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Making Half Square Triangles out of fabric strips

Ah, Thursday!

Today we’ll begin piecing the quilt HST quilt blocks, but before we do that, I’ll show you a fourth method for making half-square triangles (HSTs).

Fabrics selected from the Banyan Batiks Boho Beach collection are definitely the right choice for this project. Our quilt top will look great and have a casual vibe once completed!

 

Fabrics from the Boho Beach Berry colorway
Fabrics from the Boho Beach Berry colorway

 

We won’t actually be using today’s HST method for our Boho Beach picnic quilt, but it’s a method that every quilter should learn!

So, off we go!

Let’s face it, we all have strips of different lengths and widths lying around; mostly 2½” jelly roll strips. Sometimes, we don’t know quite what to with these wayward fabric pieces.

 

2½” jelly roll strips are perfect for the construction of Half Square Triangles.
2½” jelly roll strips are perfect for the construction of Half Square Triangles.

 

For this HST method, you’ll need (2) 2½” strips. Using 2½” strips to make HSTs will result in 3” unfinished squares.

Note: With 3” strips you’ll get 3¾” unfinished HST squares, with 4” strips you’ll get 5” unfinished HST squares.

Step 1 Place the 2 strips right sides together and sew a ¼’ seam along both long edges as shown in the next photo.

 

Sew a seam on each edge of the strips.
Sew a seam on each edge of the strips.

 

Step 2 To cut HST units from the prepared strip set, use a ruler with a 45° angle line. Place the 45°angle line on the ruler on the long edge of the prepared strip set.

 

Place the ruler's 45° angle line on the edge of the strip.
Place the ruler’s 45° angle line on the edge of the strip.

 

Step 3:  With your ruler placed on the long edge of the strips, make the first cut along the ruler’s edge using your rotary cutter.

 

With the 45° line placed on the edge of the strip, cut to the left of the ruler.
With the 45° line placed on the edge of the strip, cut to the left of the ruler.

 

Step 4 After you make the first cut, rotate the ruler and make another cut as shown in the next photo.

 

Place the 45° line on the opposite edge of the strips and make another cut to the left.
Place the 45° line on the opposite edge of the strips and make another cut to the left.

 

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the full length of the strip set.

When you’ve made as many cuts as you can from the strip set, press each HST square open, pressing the seam towards the darker of the two fabrics.

 

Square off and trim Half Square triangles to 3".
Square off and trim Half Square triangles to 3″.

 

Now that you have a fourth method for making HSTs in your repertoire, let’s get back to creating our Boho Beach Picnic quilt!

Over the past few days, if you followed along, we’ve made 334 HSTs using three different techniques. Now we need to assemble them into blocks that will, in turn, come together to create our quilt.

Block assembly

For each block, you’ll need 4 HSTs of similar size. I used 4½” X 4½” unfinished HSTs. Once you’ve gathered your HSTs, place them using the following layout:

 

Place 4 Half Square Triangles as show.
Place 4 Half Square Triangles as show.

 

Sew HSTs in pairs.

 

Sew 2 Half Square Triangle square together to make a unit and repeat.
Sew 2 Half Square Triangle square together to make a unit and repeat.

 

Sew the HST pairs into one block as shown in the next photo.

 

Sew 2 Half Square Triangle units together and repeat.
Sew 2 Half Square Triangle units together and repeat.

 

By joining all HSTs of the same size, you’ll get:

  • 36 blocks measuring 4½” X 4½” using the 2½” HST squares;
  • 36 blocks measuring 8½” X 8½” using the 4½” HST squares; and
  • 9 blocks measuring 16½” X 16½” using the 8½” HST squares.

 

Pinwheel block created using 3 technique.
Pinwheel block created using 3 technique.

 

Now, you’ve got some serious piecing to do to get the blocks assembled before tomorrow!

Come on back tomorrow to see the fabrics from the Banyan Batiks Boho Beach collection come to life as a cozy and colorful picnic quilt!

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: In quilting, some seams take you from squares to Half Square Triangles

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

2 Comments

  1. Sylvia Young

    I love Paul Leger’s blog entries!

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