Stitching the Half Square Triangles-Part 1

Border and HST Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

Yesterday we started our Spring Quilt-a-Long.  The tutorials will usually be every Tuesday.  This week your assignment is:

Choose a color scheme.

Prepare the fabrics.

Consider design changes-to make it longer, larger, etc…

And to make the Half Square Triangles.  

For the quilt above, you will need 40–2 inch (finished) half square triangles.


Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy


There are many ways to make Half Square Triangles (HST).  Use YOUR favorite method.

I will share two of my favorite ways.  (One today, One tomorrow.)


This method works well when:

  • You only need a few triangles.
  • You are using small scraps to create the triangles.
  • You want a very scrappy look.


Add 7/8 inch to the finished size of the HST block.

For example, in this quilt, we want 2 inch finished HST.

2 + 7/8

Cut 2-7/8 squares of fabric–one light, one print.


Layer the two squares together–and press them together–they hold better that way.

Draw a straight line from tip to tip–on the diagonal. (Use very fine grit sandpaper underneath–to keep the fabrics from slipping.)   This is the CUTTING LINE!

Use a plain ruler and a sharp pencil.

Line the presser foot up so that you stitch 1/4 inch away from this line.


Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy


I often use the   Quilter’s Quick Quarter HERE  which is

very similar to the Fons and Porter Quarter Inch Seam Markers HERE

Use the Quarter Inch Rulers to MARK THE STITCHING LINES

Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy

Lower the stitch length and stitch both sides:

Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy

Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut the center line.

Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy

Trim the pointy corners off.

Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy

Press the seams toward the darker fabric.

The HST should be 2-1/2 inches…This is the unfinished size!

Half Square Triangles, Lori Kennedy


As quick as a bunny we will stitch eight HST with just two six inch squares!


Great News!  Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 is selling like hotcakes–and is GOING TO RE-PRINT already!!!!

Get YOUR personalized copy (or one for a friend) today!  Free Shipping (US Only) 

What about YOU?

What’s your favorite HST method?

We’d LOVE to hear!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

PPS…This blog post contains affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase, at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you, I may receive a little “pin” money!.  Thank you for supporting The Inbox Jaunt this way!

16 thoughts on “Stitching the Half Square Triangles-Part 1

  1. Heading to my sewing corner to get my h.s.t. Ready…this is my first time trying one of your tutorials, (can’t wait to see how I do) …this should be fun.

  2. I use your second method. Although I cut my original size larger and then trim to size. Another step but it works for me.

    • That is a good way too! Start with 3 inch squares–easier to cut. Then trim. Probably the most accurate way!

    • I do the same thing. Despite using every tool available and a 1/4 inch guide presser foot, the perfect 1/4 inch seam eludes me at times. Cutting a 3 in square, then trimming the HSTs insures the perfect 2-1/2 square for a finished 2-inch square.

      • If anyone needs another hint to try….trial and error I learned to use my frixion pen to advantage..For example, on a 4 1/2 inch fabric square, I use a 4 inch square template (of acrylic or rigid plastic or stiff cardboard) and draw sewing lines around the edge of the 4 inch square onto the 4 1/2 inch fabric. I take the time to do this on each square or triangle I need to produce a scant 1/4 inch seam. Some folks have teased me about doing that but my seams come out great and corner points match up well. Ironing the seams melts the frixion ink away. For me it is well worth the time and is easy activity while watching TV.

  3. Coincidence..I was just finishing sewing the patches of a 40″ x 40″ donation kids quilt in order to use up extra half square triangle units.will join along the way…

  4. For some reason, I don’t particularly like making HSTs. So, I try to find every opportunity to make them “by default.” For example, when I make snowball blocks, I draw a second stitching line, 1/2 inch outside the main seam line, and sew the second line before cutting. Somehow, this seems like less effort, and has resulted in my having a ready stash of HSTs on hand at all times.

  5. Thanks for a fun new quilt-along, Lori! I have a stack of HST from a previous project that I can trim down to size, or maybe I’ll make some new ones in a different color scheme. So many decisions! Looking forward to some fun FMQ ahead!

  6. My favorite method to make HST’s is with Inklingo. No measuring or trimming to size necessary, and no taking extra care of stretchy bias edges.

Comments are closed.