How to Make Half Square Triangle Blocks – video

How to Make Half Square Triangles - a video tutorial

Yesterday I showed you what a half-square triangle block is (and some of the tools you’ll use to make them). Today I’m going to show you how to make one. Actually – two, because with this technique you make them two at a time.

There are a LOT of different methods for making half-square triangles. Some of them make a lot of blocks relatively quickly, but they have a lot of steps that don’t feel very intuitive to me. This method is fast, easy to understand (once you do it once you’ll never need to look at the instructions again), and makes a nice accurate block. That’s all I ask for. 🙂


Update – Ask and ye shall receive! Someone asked for a printable PDF with very basic instructions that she could follow along with away from her computer. What a great idea! I put together a handy dandy cheat sheet on just one page – with photos. 🙂 Here’s the link to download it.

One more thing. In this video I tell you to cut your initial squares 1 inch larger than the size of the finished block. Most instructions tell you to cut cut 7/8″ bigger and then sew with a scant quarter inch seam allowance. That makes me really nervous. How much smaller than 1/4 inch is a “scant” 1/4 inch seam? If I’m not scant enough my blocks will be just a smidge too small and then I’m SOL. No. I’d rather cut my initial squares 1/8″ bigger, sew with a real (measurable) 1/4 inch seam allowance, and then trim away the tiny bit of extra I end up with. It’s much less nerve-wracking – plus the math is easier. 🙂

So – what can you do with a half-square triangle? So. Many. Things. I’ll teach you a quarter-square triangle in a few weeks, but here are some gorgeous quilts made with just half-square triangles and maybe some strips and squares.

How about this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Or this one? (Oh my goodness! Please click through on this one to see the gorgeous machine quilting!)

The possibilities with just half-square triangles are incredible! Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about this year’s Quilt Block of the Month series – now with triangles!

Happy quilting!




  1. Wendy, I enjoy your videos very much because you make them so easy to understand. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    • I certainly have quilt envy – especially with the quilting on the last example! You make everything look so easy and beautiful.
      Thank you for all your posts.

    • Those are not my quilts – though I especially covet that last one. 🙂 That kind of quilting is done with a long-arm machine which I do not have. There are a lot of really talented people who never piece quilts – just do the long-arm quilting for hire. So tempting. . .

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