Half Square Triangle Short Cuts – video demo

Half Square Triangles are one of the most common building blocks for many quilts – traditional or modern. I thought I’d share my favorite tip for getting them done quickly and accurately.

Amy Smart Hopscotch Quilt Pattern - made by Katie Blakesly for Pattern Drop

My Hopscotch quilt is an example of a quilt with a lot of repeated half-square triangle pieces. Since this pattern has a bunch of half-square triangle blocks, we shot a video with some helpful tips for mass-producing lots of half-square triangles at once.


This video shows how to make 16 half-square triangle blocks (HST) at once. You could make more or fewer triangles- just draw your grid with half the number of squares you’d like to make at once. (If you need 18 HST blocks, draw a grid with 9 squares, if you need 24 blocks, draw a grid with 12 squares.)

This method will work on any sized HST blocks. To modify for other sizes: draw your grid squaresย  1/2″ bigger than the size of the finished HST blocks. So for example: in this demo we need 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ finished HST blocks -> therefore we draw 5″ x 5″ squares. If you need 3″ finished HST blocks, draw a grid with 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares, etc.

Keep in mind: each drawn square only requires ONE diagonal line.

And sew the 1/4″ seam allowances on boths sides of the diagonal lines – not the straight grid lines.

Finally, this Quilt in a Day ruler* is still my favorite. It makes such quick work of squaring up HST blocks.

There is a 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ version as well as a bigger 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ option.

Short-cuts for making and squaring-up multiple Half Square Triangle Quilt Blocks at once. Video tips and time-saving tutorial.

The ruler basically cuts your squaring-up time in half since you’re only cutting two sides, instead of four. Keep in mind as you use it that you are always lining up the corresponding marked measurement for the size you need on the seam of the block you are squaring-up.

So there you go! This method is especially helpful when you’re making LOTS of HST blocks at once. I know it can feel tedious, but having an accurate HST block will make a huge difference when you go to piece your quilt!

Hopefully these Half-Square Triangle tips will save you lots of time and help you get quickly through that least favorite (but oh-so important!) job.

Thanks again Pattern Drop for helping me shoot this video.ย Pattern Drop is a fun, new pattern-of-the-month club. You can read all about Pattern Drop + get a discount code in this post!

Short-cuts for making and squaring-up multiple Half Square Triangle Quilt Blocks at once. Video tips and time-saving tutorial.

Did you find this tutorial helpful? Pin this image so others can find it too!

*FTC Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting Diary of a Quilter when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply
    December 8, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!!:)

  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 4:48 am

    You are the Best! Thank you for this tutorial. Thaks to you, I made my first HST quilt 3 years ago and Quilted too.
    Wish you and your family a wonderful Holidays ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘

  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Great video, allows you to make any size you need.

  • Reply
    Patricia M Simmons
    December 9, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Great tutorial Amy!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Awesome! So helpful. I have that lovely ruler and didn’t know that was how I can use it!! I’m starting a new quilt with lots of HSTs so this will help me tons! Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Same here Linda! I had that ruler forever and did’t know how to use it until I took a HST class at Quilt Con last February!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Excellent, excellent, excellent! And pretty darned good, too!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Nice video. Thanks for the clever tips.

  • Reply
    Adriene O'Connor Grzenia
    December 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I love, love, love your tip for squaring up. Awesome

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Great video! It was so helpful as I am a visual learner. I just added that ruler to my shopping cart.

  • Reply
    Gloria Elswood
    March 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    WILL this work with stripes and one way fabric?

    • Reply
      March 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      It will work, but the stripes will be going different directions.

  • Reply
    Linette Stewart
    April 27, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    You always have the best tips and tutorials Amy – thank you!!!

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