Many quilt patterns, including my patterns, use half-square triangle square units to create the design. Do not be intimidated by these! Half-square triangle squares, or as quilters call them, HSTs, are really not that hard and come out accurately every time if you follow my tips.
Here’s one of my patterns that uses quite a few HSTs:
Posey Patch above even has two different sizes!
So here are some of my tips for making HSTs.
Tip #1: For most projects, I use the method of making HSTs that uses 2 squares, one color print and one tan print. In this example I’m using squares the size I need to make HSTs that measure 2 1/2″ . That would be squares either 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ OR, if you don’t mind wasting a tiny bit of fabric, you can start with squares that measure 3″ x 3″ to ensure you end up with squares the correct size after trimming.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the tan print square:
Then place the tan print and the color print squares right sides together with the tan print square on top so the drawn line is visible.
Tip #2: Now comes the time to stitch. I like to stitch with a scant 1/4″ on each side of the drawn line, especially if I am using squares cut with a 7/8″ measurement:
Using the scant 1/4″ distance guarantees your squares will not be too small when you press them open because you can always trim them.
Tip #3: Now we come to the trimming. Cut the above unit apart on the drawn line. You will have two units. Do not press them open yet. We will actually trim them before pressing. The great thing about that is you are only having to make two trimming cuts instead of have to trim all four sides individually!
Here’s the unit cut apart:
Then I use this awesome tool I like to use for the trimming. It’s called the Quilt in a Day® Triangle Square Up Ruler!
Here it is and how it works:
The numbers on the measurement lines are the size of the HST you want after it’s pressed open. Ours are going to be 2 1/2″ after trimming so we use the 2 1/2″ line on this ruler. First place the ruler on one of the units from above with the 2 1/2″ line on the stitch line:
Now you trim off the excess fabric on the two sides. Once you do this, you can press open the unit and here you are:
It’s that simple! Since each set of squares makes 2 HSTs, if you need 40 HSTs you need 20 squares of tan print and 20 squares of color print.
Earlier this year, I did a post on how to make 8 HSTs at a time! That would also come in handy for my Posey Patch quilt. Here’s how to do that:
Here is a method to make 8 HSTs at once. You use 2 squares like above, however they need to be twice the size as your finished square + 1 3/4″. For example, if you want 2″ finished HSTs, your starting squares need to be 5 3/4″ ( 2 x 2 = 4″ plus 1 3/4″).
Draw a diagonal line both ways on the wrong side of one of the squares and then lay your squares right sides together one on top of each other just like in the method above. Then stitch a scant 1/4″ on each side of those drawn lines.
Once the stitching is done, cut the square apart as shown.
Next cut the smaller squares apart on the diagonal line:
Now you can trim each of these with the ruler shown above, press open and you have 8 HSTs!
So, I hope you found these tips helpful! Leave me a comment or ask a question and I will enter you in a drawing for my Posey Patch pattern! Drawing will be on Monday, December 9th. **We have a winner! Congrats, Rebecca!***