Half Square Triangles (HST)

Words To Live By BOM PRI 427 Primitive Gatherings
Have you ever thought about how many quilt blocks and designs
have Half Square Triangles (HST) ?
I love the look of triangles in a quilt and don’t mind making them,
this quilt I’m working on has 672 half square triangles.
There are so many different ways to make them.
If only a few are needed, cutting out individual triangle pieces
or cutting an oversized square and sewing 1/4″ away
from the center drawn diagonal line is fine, but 672….
My favorite way to make several HST
is to use a thin paper that has a sewing and cutting grid on it.
Click on the links below to see a few of the different ones available.
I have used them all and find Triangles on a Roll to be my favorite.
I like that I can choose how many I want to make each time.
 To select the correct paper you need to know the finished size of your HST.
So if the pattern tells you to cut 2-7/8″ squares and cut in half,
when sewn together the measurement will be 2-1/2
and then when sewn into the block will be 2″.
This is the hardest part figuring out what size you need,
in this case we need 2″ finished.
Now comes the easy part.
fabrics by Primitive Gatherings
  Select your fabric and cut following the directions on the papers.
I figured how many different fabrics I needed to cut
and how long the they needed to be.
Layer the darker fabric on the the bottom,
then the lighter fabric right sides together.
Add the HST paper on top of the light side.
This will help when you press later towards the dark.
Pin in a couple of places and sew on the sewing lines
using a smaller than normal stitch length,
I use 2.0 or 12 stitch per inch.
All papers are different so follow the instructions regardng which lines are 
sewing lines and which are cutting lines.
Just like any quilting technique sewing and cutting are
two keys to success.
Now for the trimming, cut the outside lines first.
I also like to line up the 2-7/8″ on 2″ finished HST for accuracy.
You should be cutting right on the outside line.
Sides next, still keep ruler lined up with the 2-7/8″.
Cut the piece into along the middle cutting line,
now make sure the outside is on the 2-7/8″ mark on your ruler.
Continue cutting on every cut line, watching your ruler and cutting diagonals last.
Sometimes I cut the diagonal lines with my scissors if I have a lot to do, good TV work.
Now trim the corners at 90 degrees so you won’t have dog ears sticking out.
Oops I missed one, just trim it off before you iron.
Ironing the HST is easier if you leave the paper on it gives the bias edge stability.
Place the paper down and press towards the dark.
 After they are all press it’s time to tear the paper off.
Put your thumb on in the center of the HST holding the smaller part of paper,
and pull the larger piece away from the center.
If you pick at the ends the stitching may come apart.  That is why we used a smaller stitch length.
Some wet the papers slightly to come off easier,
I don’t and have a problem getting the papers to come off so I don’t wet them.
Again good TV time work.
And then…….
I have 672 perfect HST for my quilt.
Please let me know if you have any questions on this technique.
The Words to Live by BOM will be in quilt shops next month.
Have Joy in your heart and keeping stitching,
Tammy V
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9 comments on “Half Square Triangles (HST)

  1. Sandy D says:

    I have Triangulations by Barbara Manning that I can print off different sizes on the computer. The problem is the paper I use seems too heavy. What can I use in a computer to remedy this. I am at the least an hour from the nearest Quilt shop and they do not carry a good variety of the ones on a roll or do not carry at all. Ordering on line could be a solution but it takes at least 2 wks. to come to Canada. If I did this what would be a good size to have ahead?

  2. I have triangulations as well and love it as I have a lot of sizes available to me. I use paper from children’s scrap tablets I cut the paper to fit the printer if I need to – you can get a scribble tablet for about a dollar and have at least 50 to 100 sheets of paper

  3. Carole says:

    Such a lovely quilt! Presently making the sample for my Shoppe. As for HST, I prefer my method that I call “Mass production HST”. It uses fabric strips and Quilt in a Day square up ruler. If you are interested, there is a tutorial on my side bar. Primitive Gatherings seem to be in a HST mood! lol They are coming out with lovely patterns this spring. I cannot wait for the patterns to come out! Thanks for the post!

  4. Sandy D says:

    Thanks for the tips on the paper.

  5. Margaret says:

    Tammy, this pattern is gorgeous! Here’s my question about HSTs. When I make HSTs, I make them larger than required, then cut them down to the correct size so they are perfect. With the “Triangles on a Roll”, do you make your HSTs larger and cut them down, or are they exactly the right size (and shape) when you remove the paper?

  6. Nedra says:

    Tammy,
    Thanks for the great recommendation for Triangles On A Roll! We appreciate the Shout Out! Nedra Sorensen/ Sales Manager Triangles On A Roll

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