How To Make Multiple Half Square Triangles
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How To Make Multiple Half Square Triangles: 7 Easy Ways To Make Multiple Half Square Triangles

When it comes to creating half square triangles for your quilting projects, one of the most popular and efficient methods is making them two at a time. This technique is incredibly versatile, allowing for a wide range of designs such as waves, modified pinwheels, geometric patterns, and even three-dimensional effects. It’s especially useful if you’re working on intricate projects like a 1000 pyramid quilt and want to avoid repeating color combinations.


How to create two half square triangles at a time:

Here’s a basic guide on how to create half square triangles two at a time:

  1. Choose Your Fabrics: Select two contrasting fabrics that will make your half square triangles stand out.
  2. Cutting the Squares: For this method, begin by cutting equal-sized squares from both fabrics. The size of these squares will determine the size of your finished half square triangles.
  3. Drawing the Line: On the wrong side of one of your fabric squares, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. This line serves as a sewing guide.
  4. Layering the Squares: Place your two squares right sides together, aligning the edges.
  5. Sewing the Squares: Sew a seam ¼ inch away from either side of the drawn line. Essentially, you will have two seams running parallel to the drawn line.
  6. Cutting the Triangle: After sewing, cut along the drawn line. This will give you two separate units.
  7. Pressing the Seams: Open up the units and press the seams. You’ll have two half square triangles with the seam running down the middle.
  8. Trimming for Accuracy: Trim the edges of your half square triangles to ensure they are of uniform size and have straight edges.
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Creating half square triangles (HSTs) begins with cutting your fabric squares accurately, and the size you choose for these squares is crucial. The size depends on the desired finished size of your Half Square Triangles, and understanding the difference between the finished and unfinished sizes of the blocks is key.

Understanding Finished vs. Unfinished Sizes

  • Unfinished Size: This is the size of the fabric square after cutting but before sewing it into the quilt top. It includes the seam allowances.
  • Finished Size: This refers to the size of the block after it’s sewn into the quilt. It’s the visible part of the square in the completed quilt.

Typically, there’s a half-inch difference between the unfinished and finished sizes of a square due to the quarter-inch seam allowances on each side. However, the exact size difference can vary slightly based on the precision of your seam allowances.

Choosing the Starting Square Size

  • Starting Square #1: If you’re confident in sewing precise quarter-inch seam allowances, you can opt for a smaller starting square. This choice minimizes fabric waste and trimming but requires accuracy.
  • Starting Square #2: If you’re less certain about your seam allowances, choose a slightly larger starting square. This allows room for trimming the Half Square Triangles to the precise size after sewing and pressing.

The key is to decide based on your comfort and skill level with seam allowances. Remember, accurate seam allowances are crucial for the overall look and fit of your quilt blocks.

Once you’ve decided on the starting square size, cut two squares (one from each fabric if you’re doing a two-tone Half Square Triangles) and then proceed to the next steps of drawing the diagonal line, sewing, cutting, and pressing as I described earlier.

Creating half square triangles (HSTs) two at a time is an efficient and popular method among quilters. Let’s delve into the detailed steps for this process, keeping in mind the importance of accurate cutting and sewing to achieve perfect Half Square Triangles.

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Step 1: Preparing Your Fabric

  1. Selecting Fabrics: Choose two different types of fabric. You can mix and match as you like: a solid with a print, two different prints, two different solids, or even two shades of the same color. The choice should complement your quilt pattern or personal design vision.
  2. Cutting Squares: Before cutting, you might want to outline your squares on the fabric using a marking pencil and ruler to ensure accuracy. If you’re using paper templates, pin them to the fabric, aligning the grain of the fabric with the pins. However, if you prefer not to sketch or use pinned templates, you can proceed directly to cutting.
  3. Preparing the Fabric: Place the two fabrics right sides together and either finger press or iron them to ensure they are smooth and wrinkle-free.

Step 2: Sewing the Squares

  1. Marking the Diagonal: On the lighter fabric, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side. This line will be your cutting guide.
  2. Marking Sewing Lines: Next, draw lines a quarter-inch away from each side of the diagonal line. These will be your sewing lines.
  3. Pinning and Sewing: Pin the two pieces of fabric together and sew along the two drawn lines.

