8 Half Square Triangles And Loosen Up


Another great quilting project of 8 half square triangles to make and help you loosen up those creative juices! Let's dive right in.

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8 Half Square Triangles And Loosen Up

Here’s your friendly “Loosen Up” quilter with another block for you to try.

There’s no name for this ‘cause I created it in order to show how easy it is to make Half Square Triangle (HSTs in quilter’s jargon) blocks.

Read Try Not To Be A Perfect Quilter - Loosen Up!, which is the first of the series.

8 Half Square Triangles And Loosen Up


Assuming you are making the smaller HSTs all the same color combination, cut one piece of dark fabric 8 x 8 inches and one piece of light fabric 8 x 8 inches. Layer the pieces, right sides together, and on the light fabric draw a horizontal line down the middle, a vertical across the middle the other way, and diagonal (corner to corner) lines so it looks something like this.

small HSTs first step


Now sew 1/4” seam on each side of diagonal lines. You can start on one side, continue up and down each one and when you get back to the beginning, you’ll be through. Hooray! When finished sewing, you should have this.

small HSTs with sewing lines


Now cut on the solid lines you drew and you will have eight HSTs. It’s almost magic, isn’t it? Now press the HSTs, with the seam pressed to the dark side, and square them to 3 1/2”.

completed HSTs


Now for the larger ones, but use only 7 x 7 inch pieces of light and dark fabric and make one diagonal line. Stitch on both sides as for the small HSTs. Cut, press and square to 6 1/2”.

Now put them together as this photo shows, with one large HST and four small ones in one row; the other large HST and four small ones in another row. Sew the rows together and you have a block! (hub completed block photo goes here) Okay, you sharp-eyed folks, I admit these aren’t sewn together! But that’s because I need to use a few of them in another block (a BOM or Block of the Month) for a guild project.


By the way, these HSTs also make cute little whirligig blocks, too. These would be really cute in different primary colors for a kid’s quilt.

whirligig block


Now, you can make more blocks, make them all the same colors or make each one different; put them together in different layouts, and have a quilt! These blocks finish to about 12 inches (with a 1/4” seam), so with 20 blocks you could have a 48 x 60 quilt, about lap sized. Keep adding blocks and you could have a:

  • Twin sized quilt, 60 x 84, 5 by 7 blocks, for 35 total blocks.
  • Regular sized quilt, 72 x 84, 6 by 7 blocks for 42 total blocks.
  • Queen quilt, 84 x 96, or 7 blocks by 8 blocks equals 56 total blocks.
  • King-sized, 96 x 108, 8 blocks by 9 blocks, for a total of 72 blocks.

Now isn’t this fun? Don’t you just love HSTs? Oh, yeah.

complete block


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The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
Half Square Triangle
A triangle that is made by dividing a square in half from corner to corner. This is a very common type of triangle in quilting.
Method of using an iron to press seams and blocks. This means simply pressing downwards on the seam with the iron from above and not moving the iron back and forth which can distort the block or seam.
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