How to make 32 Half Square Triangles (HSTs) at Once

Oh yes you read that right! I “accidentally” made 32 HSTs 2 years ago and I said accidentally because I messed up the cutting of my Squares for the 8 HSTs at once method. I had seen the tutorial for that method somewhere but couldn’t pinpoint it when I needed it (I wasn’t on the blog then and I still don’t know why I didn’t do another Google search?) so I did the maths in my head and figured to get (8) 2.5″ HSTs, I need 2 squares measuring 11″ needless to say I was far from being correct! I stitched 1/4″ away on both sides of my diagonal lines but when I came to cut my pieces I realized my HSTs were way bigger than what I wanted so I stopped to find a solution and that’s the brief history of how I came about the 32 HSTs at once.

For some reasons however, I didn’t give that incident a second thought until recently when I needed quite a number of HSTs for a work in progress. I have been so busy at work thanks to end of the year activities and consequently have less time to quilt so I needed something achievable in the little time I have. I revisited this method and trust me when I say it comes together really quickly! It’s done in a similar way as the 8 HSTs at once method but with more diagonals to sew. You only need 2 squares, a bit of marking, a couple of pins and voila…You have your HSTs 🙂

The maths for this method is simple: Size of squares to cut = Size of desired HSTs * 4 + 2″  for example I wanted 5″ HSTs for that I need 2 squares at 22″ ((5 * 4) + 2″ = 22″) Note: This size doesn’t leave enough error margin so if you are not sure of sewing an accurate 1/4″ preferably a scant 1/4″ (A thread width less than 1/4″) then you want to cut your squares slightly oversize think 23″ but It’s easier when it’s even numbers so 24″ is perfect.

After cutting your squares:

squares

Step 1:

Mark your diagonal lines,

step-1

Step 2:

If necessary, mark your sewing line which is 1/4″ away from the drawn diagonal lines as shown by the dotted lines in the image above.

Step 3:

Draw lines to divide your square into quadrants meaning mark halfway both vertically and horizontally – indicated by white lines below,

Step 4:

With your square divided into quadrants, repeat step 1 and 2 on the unmarked diagonal in each quadrant

first-marking

Step 5:

Repeat step 3 again in each quadrant (if you wish you can delay this step until after you have pieced your squares together, otherwise mark it at once)

cutting-hsts

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This is what my marked piece looks like, I was too lazy to mark my sewing lines all the way so i partially marked it 🙂

Step 6:

Now you are ready to head to the sewing machine and sew along all the dotted lines in the image above but first you want to pin your squares together in a way that leaves no room for shifting. This is what my stitched pieces look like:

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See how the black shifted away from the yellow, this meant some of my HSTs were slightly smaller than the desired size…This is why I should have cut my squares oversize

Step 7:

Take your pieced square and lightly press to set your seam and then you are ready to cut. You are more than halfway done in making your HSTs,

Step 8:

Cut your squares which ever way you find easy. For me…My hands aren’t the steadiest and I’ve cut into my freshly pieced HSTs more than once so I cut into quadrants and it gets easier from there. You need to cut along the white and black lines as indicated in the image after step 5.

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Step 9:

Yippee! You are almost there, it’s time to press your HSTs, you can turn your HSTs over such that the dark fabric is on top and you can gently press towards that.

Step 10:

Now you need to trim your HSTs to size, if you haven’t cut your pieces oversize and have pieced accurately, you should only have the dog ears (The part sticking out at the corners) to trim off and congratulations you’ve successfully created 32 HSTs at once or as many as you made depending on the number of sets you began with. In my case I made 2 sets at a go so I finished with 64 HSTs!

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I love this omnigrid squaring up ruler, I used the 6.5″ to trim my HSTs, just make sure the diagonal line on the ruler aligns perfectly with that of the HST before trimming, rotate to trim the other side.
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My set of 32 HSTs each

Finally because I wasn’t careful to pin and piece my squares and I didn’t cut oversize squares, I had few HSTs that ended up slightly less than 5″ 🙁 . I found a solution for that, after trimming everything, I took those short pieces back to the sewing machine, reduced the seam allowances then pressed and trimmed again!

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There you have it…a 32 HSTs at once method, can you believe I have been searching Google for a tutorial or even reference to this method but couldn’t find anything? I guess not everyone is as lazy as I am, always looking for the fast route..hahaha! I hope this makes your life easier as it made mine and I will like to know about it, if and when you give this a try!  The fun part of this method is not having to cut too many squares and how easy it is to just keep going without the temptation to give up. I said to myself, If only I could just do the stitches today, I’ll continue tomorrow but after that, I thought well… I could cut  now to make pressing later easier and before you know it, I didn’t stop until I pressed all and called it a day because it will be less productive trying to trim in my tired state.

On another note, I am going to be less frequent here due to work and other commitments but I am busy creating while I can and will share with you as often as I can. Meanwhile, I have made my decision and even completed the Zig Zag quilt top from Decisions, Decisions… and will be sharing that in my next post.

Thanks a lot for stopping by and as always I look forward to your lovely comments, observations and even answer any questions.  Have a great weekend ahead. It’s going to be a busy one for me I can tell, fingers crossed that it’s all productive!

Sola 🙂

13 Replies to “How to make 32 Half Square Triangles (HSTs) at Once”

  1. Thanks for sharing this idea. I’m not a big fan of HSTs because of the time it takes, so this would be handy. I’m new to blogging, and I’m constantly playing catch-up to keep up with posts! Haha. I’ll find a rhythm at some point, if I ever get organized. Honestly, if I have a choice between blogging and quilting, quilting wins. Every time.

    1. Thank you Wendy. HST quilts are so pretty but you areright they take time. I’m glad this will come in handy. Quilting has to win because that’s the point of the blog in the first place. It will be nice to be organized enough to find a rhythm though and I’m sure it will happen for us at some point ?

  2. Cool method. I might be an old dog, though, not able to learn new tricks! Don’t worry about not being around much. We will still be here when you get a chance to write. Focus on the important things, right?

    1. Thank you Melanie, I’m sure you are doing just fine. I remembered you mentioned you finish your quilts in a short time from start to finish. Unfortunately it’s the other way for me, everything seems to take forever so I have to keep coming up with new tricks. Good to know you will be there when I get a chance to write, I shouldn’t be away for too long though ?

      On Oct 7, 2016 11:08 PM, “Alice Samuel's Quilt Co.” wrote:

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  3. Wow, 32 at a time! That’s the way to do it! I am in the same boat as you about less frequent blog posts. Between working full-time and family, not much is leftover for blogging. I’m still making almost daily, just not documenting things in depth. I think I will go down to every two weeks or even monthly posts. I look forward to reading your future posts and seeing what you are working on!

    1. Thanks Amanda, it’s really hard to keep up with blogging considering all the other things that needs to be done. Documenting is not easy when you barely have enough time to create. Whatever you decide – biweekly or monthly, I’ll look out for your future posts too. Happy creating ?

      On Oct 7, 2016 2:41 PM, “Alice Samuel's Quilt Co.” wrote:

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