Half Square Triangle Tutorial, Method II, Four at a Time

Half Square Triangle Tutorial Four at a TIme

I promised you way back when that I would post about how to make Half Square Triangles using a different method, making four at a time.  The HST continues to be the most fun block to design with, because of the endless combinations  you can make with it.  In my first tutorial, I showed you how to make one at a time.  This second method, making four at a time, is super easy and very fast.  The only drawback to this method is that you will end up with edges that are bias edges – which just means they can stretch a little bit.  So, when pressing these blocks, be extra careful not to iron them and stretch them out – just press them.

The advantage to this method is that it is super fast – you just place two squares of fabric, right sides together, sew a quarter inch seam around the entire outside edge, cut an “X” corner to corner and you have four HSTs.  All you need to do is press them open and trim off the little dog ear corners.  You don’t even need to draw any lines with a pencil on your fabric with this method.

In order to figure out how big to cut the two squares of fabric, the calculation is very easy. Do not be scared of the following math! Figure out how big you want your HSTs – and that means the size of your “unfinished” HSTs, before you sew them together into your quilt – and divide by .64, which is easy to do on your calculator.  For instance, if I wanted finished 3″ blocks in my quilt, I would need 3.5″ unfinished HSTs.   So I just take 3.5 and divide by .64 and I get 5.468, which I will then round up to 5.5″ squares of fabric.

3.5 ÷ .64 = 5.46875  so I will round this up to 5.5
I will cut 5.5″ squares of fabric to make 3.5″ “unfinished” HSTs,
which will end up being 3″ finished HSTs in my quilt

When using this calculation, keep in mind that this is not an oversized HST that you will trim. If you like to make your HSTs oversized and then trim them, down, just calculate a little bigger and then you can do that.  To trim them down to a perfect HST, this technique is my favorite for trimming.

In my next tutorial on the HST, I will show you Method III – how to make eight at a time!

I hope this tutorial is helpful!


HST II two fabrics squares

HST II fabric squares together

HST II clipping fabric squares

HST II sewing perimeter

(Above: I flipped the square over to the dark side so you can see the stitching)

HST II cutting line on square

tip: the cutting is easier to do on a small little cutting mat, if you have one, because you can make the first cut, spin the whole mat around and make the second cut.

HST II cutting squares

HST II cut squares

HST II opening squares

HST II trimming squares

10 thoughts on “Half Square Triangle Tutorial, Method II, Four at a Time

  1. Jennifer G.

    How come I never knew this? This looks so easy. Thank you! I’m going to try this on a couple of scraps right now!


  2. Daisy Floerke

    Thank you very much. This is super easy way for hst’s. The example always helps too. Great job. I stumbled on to it. I have a project and material for a chevron design I can finish now. I think this will be much nicer then the block chevron version. Must have been my lucky day 🙂
    Your blue Gingham style quilt with the blue ABC backing is beautiful also. Great work.

    Thank you again!


    1. C. Gresham

      With this method, making four at a time, the edges are all on the straight of grain, not on the bias. See the picture for the example.


  3. Diana

    I’m a newbie on quilting. I found that you’re tutorial was very interesting and looks quite easy. I love the flying geese and plan, at some time in the near future, to do a quilt with flying geese. Right now I’m working on a simple block quilt with bright blocks, and with butterfly design blocks. I will be putting a sash around the blocks in white w/ a colored 2 1/2 block sewn at end of each block sash. This will help me keep my seams straight when sewing sashes . I hope I’m not confusing anyone.



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