Half Square Triangles (HST)

Today's tip is an oldie, but a goodie. It is one of the first quilting hacks I learned about.

Half Square Triangles, or HSTs, can sometimes be hard to make. Since you are sewing on the bias when you go on the diagonal, there is a lot of stretch that can easily distort your block and quickly ruin things. 

To help prevent this, and to make multiple blocks at a time, start with two squares. 

Two squares of fabric for Half square triangles

To get the correct size of square, add one inch to the desired finished square size. A lot of times people say to add 7/8 inch to the finished block size, but there are not a lot of rulers out there that measure in eighths of an inch. I would rather keep it easy and do a whole inch.

Draw a line corner to corner, diagonally across one fabric on the back side. 

Place your two squares right sides together, matching edges. Sew 1/4 inch away on both sides of the drawn line. Or you can sew just under a 1/4 inch away from the line. This is called a scant 1/4 inch.

Stitching 1/4 inch away from the drawn line to make half square triangles

You will end up with something like this.

Making half square triangles out of squares

Then cut along the drawn line and press open. You will have two sets of half square triangle squares, ready to be trimmed down to size.

Half square triangle squares, ready to be trimmed.

This is a great method for making multiple squares. I also like that there is a little extra wiggle room when it is time to trim them down.

This is a great method to use on your next project!

Have fun quilting!

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