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Making Half Square Triangles, Method 1 posted: 3/27/2003
by Dori Hawks Printable Page
Category: Piecing Method: All
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What are Half Square Triangles? It sounds complicated, doesn't it, but it is not. It is a square of any size made up of two equal triangles. It is the basis for many quilt block patterns.

  1. Cut a square the size needed for your block. It needs to be 7/8" larger than your finished block size. If you need a 4" finished square, add 7/8" to that measurement. This is includes the seam allowances, and includes compensation for the triangles. Cut this square in half diagonally. Read Quilt Math: Magic Numbers for further clarification of the amount to add to your finished square size.


  2. Step 1a Cutting

    Step 1a Cutting

  3. Sew two triangles right sides together with a " seam allowance. Sew along the long side of the triangle.

  4. Step 2 Sewing

  5. You may press the seam to one side (pressing toward the darker fabric so their isn't a shadow of the dark fabric showing through from the right side.) I prefer to press these seams open. The block lies flatter when it is finished, and it makes it easier for machine quilting later. The free motion quilting foot glides over the seams more smoothly.

  6. Step 3 Pressing

    Step 3a Right Side

  7. There are some little points (wings) hanging out over the edge of the block where the seam line is. Trimming these off lessens the bulk of fabric in your quilt and makes it easier to hand and machine quilt.

  8. Step 4a Trimming Wings

    Step 4b

  9. Press your block again but this time from the right side.

  10. Step 5 Finished


2003 Dori Hawks

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