Half Square Triangle Units…fast and easy

I have been working on the sashing for the Suspension Bridge quilt.

suspension bridge sashing 004

It takes a lot of half square triangle units  (24 for each section).  There are lots of ways that I have seen to make these units. The most common seems to be to stack 2 squares together, draw a diagonal line in the center, sew 1/4″ from either side of the line.

3 x 3 half square triangle

Then cut down the line, then press them open and then cut off the dog ears.  This requires a lot of time.  First you have to cut all the squares, then mark them then sew 2 seams on each group, then press each unit individually and then trim them.

I decided to do it differently.

This is the unit I am making.

suspension bridge sashing 002

Here is How I did it.  First I cut strips of fabric , sewed them together and pressed.

suspension bridge sashing 003

For this project the strips are 2″.  I cut 8 green and 8 white  and sewed together (15 seams) and pressed the seams to the dark fabric.

Next I drew a 45 degree line through the center and then marked each unit off of that line (if you are very careful about your measuring and cutting you could skip the making and just cut with the rotary cutter and a ruler.

HST square cutting 007

I hope you can see the lines I marked, here is another picture

HST square cutting 006

Now just line up the ruler on the marked line and cut them apart.

I got 90 units from those 15 seams and one pressing.  once they are cut apart they are done, they do not need any more pressing and they don’t need trimming, all the dog ears are cut off when you cut them apart.

HST square cutting 009

ready to sew them together

HST square cutting 010

and then add to the quilt.

HST square cutting 012

This quilt will have 31 of these sashing pieces, and each of those has 24 triangle units so I need to make 744 units.  It seems like less of a big deal this way.

Teddy has been watching…and wondering why I keep putting this on the floor in “his” space.

HST square cutting 013

In other developments I have a Robins nest in the yard again this year.  She decided that the front porch would be a good spot and gets mad every time someone goes out there….I think the mail man is more afraid of the Robin than he is of the dog!

Happy Quilting


34 thoughts on “Half Square Triangle Units…fast and easy

  1. Sara says:

    Nice way of making half square triangles!
    Robins everywhere, but the wrens are the mean ones, we have them everywhere and they dive at the cats and anybody in the way. They have chased the bluebirds out of their boxes, they rule the world around here! Bu they are all playing in snow this morning…soon to melt?

  2. Wow! What a great way to do half square triangles. What a great way to save time!

    • timquilts says:

      I am really happy with doing it this was so far……the hardest part for me is getting very accurate seams on the strips so they can be cut apart evenly

  3. Linda says:

    You may just have changed my life a little! I have never seen half square triangles done this way, but I am on board! Trying it today. A BIG thank you

  4. Ann says:

    Wow- great tip for HST!

  5. Judy Hansen says:

    I think the only down side of doing hsts this way is that the sides are now on the bias, correct? But if that doesn’t cause any problems, it sure saves a lot of time. I will have to try it. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Ann Hancock says:

    This is MUCH easier than the method I was taught. I’m with Carla–brilliant!!

    (BTW I have your hellebores, they came yesterday)

    • timquilts says:

      thanks! I think It is a lot easier….just makes the bias on the outside edge.

      I forgot all about the Hellebores….I have been so scatterbrained for the last year since I have been so sick….hopefully the surgery will have fixed that ….send me an e-mail….timlatimerquilts at gmail dot com

  7. Sharon Eshlaman says:

    I love the way you can make tasks easier and less boring and tedious. You just amaze me. Have you thought of doing a book? I really think you should. I would love a book I could refer to with all the neat processes you’ve passed along to us in the few months I’ve been following you. Get right on that, would ya? You would also need a few pictures of your quilt inspector in the book. I love that dog!

    • timquilts says:

      I really have thought of it…I just have to get to work on it….when I do I will put Teddy on the cover…maybe the title can be “tips from the quilt inspector”

  8. audrey says:

    I’ve seen that method before. I suppose you have to be very precise, but the outcome looks very worthwhile! Love how this quilt is coming along!

  9. myrosesindecember says:

    Absolutely brilliant!

  10. Genevieve says:

    I’m looking forward to giving this a go, and I am relieved to read it took you a few practices to get it right. It reassures me perseverance will pay off. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Marjorie says:

    Brilliant. Unfortunately, this new technique will only serve to fuel my existing HST obsession.

  12. Faith Swanson says:

    I absolutely love the HST cutting tip! When I cut the original strips I cut them on the bias so the squares finish on the straight of grain, however, I cut the squares individually – I am going to try this! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  13. […] Refer to the posts about it here  and  here […]

  14. Marguerite says:

    I believe, if the original strips are straight grain, your result is what’s referred to as quarter square triangles. Bias and all that. But if, as you say, they’re too small to stretch, that doesn’t matter 🙂

  15. Karin Peirce says:

    What a brilliant way to make the half squares, I’ll give that a try, thanks again for sharing all these tidbits.

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