Friday, December 4, 2015

Quilty Misnomers and Other Pet Peeve-y-ness

And right there with my title I am sure I annoyed half of you with my constant need to make up words. The red underline and I are very close indeed. Believe me, I know I can be just as annoying as everyone else. But talk about the ways I am obnoxious and wrong on your own blogs. Today I'm talking about general wrongness in the quilting world as I see it. Because no one ever accused me of keeping my opinions to myself.

Quilty Misnomer #1 - The Half Square Triangle 
Oh I know. If you follow my FB page, you know we had a lively discussion yesterday about this that may have turned into my most engaging post of the entire year. Skip to Quilty Misnomer #2 if you are over it already.

 "BIZARRE PET PEEVE OF THE DAY: The half square triangle, or as it is affectionately known, the HST, is a staple in quilt design. We could sing its versatile and creative praises all day long. is the thing: I think it's misnamed. I think it should be called a "half triangle square," as in a square made up of two triangles rather than a triangle made up of two squares as the current name implies. It drives me a little bonkers that we call something that ends up a square a phrase that ends with the word triangle. It may be just semantics, but the logic of it has always failed me. Am I the only one who sees this or does anyone agree with me?"

Crystallize, my only RATS pattern.
And to think I wrote it out and figured everyone would just dismiss it as me being persnickety and maybe a little PMSy. As it turns out, there is much passion in the quilting world about the phrase "half square triangle" and the semantic viability thereof. Some of my favorite comments:

 "I remember when I first learned what a HST is, I was very perplexed...." - Catherine S.

"I have a book that takes the coward's way out and refers to them as "triangle squares"." - Barbara C.

 "The half-square triangle block is made up of 2 triangles, just like the quarter-square triangle block is made up of 4 triangles. On the other hand, learning what it is is sort a "secret handshake" for quilters everywhere, proving that we're "in the know."" - Amy L.

"I have always wondered about that! Who named it the HST anyway?" - Diann B.

"Right Angle Triangle Squares? RATS!" - Arlyn P.

I believe Arlyn is totally on to something and I may start calling them RATS.

For all the joy an HST can bring, as an instructor I have seen the confusion of the term firsthand for newer quilters numerous times, and I am just here to say I am with you, it makes no sense to me, and if you'd like to join Arlyn and me in the RATS Revolution, we are recruiting now.

Quilty Misnomer #2 "Fabric vs Material"
 With the success of my HST statement confirming I am not alone yesterday, this morning I posted simply ""Fabric" or "Material." Which is your go-to word?" on the page. Why? Because the word "material" used as a quilting term makes me want to scratch my eyes out, if you must know my true feelings, and I just wanted to make sure once again that I was not completely crazy. Again, to me this is about semantics. Material is simply that...something to create with. Fabric is THE material we use to create quilts. Can you imagine home builders heading to the materialyard? Or plumbers joining the Material Fitters Union? (side note: Yes, I know I think way too much about some of this crap.)

Always a fine Scrabble play, though.

So far not one person has said they prefer "material" as a quilting term. One did say she uses it for other sewing projects like garments. That's as close as we came to tragedy.

"Material is like fingernails on chalkboard." - Stacey D.

"Fabric. But my husband says cloth when he wants to bug me." - Angie C.

"Material is what my 9th grade home economics teacher called it." - Darlene B.

Now, if you prefer material to fabric, or would like to wax poetic about the origins of the HST, I totally invite you to do so in these discussions. I wouldn't ask your opinions if I didn't care or respect them. But yes, I do love knowing so many agree with me, I won't lie.

Quilty Wierdness #3. Ummmm......?
So by now we've all witnessed Pantone colors of the year. "Rose Quartz" and "Serenity," colors first made famous by Crockett and Tubbs in 1983.

My house was built in 1986. We bought it in 1998. One of the first things we did was paint the pink living room walls and start removing the blue carpet throughout. I don't miss any of it in the least. So, yeah.

If you have a quilty or other pet peeve you'd like to share, please do so. To be annoyed by silly things is human. To find those who may agree with you, divine.



Carol said...

Yes. Fabric is the material we make our projects out of.

As for diagonally splitting HALF the SQUARE into TRIANGLES...HST...IDK, LOL:/

Susan Brehm said...

Omg we must be sisters somehow! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks about these things. And the Pantone color for 2016? I call it vomit.

jeifner said...

I suppose the HST comes down to 2 things. 2. If you think a square divided in half can only be divided vertically or horizontally vs. diagonally. 2. And they say half (of a) square triangle because you could have half of a rectangle triangle. Half of a really long and skinny rectangle. Half of a stubby rectangle. but a square always has equal sides so your triangle dimensions, or angles rather, are always the same.

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