Half Square Triangles – 6 Easy Quilt Blocks
Half square triangles are a piece of your quilting arsenal that once mastered you will return to again and again. The great thing is that they are really simple to master. This tutorial is great for beginners who have never tried quilting or who aren’t quite sure what to do with their HST’s! Half square triangles (also written as HST’s) are a really forgiving piece to work with and once you know how to make one you can freestyle with them to create an amazing half square triangle quilt. This post will walk you through all my tips and tricks for how to make half square triangles, with a bonus video showing the process.
Half Square Triangles – 6 Easy Quilt Blocks
What is a half square triangle?
A half square triangle is a two triangles of fabric that have been combined to create a square. It is literally two triangles that are half of a square. They will often be referred to as HST’s in patterns and online. HST’s are a staple in quilting and can be used for tons of quilting and sewing applications. They can easily be put together in various ways to create images and designs.
How do I make half square triangles?
There are lots of different ways to make a half square triangle. My favorite method is shown in the video below. You can also make 8 HST’s at once with THIS method. There are also methods for making 4 half square triangles at a time, like THIS.
My favorite method for creating them is shown in the video below. Place two squares together right sides facing. Then, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other using your ruler. Next, sew 1/4″ on each side of the line you drew. Last, cut along the line you drew either with a rotary cutter or scissors.
What size square to make half square triangles?
The great thing about HST’s is that you can make them in so many sizes. If you are following a quilt pattern you will want to be sure to follow the size that they have listed in the pattern. If you are creating your own pattern there are several measurements that you need to keep in mind. First decide which HST creation method you are using. If you are creating 8 or 4 at a time the videos linked above have the formula for what size square you need to start with.
When you are making two HST’s at the same time you need to cut two squares that are 7/8″ larger than the finished square. In this instance the finished size refers to the size of the HST after it has been sewn to another piece (so it includes the 1/4″ seam allowance on both sides.) For example if you use 5″ squares as I have done in the video your finished square will be 4 1/8″. But if I am being completely honest I only worry about this formula if I am following a quilt pattern that I have purchased. I usually make an entire quilt from a charm pack (a bundle of 5″ squares) or a layer cake (a bundle of 10″ squares) so as long as I am using the same size square to start and using the same seam allowance the finished size doesn’t really matter.
6 Easy Half Square Triangle Quilt Blocks
Yes these most likely have a technical industry accepted name. I don’t know them, nor do I particularly care, but if you want to share the actual name with me I will update the post if that would make you happy. For now I am going with my made up names that I use in my head!
That being said this first one is just 4 HST’s put together so I don’t really have a name for it.
Diagonal Square –
Pinwheel – I am pretty sure that is the real name of this block. So 1 point for me.
I have also created this handy graphic, you can print this off for a better visual of how all of these blocks are created. I added one extra into this image. It is the diagonal line. See below to see how all of these look on a full quilt.
Half square triangle quilt patterns
Now that you know how to make a half square triangle you have enough knowledge to make yourself an entire quilt from HST’s. This list of half square triangle chart patterns will help you get your feet wet with HST quilting.
I have put together a few ideas to get you started. Remember you can play with color to create different looks. These quilts all have the same basic block repeated over and over. Try offsetting the blocks or mixing different blocks together.
I have given these patterns names, but I can guarantee that they have a specific name, but these are the names I call them in my head so I just go with it!
Hourglass- This is the hourglass block from above offset. If you line these up directly beneath each other you will have the diagonal square pattern below.
Pinwheel – This block is great for playing with colors. The quilt will have a completely different look depending on what colors you use.
HST’s – This is what it looks like if you simply put lots of HST’s together all facing the same way. This would be another fun quilt to play with color and patterns.
If you want more quilt patterns HERE is the place for you.
Questions or comments about these half square triangle quilt patterns and blocks? Share with me in the comments below.