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2 Methods for making Half Square Triangles (HSTs) – Video Tutorial

Hello, lovelies!

Today I have a tutorial for two different methods of half square triangles! Yah! Those pesky little sweet things that make quilts look oh, so yummy. I can’t think of a more useful building unit for block making than the half square triangle.

Get cozy and get your tea ready! I’m drinking cinnamon btw.

I’ve revamped this tutorial so it will be all in one place and included much more helpful details.

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.

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Tools Used in Video

The Video Tutorial


  1. Decide what size your HST should be finished.  Let’s say that I want it to be 4″
  2. I need a trim-to size.  I need seam allowance.  This means my unfinished HST needs to be 4.5″
  3. If I’m trimming this guy to 4.5″, I can’t start with that size, I need seam allowance again.  So you add another .5″ to that and your starting square size is 5″.
  4. Either of the two methods in the video will make two half square triangles at a time.

Back to the math… If I need an unfinished 6.5″ HST, that means I need to start with 7″ squares.  If I need a 2.5″ unfinished HST, that means I need to start with 3″ squares.  You get it!

Finished means it’s sewn all up into a block or quilt.  Unfinished means we’ve made the unit, but it hasn’t been sewn into a block or quilt. Still with me?

If you are very lost here and think you might need a more detailed lesson about seam allowance, here’s a class that might help.

Avoiding that jankiness

Let me just get this out of the way and tell you that obviously my methods are NOT the only methods. There are lots of lovely methods and you should find the one that you like the best.

Anytime you cut a fabric into a triangle, you’ve made it stretchy, you’ve made it vulnerable.  Vulnerable to ALL THE THINGS!  I like to call them the precious little babies, because that’s how you are going to have to treat them if you want them to act right and play nice.

Here’s a list of things NOT to do:

  1. Don’t stretch them.
  2. Don’t iron them, press instead.  PRESS.
  3. Don’t tug at them.
  4. And for goodness sake, use your starch.  It is your bestest friend when making patchwork.

So as you can see, I’ve got some hard rules set here. This is serious business! In my opinion, taking the time and getting this right will save me so many headaches as my quilt progresses.  HSTs are in SO MANY QUILT PATTERNS.  They can be quite the little you-know-what!  For that reason, I don’t get ahead of myself, I don’t rush and cut corners.  I do the ritual step by step and that’s that.  You can try to save yourself some time by doing the steps in batches and by chain piecing, but don’t skip on the ritual.


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