Step 3: Creating Two Half Square Triangles

  1. Cutting: Cut along the marked diagonal line to separate the original square into two triangles.
  2. Pressing Seams: Press the seams toward the darker fabric. This step also helps in removing the small ‘dog ears’ (the tiny fabric corners) for a cleaner look.
  3. Result: You now have two half square triangles!

Additional Quilting Tools:

  • Scissors and Acrylic Rulers: Every quilter should have a good pair of scissors and a collection of acrylic rulers in various sizes. For cutting squares and triangles, a four-inch wide straight-edge ruler is ideal.
  • Curved Ruler: A curved ruler can be particularly useful, especially one with slots to help keep your rotary cutter aligned.

Half square triangles 4 at a time

Making half square triangles (HSTs) four at a time is a great method for quilters who want to efficiently produce multiple Half Square Triangles with minimal effort. This method is particularly useful for larger quilting projects or patterns that require a significant number of HSTs. Here’s how you can create HSTs four at a time:

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Half Square Triangles Four at a Time

  1. Fabric Selection and Preparation: Choose two squares of fabric in contrasting colors or patterns for visual interest. Cut both squares to the same size.
  2. Layering Fabrics: Place the two squares right sides together. This ensures that when the squares are cut into triangles and opened up, the right sides of the fabric will be on the outside.
  3. Sewing the Squares:
    • Option 1: If you prefer to use guidelines, draw stitching lines on the fabric with a quarter-inch seam allowance around all four edges.
    • Option 2: Alternatively, you can sew around the squares without drawn lines, using a quarter-inch presser foot for consistency.
  4. Sewing Around the Edges: Sew a quarter-inch seam around all four edges of the square. Pinning the fabrics can help keep them aligned as you sew.
  5. Cutting the Fabric:
    • Place the sewn square on your cutting mat.
    • Carefully cut two diagonal lines through the square, intersecting at the center and creating an X across the middle. This will divide your square into four triangles.
    • To ensure accuracy and safety, rotate the cutting mat rather than the fabric when changing cutting angles.
  6. Pressing the Seams: Open up each triangle and press the seam towards the darker fabric to help hide the seam and give a cleaner look to your Half Square Triangles.
  7. Trimming Dog Ears: Finally, trim off the small excess fabric at the corners (known as ‘dog ears’) for a neat, professional finish.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Magic 8 Method

  1. Fabric Preparation:
    • Select two squares of fabric in contrasting colors or patterns.
    • Cut both squares to the same, required size.
    • Place the fabrics right sides together, with the lighter fabric facing up.
  2. Marking the Squares:
    • Use a ruler and marking pencil to draw two diagonal lines across the square, forming a large X.
    • If your sewing machine has a quarter-inch presser foot, you can use it as a guide to sew along these lines. However, for more precision, you might want to mark additional lines a quarter-inch away from each side of the diagonal lines.
  3. Sewing the Squares:
    • Pin the fabric together to keep it stable during sewing.
    • Sew along the lines you’ve marked (or the lines you’ve envisioned using the presser foot).
  4. Cutting the Fabric:
    • First, cut through the middle horizontally and vertically, creating four smaller squares.
    • Then, cut along the original diagonal lines, dividing each of the smaller squares into two triangles.
  5. Pressing and Trimming:
    • Open up each piece and press the seam towards the darker fabric.
    • Trim the corners (dog ears) and any excess fabric for a clean, professional finish.

Advantages of the Magic 8 Method

  • Efficiency: This method produces eight Half Square Triangles in one go, making it perfect for large projects or patterns with repetitive color combinations.
  • Uniformity: Since all Half Square Triangles are cut and sewn at the same time, they tend to be more uniform in size and shape.
  • Time-Saving: It significantly reduces the time and effort compared to methods that produce fewer Half Square Triangles at a time.

