Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP: HSTs the Thangles Way

Last week for my WIP post I showed you the fabrics I was using for my Le Petite project this month, the Mon Ami Schnibbles.  I hadn't purchased a medium tone background so was considering simplifying (taking the easy way out) the project to eliminate a 100 or so HSTs. 

I really wanted to make the pattern the way it was written, so I went back to my LQS to find a medium grey to use for the background and also to get the Angler 2 which Carrie suggests in the pattern.  However, the ladies at the shop thought Thangles would be faster and since I was using yardage rather than the charms.  I've heard of Thangles before but never tried them, so given there are over 200 in this little project I was game to try!

For my first try, I cut out 2 - 2" wide xWOF strips of the medium gray fabric and 1 strip of each of the two lighter tone gray fabrics.  (The original pattern has you cut charm packs in 4, match squares, draw the line in the middle, sew on each side, cut & press, trimming each HST to 2")

Then I laid one light strip on top of the dark, RST and then pinned the Thangle papers on top, along the whole strip.  Each paper (in this size Thangle) makes 6 HSTs and I fit 5 strips in the WOF so this will yield 30 HSTs.

Next you sew on the dotted lines.

Then cut on the perpendicular & between the angled sewing lines. 

Out of my 4 strips of fabric this is all the waste I had.

Next you dry press the HSTs open with the Thangle paper attached (for some reason I forgot to keep taking pictures.) After pressing and the papers are cooled, the papers are easily removed, especially if you use a short stitch length.

And here are 4 of my 60 HSTs.  I put them on the mat so you could see how accurate they are.  Of course not every one is totally perfect, but pretty darn close.  I made these 60 HSTs in about an hour and a half including time for getting a game out for William  and then a snack later.  For me, I think that was quick to finish all these squares... I am not nearly as fast as all those others of you that seem to finish your projects so quickly!  This package of Thangles will make 450 HSTs, so all that I need for this project and more.  The package cost $5.25 at my LQS, so definitely worth the time saved for me!

If you have any feedback on Thangles or favorite HST time saving tricks I'd love to know...


Sinta Renee said...

I like that method. I have an assortment in different sizes on hand: 2", 2 1/2", 3" etc.
P S Love the new sewing machine!!!

Gene Black said...

I have used Thangles before and like them. I still have quite a few left from the project I got them for.

Carol T said...

Thanks for this post. It is the best thing I have ever read about using them and I like that you don't have to trim the blocks up.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I used them a LONG time ago and don't remember the instructions saying to press with the paper on. I know I spent a lot of time removing the paper. Glad they are working well for you. I am spending a lot of time on Mon Ami trimming the HSTs.

Poppyprint said...

I love using the Angler II for a huge bunch of HST's using charm squares, but you can't beat Thangles if you're making them out of strips off yardage.

Barb said...

That makes it look so easy...thanks for showing.

Carol G said...

This is the second post I've seen today with photos of Thangles paper. I have never used them but I think this must be a sign :-) I definitely want to try them!

Lisa said...

I use the thangles all the time, I just love them. So easy to bang out a bunch of HST in s short amount of time!