Lazy Quilter’s Quick Half Square Triangle Method

This post is inspired by a post by my sister-in-law, in which she was kvetching about making large numbers of half square triangles. I’m sure a lot of people use this same method, so I’m certainly not claiming any credit for it, but just trying to be helpful. Using this method, you can make 8 identical HST at one time, only having to draw two lines.
Let’s get started. Let’s say you want to make HSTs that are squared up to 2 1/2 inches (2 inch finished piece). Cut a 7 inch piece of each of your two fabrics, marking the lighter of the two on the wrong side as illustrated in this first photo 1/4 inch from each side of the center, corner to corner:
Stack the two pieces of fabric, right sides together, and sew along the lines. I always like to press at this point to flatten things out after stitching.
Next, I like to place my sewn piece on my spinning mat. Cut the fabric in half from top to bottom as shown in this photo:
This is where the spinning mat comes in handy because you don’t have to move the fabric. Spin the mat so that the first cut is going side to side and cut the fabric in half again from top to bottom (or side to side if you don’t have a spinning mat). You will end up with pieces that look like this:
Then spin your mat or move your ruler and cut between two of the lines of the stitching (just like you normally do when making 2 HSTs).
Spin the mat (or move ruler) one last time and cut between the two lines of stitching that remain uncut.
Voila! You have 8 HSTs. I like to square up the pieces using Eleanor Burn’s Quilt-in-a-day HST square up ruler. Just place the HST on your mat, before it is ironed open. In this case, because we’re squaring up to 2 1/2 inches, place the 2 1/2 inch line on the stitch line with the point more or less in line with the point on the HST, trim both sides that are beyond the ruler, and they always come out perfectly.
If you want to make larger HSTs, for each 1/2 inch larger, add 1 inch to the initial size of the square you cut. So for a 3 inch squared up HST, cut your fabric 8 inches square. To make smaller HSTs, subtract 1 inch for every 1/2 inch smaller. So for a 2 inch squared up HST, cut your fabric 6 inches.
Hope this helps at least someone out there. Happy Quilting!


6 thoughts on “Lazy Quilter’s Quick Half Square Triangle Method

  1. stitchinggrandma March 29, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    So; to make a 3″ HST – I need an 8″ square of light & dark and I get 8 HST ?? Very cleaver. I could still use my June Tailor to square up (best part of the tool). Then I could layer them for my quarter squares and stitch like I did before cutting again. Got it. If I go longer I will try this method. thanks for the clear tutorial!!

  2. oneblockwonderwoman March 29, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Glad I could help. Just to be clear if you want your HST to square up to 3″, use 8″ squares, which means it would be a 2 1/2 inch finished HST (that is the finished size when it’s sewn into the block). Does that clarify or only muddy the water?

  3. stitchinggrandma March 30, 2015 / 6:09 am

    I need my QUARTER SQUARE triangles to be 2.5″ (before going into the block; so I guess that is a 2″ finish. ) I am going to test this with some scrap fabric …..starting with the 8″ square. .. . I will report the results tomorrow!

    • oneblockwonderwoman March 30, 2015 / 2:49 pm

      I almost always do a test piece to make sure everything comes out the right size…I’m terrible at math. Had too many times that I’ve gone full bore cutting everything only to discover I had my measurements wrong. Let me know if it works out for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s