# How to Make 8 Half-Square Triangles at Once: The Magic 8 Method

If you donβt like cutting and stitching loose triangles together on the bias, or need to make lots and lots of half-square triangles for a quilting project, hereβs a quick and easy solution.

## Genuis quilting hacks

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## Making the Magic 8 work for you

### Step 1:

To make a Magic 8, first determine what size finished half-square triangles are desired.

#### For example:

1. Letβs say you want to make 3β finished half-square triangles.
3. Multiply your total of 3-7/8β by 2. (That equals 7-3/4β)
4. 7-3/4β squares are the size needed to make your 3β finished half-square triangles.

### Step 2:

Cut two squares the desired size based on the formula above.

### Step 3:

Place the two squares on top of each other, with right sides together. Then, on one of the fabrics, raw two diagonal lines corner to corner.

### Step 4:

Next, you’ll stitch a total of four lines: 2 on both sides of each diagonal line, ΒΌ” away from the line.

### Step 5:

Now, you can carefully cut the sewn square into the eight HSTs. You’ll make a total of four cuts.

#### Cut 1:

Cut vertically right down the center. Align your ruler with the center where you drawn lines intersect and one straight edge of the fabric squares.

#### Cut 2:

Make a second cut that’s perpendicular to the cut you just made. At this point, it’s best to leave the fabric pieces where they are β don’t try to rotate the fabric! Instead, walk around your table so you are better positioned to make the cut, or turn your cutting mat.

#### Cuts 3 and 4:

Cut on both of the drawn diagonal lines, between your stitching lines. Again, it’s best not to move your fabric; instead, move your body or your board so that you don’t shift the fabric.

### Step 6:

Now that you’re done with your cuts, you can separate the cut pieces…

…and open them up to reveal your perfect half-square triangles! Press the seams to the darker side and you’re ready to use them in a project.

## Use the Magic 8 method to whip up these fun quilt patterns!

Half-square triangles are often used in many quilt blocks and quilt patterns. Pinwheels, charm quilts and many star blocks to name a few. Just imagine how this simple and fast Magic 8 method will change your quilting life!

### Carpenter’s Star Quilt

These striking star quilts are typically made with tricky Y-seams, but this genius variations achieves the same style with only half-square triangles and squares.

### Modern HST Table Runner

Because this table runner only uses two colors, it’s the perfect contender for the Magic 8 method. We love this striking off-center design, but it would be easy to put your own spin on the arrangement.

### Half-Square Triangle Baby Quilt

A kids’ fabric would make this baby quilt extra sweet, but it would also be a great pattern to use up coordinating 6″ square scraps.

## Genuis quilting hacks

Want 18 pages of helpful hacks every quilter should know?! Download our E-guide to save and print.

Kimaley Whitsett Johnson

I can’t wait to try this method!

Delphina Martinez

If I want a finished six inch pinwheel what size square do I start with.?

Beckie Orlando

To make a 6-inch square pinwheel, I think you start by doing the math:

6 inches + 7/8 = 6 7/8 x 2 = 13 3/4 inches
For decimals use:
7/8 in a decimal is .875. So 6 + .875 = 6.875 x 2 = 13.75 which is 13 3/4; then cut your 8 triangles as indicated in this tutorial and sew together.

Wilma Mulder

For a FINISHED 6 inch square pinwheel, you need 4 HST`s. Finished 6 /2=3 inch finished = 3.5 inch HST, follow calculations 3.5 inches + 7/8 inch = 4.375 x 2 = 8.75 inches square to start with

Jean Eversole Lorenz

I have used Karen’s turorial and made magic 8 half square triangles. So fast and accurate.

I am definitely going to try this for my next Pinwheel quilt. Thanks so much!

Terrie Durgin

This is great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial π

Terrie Durgin

This is great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial π

Kathleen Dober

Thanks for sharing I have lots of material and scrap peices will try real soon.

Brenda Sarrasin

if you add 7/8″ for finished 3″ blocks, what is the formula for larger ones please?

