Friday 19 August 2011

Making HST's... fast!

This is how I quickly create Half Square Triangles (HST) using a paper method. Those of you making Peaceful Pathways Block 1 (my BOM), this is the method I used.
There are many ways to create HST: this is just 1 way. There are pre-paper printed sheets you can purchase, or you can trace a triangle template to make it the traditional way.
I like to do things as simply, quickly and as economically as possible. Above all though– it must be accurate! This method is accurate and simple if followed correctly. There’s no need to trim after cutting.
If you try this method, make 1 sheet first and then measure for accuracy to ensure that you are doing it right.
Also ensure that your stitches are shortened, approx. 1.8 stitch length
Now, in this tutorial, we are using the pattern sheet printed on A4 which is included in my Peaceful Pathways (BOM) pattern.
Firstly, cut away excess paper from around the pattern.

Making HST's fast

Cut 2 fabric pieces (red and white) slightly larger than the pattern. Place right sides of fabric together.

This is a picture of the trimmed paper template and pinned into position

Sew along the indicated red lines (sew directly over the paper pattern) and then turn and press the back of your piece with a dry iron to set the seams on the back of the fabric.
Note: the ink from the pattern transferred to my ironing board during this process (as it is facing down during this step), so I recommend using parchment paper beneath (or simply do what I do - iron down a sheet of freezer paper during sewing sessions to keep your board perfectly clean for your DH's shirts!)

Trim all the edges. You can’t see it but the fabric is beneath this pattern. Cut on all black lines with a rotary cutter and ruler.

These are cut apart pieces

Press open towards the darker side with papers still attached

Trim off the tiny triangle ears protruding

Remove papers

Measure your HST – it should be perfect. In no time at all, you finished 12 perfect 12 x HST (with seam allowance). How great is that?
Peaceful Pathways calls for 360 x HST which equals 30 x A4 paper templates with 12 HST on a sheet. So after this one, you only have 29 to go. You can make all 360 in a single afternoon.

What could be more enjoyable to do on a sewing afternoon? Easy! Perfect!


  1. Thank you for this tutorial!

  2. thank you! what a cool way to make HST...and fast.

  3. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I definitely like quick, efficient methods and this one is new to me and I'll be using it.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial Ester. It seems so simple to do so, put like that and I guess very accurate. May we know the name of the ruler you are using in this tutorial?
    Cheers Denise

  5. This is a great tutorial! I've tried this once and was very frustrated but I think I'll try it again as your instructions are very clear!

  6. That looks easy enough! Thank you! I'm going to try that with this BOM, once I finally start it!

  7. What a great method! I love it!

  8. Esther, thank you so much for this tut....I will definitely be using this for easy......

  9. Thank you for this tutorial!
    Efficient methods!I love it!

  10. Thank you for this, Esther. I am useless at machine piecing (especially triangles etc. ) so I shall try this out.
    One question - do you use a separate rotary cutter when the paper is still attached?


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