Tuesday, January 14, 2020

HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES

A half square triangle is one of the most basic (and easy!) quilting pieces. Once you master these, you'll be able to use them in lots of different quilt blocks. They can be arranged to make a multitude of patterns.

half square triangles


There are a few different ways to create a half square triangle (HST). You can make 4 at a time, or 8 at a time. But today, we're going to focus on the simplest method for cutting and sewing half square triangles.




HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES


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image of two half square triangle quilting piece with the words simple half square triangle tutorial

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This year, I am focusing on the art of piece quilting. I am going to be making quilt blocks that were used during the time of the Underground Railroad. I'll be sharing the blocks as I go as well as the smaller units that make up the block, like these half square triangles.

The first block I'm making is called Jacob's Ladder and it uses both half square triangles and four patches to make up the block.

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SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES

HOW TO MAKE A HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE


Gather your supplies and let's get started.


two five inch squares of fabric

Begin with two pieces of fabric that are five inches square. Once they are added to the 12 inch block their final size will be 4 inches square.

Need a different size?

Try this formula for half square triangles: 

Begin with two fabric squares that are equal to the size of the finished square plus 7/8 inch.
The additional 7/8" is for the seam allowance. (I like to add a full inch extra and square it up after the fact - that allows for a little wiggle room)



fabric squares with right sides together

With right sides together, place one fabric piece on top of the other.

tracing a line from corner to corner of square fabric

Place a ruler from one corner to the opposite corner. Draw a line along the straight edge.

sew 1/4 inch from line

On both sides of the pencil line, sew a seam 1/4 inch from line.

fabric triangles cut from a square

Cut along the pencil line.  Open the half square triangles. You will now have two squares, each half of a different color. Press the seam towards the side of the square that has the darker colored fabric.

squaring up a half square triangle

Using a 4 1/2 inch square template, square up the piece. Each square should be 4 1/2 inches at this point.

(I didn't square up the image below yet)

two half square triangles





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QUILT BLOCKS THAT USE HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES

These are some of the other blocks in the Underground Railroad quilt that use half square triangles. I'll add links to each as I finish each block.
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Carpenter's Wheel
  • Bear's Paw
  • Basket Block
  • Shoo-Fly
  • Bird's in the Air
  • Sail Boat
  • North Star




Don't forget to pin it!!
image of two half square triangle quilt blocks with the words how to make half square trianglesimage of a half square trianglecollage of pictures depicting how to sew a half square triangle

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