How to make half square triangles from strips

Making half square triangles (HSTs) from fabric strips is an efficient method, particularly suited for projects with a limited number of color combinations or large quilts. The process involves sewing strips together and then cutting them into triangles, which unfold into squares. Here’s a detailed guide:

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Half Square Triangles from Strips

  1. Preparation:
    • Select the appropriate width and length of the strips based on your design.
    • Cut two strips of fabric, one from each of your chosen materials.
  2. Sewing Strips Together:
    • Place the strips right sides together, aligning their edges.
    • Pin or baste the strips together to keep the fabric stable.
    • Sew along both long edges of the strips with a quarter-inch seam allowance. You will create a tube-like shape with open ends.
  3. Cutting Triangles:
    • Lay the sewn tube flat on a cutting mat.
    • Use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter for precision.
    • Position the ruler to cut triangles. The first cut is crucial: place the ruler so that the correct width marker for your design aligns with the bottom edge of the tube.
    • Make the first cut. You will have a triangle with two sides sewn.
    • Rotate the ruler to create an inverted triangle for the next cut. This triangle should match the dimensions of the first triangle.
  4. Continuing the Process:
    • Repeat the process along the length of the strip, alternating the direction of your cuts to create triangles.
    • Ensure each triangle is identical in size for consistency in your Half Square Triangles.

Using the Strip Tube Ruler

  • Specialized Tool: For this method, a Strip Tube Ruler can be extremely helpful. This tool allows for precise and easy cutting of Half Square Triangles from strips.
  • Versatility: With a Strip Tube Ruler, you can effortlessly create Half Square Triangles ranging in size from 1 inch to 9.5 inches.
  • Efficiency: This tool streamlines the process, making it quicker and more accurate.

Half square triangles with embroidery machine (Brother Luminaire)

Using an embroidery machine like the Brother Luminaire to create half square triangles (HSTs) can be a unique and precise way to produce these elements for your quilting projects. This method allows for creating multiple HSTs at once, with the added advantage of achieving perfect accuracy and size without the need for trimming. Here’s a guide to making HSTs with your Brother Luminaire:

Materials Needed:

  1. Tear-Away Embroidery Stabilizer: Essential for providing a stable base for your embroidery.
  2. Large Embroidery Hoop (10.5 x 16 inches): Suitable for handling sizable fabric pieces.
  3. Two Contrasting Pieces of Cotton Quilting Fabric: The contrast in colors or patterns will highlight the HST design.
  4. Removable Fabric Tape: Useful for keeping the fabric in place during the embroidery process.
  5. Cotton or Polyester Thread: Choose a high-quality thread for durability and appearance.
  6. Rotary Cutter and Mat: For cutting the fabric accurately.
  7. Iron and Ironing Board: Essential for pressing your HSTs post-embroidery for a crisp finish.
  8. Finger-Presser Tool: Handy for pressing seams without an iron.

Additional Tools:

  • Cricut or AccuQuilt: These cutting machines can be used for precise cutting of fabric squares, enhancing the overall accuracy of your HSTs.

Steps to Create HSTs with the Brother Luminaire:

  1. Prepare Your Fabric and Stabilizer: Hoop the stabilizer and attach your contrasting fabric pieces to it using the removable fabric tape. Ensure the fabrics are securely in place.
  2. Load the HST Design into Your Machine: Use the layout design for creating 16 HSTs, which should be available through your subscription to the blog.
  3. Embroider the Design: Follow the machine’s instructions to embroider the HST pattern. The Brother Luminaire should accurately stitch the design, creating perfect squares and seam allowances.
  4. Remove and Cut: Once the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop and gently tear away the stabilizer. Use your rotary cutter and mat to cut along the stitched lines.
  5. Press the HSTs: Use your iron and finger-presser tool to press the seams towards the darker fabric.
  6. Finish and Assemble: Your HSTs are now ready to be assembled into your quilt pattern.

Making half square triangles with cutting machines: Cricut and AccuQuilt

Making half square triangles (HSTs) with cutting machines like the Cricut Maker 3 and the AccuQuilt system can greatly enhance the efficiency and precision of your quilting projects. Here’s a brief overview of how each machine works for creating HSTs:

Brother ScanNCut SDX125EGY Electronic DIY Cutting Machine, Grey & ScanNCut DX Thin Fabric Auto Blade Holder CADXHLDQ1

Cricut Maker 3


  1. Prepare Fabric and Mat: Position your fabric on the Cricut cutting mat. You can choose layouts for a single triangle or multiple triangles to fill either a 12″ x 12″ or 12″ x 24″ mat.
  2. Load Fabric and Mat: Insert the mat with the fabric into the Cricut machine.
  3. Design Selection: Choose the triangle size you need and place it into the cutting area. The Cricut offers pre-programmed sizes ranging from 1 inch to 10.5 inches.
  4. Start Cutting: Select “Make it” on the screen and then press the start button. The machine will cut the fabric precisely.
  5. Finished Product: The Cricut Maker 3 efficiently cuts out the triangles, including trimming the dog ears.


