How to Make Half Square Triangles - Beginner Quilting Tutorial
Half Square Triangles are a really cool shape in quilting that, in spite of their name, can actually be pieced using squares. A triangle shape you can create without having to actually cut a triangle shape? Sold! Let's learn how to piece it together in this new quilting tutorial:
We use half square triangles quite a lot in the Machine Quilting Block Party. Click Here to check out the block patterns and get extra practice piecing half square triangles.
Half Square Triangles are often abbreviated HST in most quilt patterns. While this isn't the only way you can create them, I find it the easiest because you don't have to cut triangle shapes.
This method also maintains the grainline of the fabric so the edges of your finished half square triangles will be on grain. This is important because as you piece other shapes to your half square triangles, they will be easier to piece because all the fabrics are square with the grainline of the fabric.
Some methods of piecing half square triangles result in the edges being cut on the bias, which can create a very wobbly edge that easily distorts out of shape. Not sure what I'm talking about when it comes to grainline? Check out the book How to Piece Perfect Quilts to learn more about the structure of fabric and how it effects our quilts.
Now that you know a bit about this piecing method, let's learn how to piece two half square triangles together!
Step 1 - Stack two squares of fabric right sides together. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner.
Step 2 - Take the stack of fabrics to your machine and stitch exactly 1/4 inch away from the marked line. Turn the stack and stitch 1/4 inch away from the other side of the marked line.
Step 3 - Cut the pieces apart along the marked diagonal line.
Step 4 - Press the seam allowances open very carefully and enjoy your two finished half square triangles!
This method always results in two triangles created for every two stack of squares you stitch. This makes it fast and easy to piece dozens of half square triangles at once.
There is an additional step I mentioned in the video and that is trimming the half square triangles down so they are straight and square with the diagonal line. Make sure to watch the tutorial video above so you can trim your half square triangles properly.
The Twin Rainbow Star Quilt Pattern uses super sized half square triangles to create these jumbo star shapes. The best part of this pattern is you get to make two quilts at the same time. Click Here to find this free pattern.