How to Quilt It Block 4

Kimberlee Tanner

How to Quilt Half Square Triangles

In our never-ending quest to answer the age old questions “how do I quilt it?” we are back with more ideas for block 4 from our free Online Quilting Bee.

This month we focused on half square triangles. These nifty blocks can be put together in so many ways, which also leaves countless ways to quilt them. When deciding how to quilt the block, you can treat each triangle as it’s own element, or ignore the seam lines and focus on the shapes they create.


Quilting Plan 1

In this first idea, we are going to treat each piece as it’s own section, working around the different seams. I chose a simple arch along each side and seam through the entirety of the green pieces. After that, I echoed the center section to help it stand out and used one of my favorite fills. Because there was a lot going on in the middle and outer sections, I opted to keep the yellow sections simple to create contrast and allow a space for your eye to rest. When designing a quilting plan like this, it’s simply a matter of choosing elements that compliment each other as you fill in each section of the quilt block.

Quilting Plan 2

For this option, I didn’t worry about the seams between each section and treated the green sections as one area. First, I started by putting feathers in the diagonal shapes. Feathers are a great quilting design as they can be manipulated to fit almost any area. I then opted to really contrast the soft areas of the feathers and do some straight lines in the vertical and horizontal green areas. I opted to do two lines close together with space in between each section to give a slightly different look than simply evenly spaces lines. A dense fill in the center square really helps to give a strong foundation for the entire block. Again, I opted to go more simple in the yellow section and went with arched lines around each section.

Quilting Plan 3

For this design, I went outside the box and started to show some of the other shapes you could pull out and accentuate. By drawing lines over the vertical and horizontal spires, the green spire and background become one area to fill. This makes the diagonal spires more prominent and the focal point of the block. A stark contrast between the straight lines and swirls helps to make then stand out more.

Full Quilt Plan

This plan shows how the diamonds would come together on the entire quilt. When choosing quilting plans like this, it can add a whole different layer of design to the top. It is fun to experiment with. When you challenge yourself to find that less common shapes it can help hone in your skills as you develop your own quilting style. In the example, the black lines can overpower the quilt, but keep in mind, you likely would not be quilting it in thick black thread (unless you want to!). A thin white thread would blend much more and not detract from the piecing, but simply add texture in an unexpected way.

I encourage you to print out the images below and doodle and see what you can come up with. When using pencil and paper, there are no worries and you can try as many different options as you like. Don’t be afraid to do something you normally wouldn’t, just to see how it looks! You can always toss it and start over. Right click to save the following images and print them for yourself. Then hang onto the designs you come up with for the final quilt or future inspiration.


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