Time-Saving Tips for Half Square Triangles

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Get Perfect Half Square Triangles in Less Time!

Half Square Triangles (HSTs) are standard building blocks used in many popular quilts and quilt block patterns. You’ll often need to make a lot of them to complete a piecing project.

A HST is simply two right angle triangles sown together along the long edge to create a square.

half square triangle

They look so simple, yet they can be time-consuming to make, with special marking and trimming involved. Plus it’s easy for the long edge, which is cut on the bias, to stretch out of shape.

Fortunately, we found some great tips for speeding up the process of creating these staples. One of the following methods (or a combination of them) may be just what you’re looking for to speed up the production of half square triangles on your next quilting project.


Method #1 – Half Square Triangles

April at The Studio Blog has developed a great way to make two half square triangles at a time without having to cut out a bunch of triangles or mark anything first. Her method involves a simple painters tape hack. This may be the fastest method outlined here, provided you cut and stitch accurately and don’t need to square up your HST blocks. Simply sew two seams in each set of facing squares, using the tape as a guide, then cut the finished HST blocks apart down the middle.

Find the complete instructions here.

half square triangle hack

half square triangle hack

half square triangles

half square triangles


Method #2 – Half Square Triangles

Karen Walker uses a similar method of stitching squares together, but starts out with larger squares and makes 8 HSTs at a time. This method does require marking your sewing lines, but it’s worth it since you’ll end up with 8 HST blocks once they’re cut apart.

See the complete instructions and sizing information here.

HST blocks

HST blocks


Method #3 – Half Square Triangles

Do your half square triangles tend to be a little wonky rather than exactly square? Amy at Diary of a Quilter sews two HSTs at a time and trims them apart, but makes hers a little large so she has room to square them up. She uses the Quilt In A Day Square Up Ruler (you’ll find several sizes here) to produce perfectly uniform blocks. Her method would be even faster if combined with April’s tape hack (Method #1).

See how she does it here.

easy half-square triangle quilt block square-up

easy half-square triangle quilt block square-up

If none of these methods work as well as you want, you might try the fool-proof method outlined here.


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