HST Mountain

The quilt I just finished has over 400 half square triangles. Considering that one week ago today I started this top — designed it, pieced the top, quilted it, bound it and it’s now done and will be shipped either this afternoon or tomorrow, AND that I made over 400 half square triangles . . that’s proof that something’s just not right with the way I think.  I love a challenge . . even if it results in no sleep, no knitting, no house cleaning . . wait . . I love anything that results in no house cleaning.

What’s your favorite method for making half square triangles?  I’ve tried many methods . . probably not every method, but my favorite way to make them is using the Triangulations™ papers.  I’m not sure I could have made all these half square triangles without Triangulations.

These are all the little tips I cut off.  No! I am not going to save them, though I thought they would be so cute in a jar.  This is about 2 cups of tiny little tips.  Yes!  I am going to throw these away . . this afternoon! 🙂

Another thing I like when making triangles is the Olfa rotating cutting mat.  I don’t use it often but I always use it when making half square triangles because it’s easier and quicker to turn the mat instead of trying to turn the papers/fabric with all the different angles to be cut.

I am glad to have the quilt finished.  I love it . . I think it’s one of the best I’ve made in a while and can hardly wait to hear if the Quiltmaker people like the quilt and want to show it in the next 100 Blocks issue.


  1. 1


    Can’t wait to see this one! As much as I complain about HSTs, they are the main component in my favorite quilts. Yep, Triangulations is a must-have in every quilter’s sewing arsenal!

  2. 2

    Aida Zayas says

    The HST is not my favorite! Although I made 90 of them for project before. I tried Thangles and loved it – now I’m not so afraid to make them!

    • 2.1


      The difference in Thangles and Triangulations is that you get a CD with the Triangulations and you print them yourself. There is every size you could ever need and you print them off as needed.

  3. 3

    Mel Meister says

    HSTs are one of my favorite blocks as they are so versatile. I have tried the papers and do not do so well with them. I just do the “tried and true” method of marking the line down the center and sewing the scant quarter inch down each side of the mark and cutting them in half. I then trim up the sides to the size the block should be.

    It’s a lot of work, but it’s how I do them the best.

  4. 4


    I usually do scrappy HSTs so I do what Mel Meister does so I can have a greater variety.

    I do love my rotating cutting mat for trimming up those HSTs though 🙂

  5. 5


    Triangulations is also my favorite!!! The good thing is you always have the size you need just a print away. I just made 600 for a Bonnie Hunter Mystery.
    Paula in KY

  6. 6


    I didn’t know there was a paper for that! I’d learned to do HSTs that way by drawing on regular paper with an iron-transfer pencil…hmmm… My favorite way to make HSTs? Not at all! (Though they seem to creep into most every pattern I decide to make, so the way I make them depends on what I need.)

  7. 7

    Diane in CA says

    Oh, do save those pretty little pieces in a jar for a while.. they remind me of little butterflys or paper airplanes.. you can always throw them out next week.. (famous last words around my house).

  8. 8


    Trying hard not to stroke over the idea of you tossing those triangles! My favorite way is to oversize two squares, sew on both sides of a drawn diagonal line and then trim to the perfect size. Takes a bit of time, but results in perfect HSTs. Using the paper patterns has just never worked for me.

  9. 9


    Since getting my AccuQuilt Studio about a year ago, I bought all the half square triangle dies. They are cut to perfection, already dog eared, and I never half to square my finished ones up, I absolutely LOVE using the dies. Piece of cake!

    • 9.1


      I have all the dies too but I find I get more accurate HSTs using Triangulations. I think I distort them when pressing and with the paper still attached, that doesn’t happen using Triangulations.

  10. 10


    I usually make my HDT’s larger then needed and then (UGH) trim them all to size. Do you have to trim using triangulations? Do yours come out nice and square?

    Inquiring minds need to know.

