How to Sew Half Square Triangles for Quilts – part 2


How to Sew Half Square Triangles for Quilts :: free online quilting workshop ::
This is free online workshop #16, with lots of tips for beginners on how to quilt half square triangles. This is the second out of three classes on this quilting topic.  (For prior workshops, see below).

Today, Janeen van Niekerk, instructor for the quilting workshops here, is sharing her tips and quilters secrets for taking short cuts on Half Square Triangles (, or HST’s as they are called in quilters lingo. Check the quilters glossary. )

Tips for taking short cuts on HST’s

This is another time saving way of cutting your quilt triangles – and this time 4 at a time…

Usually making these triangles can be a time consuming process and who doesn’t like to take a sure fire short cut?

We begin our quilt work with two colored fabrics. Each square measures 5.5” (14cm) – photo 1

how to make quilt triangles free online workshop

Our  half square triangle formula is simple – when we cut diagonally through our square once we need to add 1” to the ‘desired size’. (3.5” or 9cm – desired size plus 1” – then we can cut through once)

In this instance we are going to cut through twice so we add 2” to our desired size of square. (3.5” or 9cm plus 2” (5cm) = 5.5” (14cm) – now we can cut twice diagonally through the square)

Clear as mud I hear you say… so let’s do it step by step and get this under our belt.

Step-by-step Instructions to Make HST Quilt Components

· We place the two squares (5.5”- 14cm) together with right sides facing together. You can pin them if you wish to hold them more securely. Photo 1

· Now we mark our square with an X diagonally from each corner. Photo 2

half square triangles :: quilt patterns techniques :: free online quilting workshop

Note – we do not sew on our lines we have marked for this method.

· Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew around all four out-sides of your square – not across!

Photo 3

half square triangles :: quilt patterns techniques :: free online quilting workshop

· Cut the square diagonally into four – along the lines you drew from corner to corner. Photo 4

half square triangles :: quilt patterns techniques :: free online quilting workshop

· Press your squares open (to the darker side fabric) – Amazing! You have 4 at once…

· Now we need to trim them down with our square ruler to 3.5” (9cm) on both sides and there you go – a quick and easy way to make half square triangles. Photo 5


This is also known as the Alternative way of making HST’s – Photo 6

half square triangles :: quilt patterns techniques :: free online quilting workshop

Just remember – you cut diagonally across the square so you have  biased edges on your squares. Do not pull and tug too much because they can stretch.

All you need is to remember our HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE QUILTING  formula:

  • Need to cut once then add 1” (2.5cm)
  • Need to cut twice then add 2” (5cm).

That’s it for now…

Next time we discuss our pattern for an awesome wall hanging we will be making using all this new info…

‘Till the next time,

By Janeen van Niekerk, Quilting Instructor

Janeen van Niekerk,  glossary quilting terms

How to Sew a Quilt – Quilting Workshops for Beginners

Want to begin sewing quilts with me? Join our free online quilting workshops, which you can take at your leisure, any time you want. Work at your own pace.



Free Quilting Patterns & Tutorials & Classes in this quilting course:


About Quilting Instructor Janeen van Niekerk

how to make a quilt patterns janeen van niekerkOur latest news of quilt making instructor Janeen van Niekerk is that she has just launched a brand new paper piecing magazine.


Quilt artist Janeen van Niekerk is an avid quilter. In particular, she’s an accomplished paper piecing designer. She does it all with a passion.

Janeen’s prolific range of hand-made quilts (she takes commissions for personalized, stylish portrait quilts), as well as her unique quilt patterns (think quilts featuring safari animals and trees, or kids toys) are inspired by her environs; she lives in sunny Pretoria in South Africa, with her husband and kids.

Or,… continue your journey with Quilting patterns, tutorials and ideas  featured here at (beyond Janeen’s quilting course).

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