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How to Make 2-at-a-time Half Rectangle Triangles Without the HRT ruler



So last week I posted a brand new and improved video tutorial on how to make half rectangle triangles with my HRT ruler. Today though, I’m going to show you how to trim HRTs if a ruler is not in your budget.


Today’s post is part of a series called Quilt Block Building Basics.

Consider this a helpful visual and companion for any of my quilt patterns.  Sometimes you just need to see it to understand it.  

To view all previous posts in this series, click here.





  1.  No matter what size you need, you’ll add 1″ to the unfinished size you want your HRTs to be.  For example if I want to make 3.5×4.5″ half rectangle triangles, my starting rectangles will be 4.5×5.5″.  This ruler will make sizes 2×4″, all the way up to 4.5×8.5″.
  2.  It’s important that you draw your line in the right direction.  Follow your pattern.  My patterns will tell you which direction to draw the line and you usually need some in each direction.
  3.  Two rectangles sewn together will give you 2 HRTs with the seam in the SAME direction.  So unlike half square triangles, you can’t make the mirror image from one set (see #2).
  4.  Sew a scant 1/4″ on both sides of the drawn line.
  5.  Cut directly on drawn line creating 2 HRTs.
  6. Press seams open and don’t forget to starch.
  7. Cut a piece of copy paper to the “trim to” size or unfinished size you want your HRTs to be.
  8. Tape copy paper to corner of any ruler (depending on direction of seam line will decide which corner you tape to)
  9. Trim HRT as shown on video

Tools Used in Video





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  1. I love this block. I have such a hard time with half square triangles and just finished a quilt top with a lot of them. I have never made half rectangle triangles but I will use your tutorial when I do. Gotta getthis pattern.

  2. Hi – love this pattern and the video really helps! You mentioned a coupon in Monday’s post to purchase this pattern but I didn’t find it in Wednesday’s post? “Be sure you are signed up for my newsletter so that you receive a coupon good for the first few days after the release.”

    Thank you for your help!

      1. So apparently I was only signed up for your email – not your newsletter. Didn’t realize there were two different mailings. Thanks…I’m signed up now for the newsletter.

  3. Thank you for the great tutorial!! I love to make HRT but they are finicky and not always reliable. Your method is perfect!! Saving this post in my “Quilt Tips” file!!

  4. Hi, Melanie! I love the way you you make the HRTs!!! I’ll be using your method for sure! I just wanted to suggest that you should consider making a HRT ruler!!! I’m not sure if there’s one out on the market or not, but you could be the first!!! Thank you for the best tutorial video on them!

  5. HRTs made this way do not turn out right. If you notice the bottom place where the print fabric meets each other is not right. The star points at the top are correct, but the bottom is not. I agree, these HRT units are the devil.

    1. Sorry you couldn’t get the hang of it! I have an HRT ruler coming out in February that achieves the same goal as the paper template without all the fuss. 🙂

  6. Hello Melanie, thank you for this.
    I am showing up “late to the party” and want to make your beautiful Badgirl pattern
    I am so grateful for your mad skills and that you share them

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