Sunday, April 28, 2013

Squares and Half Square Triangles - A Quilt Block Tutorial

Do you remember this jacket that I bought for my eldest last autumn?! I wanted to copy that design into a quilt ever since. May is my month in our bee and here is the oppertunity to finally use the design.

Patchwork Winterjacke 2

I made up this block using only Half Square Triangles (HST) and squares. The plain squares are a 3” size. For the HST I cut 3,5” squares.

I am sure my fellow Sew-Euro-bee-ans know perfectly well how to sew HSTs but I thought I could as well shoot some step-by-step photos.

finished block

For those HSTs take two 3,5” squares, place them right sides together and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite one.

mark diagonal

Sew next to the marked line, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn and sew along the other side.

sew diagonal

Your square should now look like this:

after sewing diagonally

Cut along the marked line:

cut diagonal

Press the seams to one side (you could also press the seams open if you like it better that way. It certainly decreases the amount of bulk in the following steps – but I’m a lazy girl so I pressed the seams to one side (o:). Afterwards square up to 3” size, lining up your 45° mark of your ruler with the centre seam.

square up 3 inch


Then lay out the HST blocks and the plain squares in a nice mix of values. Afterwards assemble the rows using a 1/4 inch seam allowance


When assembling the rows I never cut the thread so the rows are kept in place by the connecting threads.

detail of row

Afterwards press the seams to one side – alternating the direction every other row.


Sew the rows together and you are done:

finished block detail

In case you might be wondering about my choice of colours: I always wanted to make a solids-only quilt and I always wanted a quilt that matches our orange couch and the light yellow walls (BTW, I’d never buy an orange couch again…). But I never found something pleasing that matches the exact colours of our room – so being princess bee in May is a wonderful occasion to ask for blocks I can unite in a lovely memory quilt that will be used every day.

Dear Sew-Euro-bee-ans, thank you very much for sewing these blocks for me. They finish at 13” so they are 0,5” bigger than what we stated in our guidelines. But making my master block I realized that it was so much easier to cut 3” squares than 2 7/8”" inch squares… I hope that’s o.k. for you, Ladies!

Have fun and happy sewing!


  1. What a great block C.
    I absolutely love it.
    The colours will be great to match your couch.

  2. Looks great! I love making HST, I even like to trim them so this is perfect for me. I'm looking forward to making your blocks.

  3. Fabulous block. I will have Elisabeth trim my HST's then ;)

  4. Love the jacket and the block. Thank you for linking to my party.

  5. Looks straightforward to me! This quilt is on my bucket list - I love the effect all the blocks give when placed together :)

  6. The jacket looks great. This block is going to make a wonderful quilt :)

  7. Oh the will look great in large numbers. Do you want the blocks placed the same or is it random?


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