Are you ready to learn how to make 2-at-a-time half-square triangles?! There is a lot to love about Half Square Triangles.
Not only are they super cute! But they offer lots of versatility when it comes to quilting designs.
My quilt journey actually started with HSTs. I stumbled across a YouTube video on how to make them and I was immediately curious. Now, quilting hadn’t even been on my radar. In fact, I had totally discounted it as something I would be interested in. Boy, was I ever wrong.
One HST lead to another and another and, before I knew it, I was well on my way to stitching my very first quilt top. That was back in 2015 and I’ve made a whole heck of a lot of half-square triangles since then.
Today I wanted to start you off with the basics of half-square triangles, or HST as they’re lovingly known in the quilty world 😊and what better way than starting with the super simple and very achievable 2-at-a-time method.
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WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE 2-AT-A-TIME HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES
Before you can start creating your HST, you’ll need a few basic tools and materials to get started, including:
- 2 squares of different coloured fabric of equal size (more on sizing in a minute). I’m using prints from the *Sweetheart Bundle Up collection.
- a *marking tool – this is what I use, but a pencil or *Hera marker would work equally well.
- Some *Pins (optional) – but if you’re just starting out, pinning reduces shifting which leads to more accurate outcomes.
- A *Sewing machine – I sew on a Juki TL-2010Q and use a 2.0 stitch length when piecing.
- Spool of thread for piecing – I stitch with 50wt Aurifil Thread in either *white or *cream.
- A *quilting ruler
- A *half square triangle ruler – optional
- A *rotary cutter
- A *cutting mat
- A *rotating cutting mat – optional but makes trimming super speedy! (You can read why I love it here!)
- An *iron
- An *ironing board or *wool mat
- A *tailor’s clapper – not required, but it can help get some nice flat seams.
With your notions at the ready, let’s dive into whipping these cuties up.
FABRIC MATH & HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE SIZES
What’s great about making 2 half square triangles at a time is that the math required to figure out your starting square size is pretty straightforward.
A simple formula to follow is to add 1” to the finished size of your HST.
For example, if you want to make two 2.5” HST that finish at 2” when pieced, then your starting squares would be 3”.
The formula looks like this in action:
Desired finished HST size + 1” = starting square size
In this case, it would be 2” + 1” = 3”.
Here’s an easy cheat sheet I’ve created for you so you can quickly find the starting square size you need!
HOW TO MAKE 2-AT-A-TIME HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES
The 2-at-a-time half-square triangle method is super handy if you just need to make 1 or 2 HSTs at a time. This was the first method I learned, and I didn’t realize there were other quicker methods – ha! So, several of the first quilts I ever made took me for-ever as I was making my HSTs only 2-at-a-time.
I don’t use this technique as often anymore, but it’s a great one to know if you need just a few HSTs in a pinch.
Start with 2 squares of fabric of the same size.
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of one of your squares.
Place the squares right sides together (RST), making sure they’re lined up nicely.
Pin in place (optional).
Stitch a scant ¼” seam allowance on either side of your drawn line. (Unsure how to get a scant ¼” seam? I’ve got you covered in this tutorial.)
Cut on your drawn line. This creates 2 HSTs.
Set your seams by first placing the iron on your stitches before pressing your seams either to the side or open.
Trim your HST to your required finished size. See this tutorial for tips on squaring up your HSTs.
Now, step back and admire your perfect little half-square triangles!
SEE HOW TO MAKE 2-AT-A-TIME HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES IN ACTION
See how to make your own half-square triangles using the 2-at-a-time method in this video tutorial.
Here are some quilt patterns featuring HST so you can put your newfound HST skills in action:
The real challenge after knowing how to make 2-at-a-time half-square triangles will be stopping at just making two!
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