  • The mat is quite sticky, which can make it challenging to remove threads and fabric remnants after each use.

AccuQuilt Quilter’s Cutting System


  1. Positioning the Fabric: Place your fabric over the die that’s designed for cutting HSTs.
  2. Cover with Cutting Mat: Use the special AccuQuilt mat to cover both the die and the fabric.
  3. Run Through the Machine: Feed the layered mat and die into the AccuQuilt machine. The machine quickly and accurately cuts the fabric.


  • Speed and Precision: The AccuQuilt system is exceptionally fast and precise, significantly reducing the time needed for cutting.
  • Ease of Use: It simplifies the cutting process, making it more accessible, especially for large quantities of HSTs.
  • Variety of Dies: The AccuQuilt offers a wide range of dies, making it versatile for various quilting projects.

AccuQuilt Go! Me:

  • This model is an excellent choice for quilters of all levels. It’s often available at a discounted price, making it budget-friendly.
  • The package includes a cutting mat, two dies, and a pattern book, providing everything needed to start.
  • Additional dies can be purchased separately for more versatility.

This video is more helpful on how to make multiple Half Square Triangles:

This video is taken from Art Gallery Fabrics YOUTUBE channel

FAQs for Half Square Triangles

What are Half Square Triangles?

Half square triangles are a fundamental component in quilting, made by cutting a square in half diagonally to form two triangles. They are versatile and can be used to create various patterns in quilt designs.

Can I Make Half Square Triangles Without Special Equipment?

Yes, HSTs can be made with traditional cutting tools like scissors or a rotary cutter and ruler. However, using tools like the Cricut Maker 3 or AccuQuilt can significantly increase precision and efficiency.

What’s the Advantage of Using a Cricut Maker 3 for HSTs?

The Cricut Maker 3 offers versatility and precision. It can cut various sizes and shapes, including HSTs, with minimal fabric waste and is particularly useful for detailed or intricate designs.

How Does the AccuQuilt Enhance the Process of Making HSTs?

The AccuQuilt is known for its speed and accuracy. It’s especially beneficial for quilters making large numbers of Half Square Triangles, as it cuts multiple layers of fabric in uniform sizes quickly.

Can I Use an Embroidery Machine to Make Half Square Triangles?

Yes, certain embroidery machines like the Brother Luminaire can be used to make HSTs. They offer a unique method that ensures precision and consistency in size, without the need for additional trimming.

Is the AccuQuilt Worth the Investment for Casual Quilters?

It depends on your quilting frequency and project complexity. For those who quilt regularly or work on large projects, the AccuQuilt can be a valuable time-saving tool.

How Do I Choose Between Cricut Maker 3 and AccuQuilt?

Consider your specific needs: if you prioritize versatile cutting capabilities and intricate designs, the Cricut Maker 3 is ideal. If you value speed and are often making large batches of HSTs, the AccuQuilt is more suitable.

Are There Any Downsides to Using These Cutting Machines?

One potential downside is the initial cost. Additionally, the sticky mat of the Cricut can be challenging to clean, and learning to use these machines effectively may take some time.

Can I Create My Own HST Patterns Using These Machines?

Yes, both machines allow for creative freedom. You can design your own Half Square Triangles patterns or use pre-programmed options.

Is Special Software Required to Use the Cricut or AccuQuilt for Half Square Triangles?

For the Cricut, you will need to use its design software to lay out your cuts. AccuQuilt, however, uses physical dies, so no software is needed.


both the Cricut Maker 3 and the AccuQuilt cutting systems are invaluable tools for quilters seeking efficiency and precision in creating half square triangles. The Cricut offers versatility and customizability in cutting various shapes and sizes with minimal fabric waste, while the AccuQuilt system excels in its speed and accuracy, especially suited for bulk cutting. Depending on your project’s requirements and personal preferences, each machine has its unique strengths, making them excellent choices for enhancing your quilting experience. Whether you prioritize versatility, speed, or precision, these cutting machines can significantly simplify the process of creating beautiful and consistent half square triangles.

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