  11. 11

    Dorothy S says

    Oh, I would love those little triangles you were going to throw out, I am saving mine to go into mini quilts, it takes a lot! BUT, I know I have a SAVING problem…just never been a ‘pitcher’ lol

  12. 12


    I like that way too but my NEW favorite way is using the GO cutter (if they are the right size, of course) No dog ears to trim! LOOOVE IT!

  13. 13


    I was distorting, too, when “ironing,” but I stopped using steam and “press” now and don’t have that problem. Of course, there is NO problem with Triangulations!

  14. 14


    I just learned to use the Easy Angle ruler. I press my two fabrics together and cut with the ruler. If I sew a good 1/4′ seam and press carefully, they come out perfect and I don’t have to pull off any papers.

  15. 15


    Ok – I do like the perfect triangles made by using Triangulations or Thangles. Using eithers makes it so easy to sew how ever many needed accurate & absolutely perfect triangles. But ……. I don’t have much patience when it comes to removing all those little pieces of paper!!

  16. 16


    I wanted to see how many comments before someone had heart fluctuations over the thought of thrown away triangle cast offs. 😉
    I also did the brave/strong thing this week and tossed ridiculously small scraps.
    I continue to hand quilt UFO #6 (orphan blocks quilt). It’s taking me forever and label may include new name “…that damn quilt”.
    Next number gets machine quilted no matter what.

  17. 17


    Can’t wait to see! I love half-squares – almost as much as my favorite – squares!!! I avoid distortion by pressing the seams open rather than to one side. The only drawback is then I can’t hand-quilt in the ditch along those seams, and sometimes I want to.

  18. 18


    I wanted to add that I have been sewing together my 20-year collection of triangles – saved from other projects! So they have little chance of coming out square. They are different sizes to begin with. What I do to make them square is to lay them out in the grid of the finished quilt, then sew pairs together to make rectangles, then sew the rectangles together to make bigger squares. Then I trim these 2 x 2 squares accurately, and the rest is easy.

    I had these triangles in a box for a long time. There were some little ones in there that I TOSSED! Bwahahahaha.

    You can see it here:


  19. 19


    I’m a Easy Angle user. I’m not especially careful about the pressing, but I find that if I pay attention when sewing the units together, I can tolerate a little bit of inaccuracy in the triangles, by compensating as I line them up.

  20. 21

    Bonnie says

    Now why did no one suggest tossing those ‘throw-away’ bits into the compost bin? They’re fiber and will compost nicely. Oh, or maybe pad the chicken’s nests 😉 As I sew, I toss all the unsalvageable scraps, trimmings and bits of thread into a paper bag and eventually dump them into my compost bin.

  21. 22


    I just printed out a sheet of Triangulatioins and tried them. EXCELLENT! But I discovered something–when I pressed the HSTs open with the paper on, I then turned them over and pressed the paper open too! Boy, did that paper tear off easily! Tear it from the top corner–ZZZZIP!!

  22. 23

    Joan says

    I too love the Triangulations. Really saves a lot of time and as you said, all sizes are possible. Well worth the price, as I always hated doing HST’s.

  23. 24


    I like using the Easy Angle ruler. If you press your matched fabics together and then cut with the ruler you have them already paired up and only one side with dog ears.
    I do have the Triangulations CD…never tried it actually!
    And those cut offs would look charming in a glass jar. I save my dogears…from day #1 of sewing…a. nice mason jar with a doily on top and all my teeny tiny dogears in it. My quilting friends laugh but I did meet a lady through my blog that has several jars of her dog ears. I am not alone!
    I am attending the Shipshee retreat in Oct. 2011…are you?
    XOOXO Subee

  24. 25


    until you said you were throwing them away – I thought those were the HST’s before pressing open 😛 I too la,la,love Triangulations!!! and also my rotating cutting mat like yours 😉 Two must haves for every quilter!

    Can’t wait to look for you in Quiltmaker!!
    Love from Texas! ~bonnie