Saturday, March 9, 2013

sew more, faster: HSTs

So while my mom was here last weekend, she showed me this awesome trick for making a bunch of half square triangles and fast. Using triangles to make HSTs can get messy due to the bias cut. I am sure most of you know how to make them using squares sewing 1/4" on each side of the diagonal. But this method was new to me. You start out with your squares like the other method.

I compiled a list of what size square to start with to achieve a certain finished HST size. Some of them may have been a little more accurate if measured to the nearest 1/16" in, but the nearest 1/8"in should get you pretty darn close.

For finished size:      Cut:
1.0"                          1 7/8"
1.5"                          2 5/8"
2.0"                          3 3/8"
2.5"                          4"
3.0"                          4 3/4"
3.5"                          5 1/2"
4.0"                          6 1/8"
4.5"                          6 7/8"
5.0"                          7 5/8"
5.5"                          8 1/4"
6.0"                          9"

So next, sew 1/4" seam around all four edges of the squares right sides together.

If you pivot at the corners, your open seam pressing later will be much easier. Finish the last side off by crossing over your initial seam.

Here is the finished square with all four sides sewn.

Cut on both diagonals using the 45 degree line on your ruler and your rotary cutter. 

And shazam! You have 4 HSTs that need zero to minimal trimming and require just a little zippy sewing. Hope this is helpful! I used this method while making my next Farmer's Wife block (number 7 in the book) and my 1.5" HSTs turned out perfect!

Happy sewing!


  1. I've come across this one before, but I can't decide whether it's worse to sew on the bias either side of the line in the first place, or have all the sides on the bias afterwards. Saying that though, I'm not really an HST fan at all, so it probably doesn't matter to me unless I have to do them for bee blocks!

  2. I made Katy make them for Bee blocks, and she had NO CHOICE about how to make them! Your block looks beautiful!

  3. Thanks, Megan ~ Newbie quilter here, so I need all the tips I can get! The chart for the sizes will really come in handy. :)

  4. I love this technique - but I agree with the bias thing, so I'm always really careful! Have you seen this tutorial?
    I makes eight at once and you don't fight bias edges! I haven't tried it myself yet but in the comments section the second person offers to send a list of all the sizes - like you've got on your post.

    I love your block with Architextures - that green is just wonderful!

  5. This is my method of choice. However, I'd never taken the time to either find or figure out measurements. Thanks for the legwork.

  6. OH WOW thank you so much for an AWESOME tutorial. LOVE IT TO PIECES.


Yay! You are leaving a comment! I love hearing from you and try to respond to every comment. If you do not allow blogger to show me your email, the only way I can respond to you is here, so check back! Thanks for reading!