How to Make String Pieced Half-Square Triangle Quilt Blocks

How do you feel about triangle quilts? I quite like them and I’ll admit, I’ve been having a love affair with Half-Square Triangle quilt blocks in particular.

string-hst-1The mighty Half-Square Triangle quilt block is simple, but the possibilities are endless. It’s so fun to arrange and rearrange the blocks to create a wide array of potential quilt designs.

Now that I’ve made several triangle quilts, I’ve got more than a few Half-Square Triangle pieces in my overflowing stash of fabric scraps. While reorganizing my sewing space, I’ve come to the realization that my fabric scrap stash has outgrown my storage capacity. You know what that means; it’s time to use those scraps!

My go to resource for scrap and string quilting inspiration is Lynn Harris’ book Every Last Piece. She has 12 gorgeous quilt designs and great advice on storing and using the scrap fabric we’ve all been keeping.

Lynn’s quilt “Nancy” is just the project to make a dent in my scrap stash. The quilt utilizes a Half-Square Triangle quilt block where one of the HSTs is string pieced and the other side of the block is a standard HST. Here are Lynn’s directions for her string pieced Half-Square Triangle Quilt Blocks:

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1. From the background or scrap fabric, cut 6-7⁄8″ squares. Cut these squares in half on the diagonal.

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2. Using a triangular ruler or template as a guide, sew scraps together to build a piece of fabric at least as large as the template. Start in the middle of the triangle with a piece that will cover the template from tip to base. Add strips to each side, press and starch. Continue adding strips until the built piece is slightly larger than the template. Use a Half-Square Triangle template or ruler to trim the piece to size.

Tip: Take note of where the seam line will be as you get close to the outer points of the triangle. Make sure the last piece you add to finish the triangle point is big enough that it will be visible after the seams are sewn. If you use a rotary cutting ruler, it’s easy to see what falls inside the seam line.

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3. Pair each pieced triangle with a background triangle.

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4. Sew the pieced and background triangles together.

5. Lay out the blocks as desired and sew them together.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the lay out options of step five. Spoiler alert: this is my favorite part of making a Half-Square Triangle quilt! Here are a few quilt designs Lynn came up with for these string pieced Half-Square Triangle blocks:

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Theses quilt layouts use an off-center focal point as a source of movement. One looks like a ripple and the other is an echo of an “x” shape.

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In these two quilt designs there is no focal point at all. One integrates the ever popular chevron zig-zag to create movement across the quilt. And the other draws on the classic herringbone pattern to create a quilt top with an all over pattern.

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Explore more scrap and string quilts as you work your way through Lynn’s book. Order your copy of Every Last Piece to discover expert instruction and quilt blocks that are sure to make a dent in your stash of fabric scraps. Can’t wait to get started? Download the eBook instantly.

Happy quilting!

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P.S. Do you have a favorite string piecing quilt block? Or a preferred Half-Square Triangle quilt design? Leave a comment below or upload a photo of your work to our free member galleries to share.

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