The Ultimate Guide to Half Square Triangles

How to Make Half Square Triangles

If you look at our patterns and quilts, you will realize that Missy and I LOVE half square triangles. They are a foundational block that are so easy to put together, yet can be used in so many different ways. They are perfect for beginners, but versatile enough for an experienced quilter. They are so amazing, we have some quilts that are made solely of HSTs.

Despite how easy they are to make, sometimes, it’s hard to remember the correct sizing or exact technique to make multiple quilt blocks at once, so we have put all that information together for you in a handy guide. This guide includes over 17 pages of information so you’ll never forget. It includes techniques, cutting guides, quilting ideas, layout inspiration, and coloring sheets. Print it out and keep it next to your sewing area so you can easily grab it the next time you have a project that uses HSTs. You can get it in our subscriber library. Not a subscriber? Join below.

In this video we are going to show you five different methods for construction half square triangles.

To make a completely scrappy quilt, with no two blocks being the same, you will want to use the one at a time HST method. This is the slowest method, but the best way to achieve a fully scrappy look.

Our favorite method for making HSTs is the two at a time method. When you do them this way, you will get 2 triangles that match with no biased edges, making construction quick and easy. We also love chain piecing when using this method, just sew all down one side of your stack, then flip them and sew down the other.

Next, we show you how to make half square triangles four at a time. This method requires no marking, but does leave you with bias edges, so be mindful not to stretch them when sewing your blocks together. If you have one, we highly recommend using a walking foot to help eliminate stretch.

If you need lots and lots of matching HSTs, the eight at a time method can save you tons of time. This method does require a little marking and is made even easier with a rotating cutting mat.

Lastly, we show you how to make half square triangles using strips. How many you get from each strip will vary based on the size of your triangles and the width of your strip. If you use the full width of the fabric, you can make lots of blocks very quickly, just keep in mind these blocks do leave bias edges.

One of my favorite creative exercises is to take a stack of assorted HSTs and put them up on my design wall, playing around with all the different layout options and seeing what I can come up with. I’m always amazed at the variation in designs I can create. If you have a charm pack you want to use to make a quick project, this is the perfect way to use it up and have a quilt top done up in no time. Just pick a background color, make 2 half square triangles at a time with the stack, and rearrange them on your wall until you are happy with the outcome!

If you need inspiration, visit our Instagram feed. We use these blocks all the time, either alone or with other blocks. Don’t forget to download your own guide, we’ve done all the work and math for you, you just need to pick out fabric and start sewing!

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