Half square triangles – quick and easy


Ok, I know there are hundreds of tutorials on this …what’s one more! Plus, I read blogging is not just about putting info across – it’s also about personal experiences and mistakes(of which there are plenty, I assure you😖). So, here it is.

I recently started a half square triangle quilt and needed a mix of colourful half square triangles. The main advantages to this method are :

  1. It’s really quick. With each set of 2 squares, you end up with 8 HSTs.
  2. It’s much easier and quicker to sew long lines on big squares than having to sew many small triangles.
  3. And last, but definitely not the least, the finished HSTs are not on the bias. Which means, there’s nil/minimal stretching as you are cutting the HSTs, ironing, spreading them out for the layout, piecing, finishing, etc.


The first step though, is to decide on the size of your HST. I decided on a 4.5″ finished size HST for my quilt. What we need then are :

  • 10″ squares of assorted fabrics(since I was doing a colourful quilt. You can do it with two contrast fabrics too)
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter/scissors (rotary cutter makes life much more simpler…but hey, scissors are good too. Just remember to give your hands some rest every now and then)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

How did I arrive on the 10″ size for my squares? Well, you need to understand the method to answer this.

This method yields 8 HSTs per two squares of fabric. My finished size is 4.5″ square. So add to that a 1/4 ” seam allowance on either side, we get a total of 5″. Double that, we get a 10″ square.

Cutting the 10″ squares took like forever … the fat quarters aren’t really meant for getting 10″ squares …so my advise is , if you want larger squares, get yard/s of fabric …less wastage. Though, a quilter will tell you there’s no such thing as waste fabric! 😀

Back to the method,

  • Lay down two squares of contrast Colours and mark the diagonals. This takes a while … I did all the marking before I started sewing. That way I could chain piece continuously.


  • Sew on either side of the diagonals with a 1/4″ seam allowance


  • Cut along the lines shown below – the diagonal which you had marked in the first step will be the cutting line. You will have 8 pieces.


  • Open the pieces to get 8 perfect HSTs

Here’s my finished stack …. took me three days of intermittent sewing to get these done, cutting included.


Now comes the hard part …gotta iron alllllllll of them ! Boring!


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