Half Square Triangles (HST) are a staple in the quilting world. A large number of patterns require them. When designing patterns, I tend to gravitate toward designs with triangles. You can make them two at a time, and even eight at a time. The methods I use are designed to match the number of HSTs needed for the pattern while also keeping the edges of them on the grain. I don’t like to use methods that leave the edges of my blocks or pieces on the bias. An example would me making four HSTs at a time. I am honestly not careful enough to keep those bias cuts from stretching out of shape.
I also like to have a bit extra around the edge to give me the room to trim the HST to the right size accurately. I hate making them and then not having enough “wiggle room” to trim them square to the size I need. There is a little bit more waste, but for me, it is worth it. (On a personal note: my neurological disorder often makes my hands weak. If my ruler slips, this extra is super nice to have.)
All methods for half square triangles begin with cut fabric squares. Determining the size squares needed is the first step. To determine those sizes, click here for a chart and tutorial.
STEPS FOR MAKING HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES
Step 1: Gather two squares the same size.
Step 2: On the lighter of the two squares, on the wrong side, draw one line diagonally from one corner to the other. Use a ruler to make sure it is straight and in the center.
Step 3: Place the two squares right sides together (RST). Line up all sides evenly.
Step 4: Either draw another line on each side of the center diagonal line at a ¼” and stitch right on top of each of those lines OR use a ¼” foot and sew a quarter inch on either side of the line.
Step 5: Press to set the stitches.
Step 6: Cut along the drawn diagonal center line.
Step 7: Press seam to set stitches. Open each half square triangle (HST). Press seams open. Both HSTs are the same color combination.
Step 8: Trim each to desired size lining the diagonal seam of the HST up with the diagonal mark on ruler. Do not forget this step. It is the difference between corners that come together and a wonky quilt.
You are now ready to use these beauties in a quilt top! I can’t wait to see what you make. Remember to post of social media using #jitterywings or @jitterywings.
Until next time…thanks for stopping by!
PS. Looking for patterns that use HSTs now that you are a pro? Check out the Dandyridge Pattern here.