Making Half Square Triangle Quilt Blocks

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March 4, 2014

Cutting off dog ears at corners.The half square triangle (HST) is a very common component of patchwork quilts. These blocks consist of two right triangles. Because of the stretchy nature of fabric cut on the bias, it may be preferable to make your half squares in the following way, rather than cutting out triangles and sewing them together. This is an easy step by step guide to making one.


Note: When making this block it is a good idea to make them slightly oversized and then cut them down to their unfinished dimensions.

Yield: 1 block


  • cotton quilting fabric in two or more colors
  • 1 paper or plastic template, size of your block before stitching seams or with allowances added
  • self healing cutting mat, optional
  • rotary cutter, optional
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • thread, coordinating
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • iron


  1. Using your template, cut two (or more) squares from your fabric.
  2. Two fabric squares.
  3. Using your ruler, on the wrong side of one of the squares, draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner. You have just defined the triangles.
  4. Fabric square on cutting mat with ruler.
    Dividing line drawn from corner to corner on the diagonal.

  5. Again using your ruler mark two sewing lines, one on each side of the dividing line, 1/4 inch wide.
  6. Marking fabric to draw sewing lines.
    Drawing sewing lines on one side of dividing line.
    Square marked with dividing line and both seam lines.
  7. Place the marked square on top of your second square, right sides together.
  8. Squares with right sides together and marked side up.
  9. Line up the edges of the squares and pin together.
  10. Pinning squares together.
  11. Sew along the two seam lines to the right and left of the original dividing line.
    Tie the threads and cut off extra thread.
  12. Sewing along one seam line.
    Seams sewn.

  13. Using your scissors or a rotary cutter cut the two layered square in half along the original dividing line.
  14. Cutting apart along dividing line.
    Two right triangles of fabric.
  15. Open your square and fold the seam towards the darker color of your block.
  16. Opening the square along stitching line.
  17. The final step is to press the seam. You may finger press, use a seam pressing tool, or an iron. Do this step carefully so as not to stretch the seam.
  18. Pressing seam.
  19. Trim off dog ears and you are done.
  20. Advertisement

Once all of your blocks are complete, you may want to square up the blocks. Click here: Squaring Up a Half Square Triangle Quilt Block


August 17, 2014

The half square triangle (HST) is a very common component of patchwork quilts. These blocks consist of two right triangles. This is an easy step by step guide to making one.

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