opposite direction as the previous rectangle. For this pattern, we'll be making HRTs in both diagonal directions so you'll also want to repeat this same step with your markings and diagonals in opposite directions for each fabric.

3. Place the fabrics right sides together, lining up the marked corners and lines.

4.Sew 1/4" on either side of the diagonal line.

5. Cut along the diagonal line. Press your seams open.

Now it's time to trim...this is a key step:

6. Mark your ruler with painters tape (washi tape, masking tape or whatever you like), to the unfinished HRT size you are trimming to. In this case, it's 3"x3.5".

7. Using a marker (I like to use a dry erase marker), mark 1/4" away from both sides of each corner within the 3"x3.5" rectangle.

8. Place your HRT with the diagonal line of your fabric aligned with the 1/4" marked dots on your ruler, making sure the HRT fits completely within the 3"x3.5" rectangle.

9. Trim the top and first side.

10. Flip the HRT 180 degrees, line up the 1/4" marked dots on the diagonal again, double-checking that the sides along the tape are aligned with the edges of the tape. Trim the top and remaining side.

You will repeat this same process with the rectangles in the other diagonal direction as shown below.

When you're finished you'll have HRTS in each direction!

Need a video to see the method in practice? I've got you covered. Check out my YouTube Tutorial here.

Don't forget to tag me @jessicasteeledesign and use the hashtag #Fastbreakquilt to share your finished quilt top on Instagram! Can't wait to see it!


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