Quick And Easy Way To Piece Half Square Triangles

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Half square triangles (more commonly referred to as HSTs) are some of the basic building blocks of quilting.  Simply by rearranging the number and direction of the HSTs you can make a great variety of quilts and quilt blocks. In fact, I have a stack of 48 HSTs on my sewing table right now. I’ve been debating a layout for the blocks for a few months.  I think I’m leaning towards pinwheels but also love the simplicity of a triangle quilt. 

Did you know that there is a quick and easy way to piece HST blocks?  These blocks may seem intimidating but they are quite simple to make once you know a few tricks.  (hint: you do not need to cut out any triangles). 

Ready to make one? Here’s what you’ll need: 
Squares of Fabric 
Quilt Ruler 
Cutting Mat 
Rotary Cutter 
Sewing Machine 
Fabric Marking Pen 

A note on sizing: this quick piece method reduces the size of the half square triangle by 1/2”.  So if you want a HST that is 4 1/2” square you will need to start with squares of fabric that are 5” squares.  Using this general rule of thumb, you can easily make HSTs in any size that you need. 

You should also think about your fabric selection. This method uses fabrics in two different prints or colours.  If you are making multiple HSTs make sure when you sew that you always have two different prints right sides facing. If you use the same print, you’ll just end up with a square with a seam down the middle.

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Step One:

Begin by marking a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of your square pieces.  

Place it right sides facing with a second fabric square.
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Step Two

Stitch down each side of the marked line, exactly 1/4″ from the line.
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Step Three

Using your quilt ruler and rotary cutter, cut along the drawn line. You will have 2 pieces that look like this.
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Step Four

Press the pieces with the seams going towards the darker fabric. Be careful not to distort the shape.  

Using a quilt ruler, trim any excess fabric so that your HST is a perfect square and the seam is running exactly at a 45 degree angle. This is referred to as 'squaring up' your blocks. Normal distortion occurs as you stitch and press the HST.  You will want to make sure it’s a perfect square before you proceed. 

Flip the ruler the other way and trim the opposite sides. 

If you enjoyed this quilt tutorial then you may also like the article below. 
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WRITTEN BY:  polkadotchair
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