Lois

You add the 7/8″ to any size square you want to make…3″, 5.25″, 8.5″. Any size, when you add 7/8″ and then multiply by two you will end up with what size squares you need to cut to start the process.

eva

it would be β to each one…
example:
for a 2″ finished HST…you’d cut a 2β” set of squares
for a 4″ finished HST…you’d cut a 4β” set of squares
for a 5″ finished HST…you’d cut a 5β” set of squares
for a 6″ finished HST…you’d cut a 6β” set of squares
for a 7″ finished HST…you’d cut a 7β” set of squares

and so on…

Chrissy

Eva, you left out “then multiply by 2!”

KimandDennis Bemis

Where was this method when I was struggling to figure out how to make a flying geese for my grandsons quilt. π

Karen

Flying geese are made differently. Google an Eleanor burns tutorial for geese.

Lorry Meyers Kirschner

Yes…what a game changer this process is…woohoo, can’t wait to do this!

Lorry Meyers Kirschner

Yes…what a game changer this process is…woohoo, can’t wait to do this!

margaret

What an absolutely wonderful method! Stash the ones you do not use and make something unusual and original.

Patricia

I need a 2″ hst. Added 7/8 to the 2″ which made it 2 7/8. Then multiplied by 2. Equals 5 3/4″ square.
The finished product was much larger than 2″. What is the correct formula?

karen walker

Hi Paticia…i’m sorry i am just seeing your comment. With your listed measurements, you will get a
2-1/2″”UNfinished half square triangle. Finished triangle will measure 2″.

Go here to download my free Magic 8 pdf which includes a cutting chart.
http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/other/free-magic-8-tutorial/99550

~karen

Sharon

Do you always add 7/8″ to any size finished square or does it change with the size?
Any help would be great!
Thanks, Sharon

karen walker

Hi Sharon,
Adding 7/8″ to your squares will result in a FINISHED half square triangle measuring in even inches, ie: 1″, 2″, 3″, etc. If you add 3/8″ to your beginning squares, the FINISHED hst will measure in half inch increments, ie: 1-1/2″, 2-1/2″, 3-1/2″, etc.
If you are on Pinterest, you will find a number of different charts for a variety of quilting formulas here:
https://www.pinterest.com/chezstitches/quilting-formulas-and-tutorials/

Thanks!
~karen

Karen Scribner

Please remove this comment. It is very confusing, especially to new quilters who do not understand math, and the concept of a block that is finished, versus unfinished that has the 1/4″ seams showing.

Sue Hills

Before seeing the above comments I tried this formula and the HSTs came out too big. I reduced the size of the starting squares and tried again. Still too big. I need a 3.5″ HST so that when I sew 4 together I get a 6.5″ pinwheel block. I now see from the comments above that it is a different formula for a finished HST measured in half inch increments. It would have been useful if that had been explained in the tutorial. Surely most blocks are a rounded size and therefore need a half inch added for the seam allowances when sewn together meaning they will always be a something and a half finished block? I’m glad I read the comments as I was giving up the will to live!!

allyn

can some one PLEASE tell me where to find the chart for these measurements. .
ive been on and around the website for about an hour now and i cant find it or the download (link takes me to identical page, without comments).
im (a newbie) trying to make a finished HST measuring 1 1/2″.

(1 1/2 + 7/8) * 2 = 4 3/4 ?
or
(1 1/2 + 3/8) * 2 = 3 3/4 ?

i cut out all of my 1 1/2″ finished squares.
then cut an extra 10 and cut them if half to make my 1 1/2″ HST.
i hope 1 day i will find a use for them…

thanks
allyn

allyn

getting a little toooo flustered with this…
squares are 1 1/2″ UNfinished.
therefore, a 1″ finished hst would =
(1 + 7/8) * 2 = 3 3/4

karen walker

Allyn,
I should add that the link i provided in my comment above, has the same picture of the half square triangles as seen at the top of this blog post…maybe that brought some confusion. However, you can click on the Download Digital Pattern for a free pdf tutorial.

Alex

I literally just finished cutting a whole bunch of triangles and now I am so angry for not finding this page first!

Melanie

HST are currently driving me CRAZY!!! I am working on a Bear Paw and one block has 16 HST LOL