Half-square triangles, or HSTs, have to be one of the most versatile quilt blocks around. No matter how you piece ’em together (yeah, there’s more than one way to make an HST!) the result is the same: a simple foundation block made in two contrasting fabrics, that can be arranged to create quilt designs ranging from crazy simple to beautifully complex.
If you’ve never made an HST before, we recommend starting with a small project, like a custom table runner or dreamy pillow. Ready to tackle a full-size quilt? These half-square triangle quilt patterns are begging to be put to good use.
Types of Half-Square Triangle Quilts
1. Friendship Stars
For this beginner-friendly design, you’ll mix half-square triangles with basic squares to create the classic nine-patch friendship star quilt block . Pro tip: Sewing your square blocks together and then cutting them into triangles (rather than the other way around) will keep your bias edges from stretching out of shape as you sew.
2. Shoo Fly
This design proves that playing with HST placement can create fun effects, but go the extra mile and pay attention to the motifs on your fabric, too: you can fussy cut around them when making the center square of your quilt block, putting those pretty designs on full display.
3. Spinning Star
If you love the friendship star block, add a few more HSTs to create a mesmerizing spinning effect. You can make a ton of these blocks to put together an entire quilt, or stretch your skills and mix ’em into a modular quilt that features a bunch of different block designs.
4. The Chevron
Create two-tone HSTs and, with just a little rotation, you’ll see a chic chevron design start to emerge. Because your prints will touch with this layout, press every other seam to the dark side. That way the seams will lock, nesting together so they’re nice and flat.
5. Cross My Heart
The graphic negative space in this quilt has a secret: it’s made from large half-square triangles! It just goes to show how much of an impact color choice and different block combos can have on your end result.
6. Tiled Stars
These ombré stars may look daunting, but the points are actually made from simple HSTs that you can create out of fat quarters . Just remember, when you’re pairing a colored fabric with a white one, always press your seam to the dark side — if you press to the light side, that darker fabric will peek through the white and skew the look of your finished quilt.
To create a classic pinwheel unit, it’s important to nail your piecing so you get perfectly aligned points. You’ll learn how to do just that through chain piecing, resulting in a gorgeous design that’d make a perfect baby quilt.