In Praise of Half Square Triangles

I’ve had a half square triangle (HST) project brewing for a few months now.  Last week I scaled it down to a table runner rather than a full size quilt (I was in desperate need of an achievable FINISH!).  I sat with pencil and trusty book of squared paper (a leftover from #3 child’s primary school days) and came up with a simple design which would require just three fabrics.

My design and the two HST blocks needed to complete it.

My design and the two HST blocks needed to complete it.

I am so intrigued by the versatility of this simple patchwork block.  So many blocks and patterns can be made from just sewing two triangles together!  I’ve gathered together some of the examples I’ve found on this Pinterest board.  I also took photos of quilts comprised of HSTs being exhibited at last week’s Quilt’s UK, Malvern.  Unfortunately I can’t ‘publish’ them here as the show guide is very explicit, saying photos ‘are not to be posted on any website unless prior permission has been granted by the organisers’ 😦  All I can say is, the quilts on show were very inspiring!

Arriving at Quilts Uk last Saturday, note the dramatic Malvern Hills in the background and the queue for the Ladies in the foreground!

Arriving at Quilts Uk last Saturday, note the dramatic Malvern Hills in the background and the queue for the Ladies in the foreground!

Taking a lunch break outside the exhibition hall - much more retail therapy and quilt gazing to do!

Taking a lunch break outside the exhibition hall – much more retail therapy and quilt gazing to do later!

Other inspiration for my little HST project has come from blog posts including one from Katy of her beautifully zingy quilt named ‘Fiest’a.  She has entered this in the Bloggers Quilt Festival and wrote about it in a recent post but first showed photos of it earlier in this year.

So, I was all set to explain the method I use to make HSTs when up popped Alyce’s post earlier this week showing her lovely block featuring lots of HSTs and including a clear explanation of how to make them – so rather than repeat her good work, I direct you to Alyce’s blog for an explanation…!  A square ruler with a 45° line across the centre is a really useful piece of equipment for squaring up the HST blocks – I wouldn’t be without my 6½” ruler!

Squaring up HST blocks.  For this project I gave myself a bit of wiggle room and cut the squares 1" larger than the finished size of the block rather than the 7/8ths actually required to make the finished size.

Squaring up HST blocks. For this project I gave myself a bit of wiggle room and cut the squares 1″ larger than the finished size of the block rather than the 7/8ths actually required to make the finished size.

Funnily enough HST projects have sprung up all over the internet!  Maybe it’s because they are on my mind but just about every blog post I’ve read this past fortnight seems to have featured triangles!  Here are some more links:

http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2015/05/modern-gray-and-white-neutrals-quilt.html

https://catbirdquilts.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/just-playing/

http://www.prairiesewnstudios.com/2015/05/work-in-progress-wednesday-38.html

Here is my FINISHed project:

The completed table runner.

The completed table runner.  The fabrics are from the ‘Home to Roost’ range by Red Rooster.

I decided to quilt around the diamond pattern created by the HSTs using one of my sewing machines top-stitches rather than quilting in the ditch.

I decided to quilt around the diamond pattern created by the HSTs using one of my sewing machines top-stitches rather than quilting in the ditch.

Are you seeing triangles everywhere too?

Allison

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Finish It Up Friday, and Prairie Sewn Studios

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About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
This entry was posted in Finish 2015, Inspiration, Quilt Blocks, Quilt Exhibitions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Praise of Half Square Triangles

  1. Oh, I think HST are always everywhere in quilting. It’s one of our basic building blocks! Squares and triangles, can’t get much simpler than that. 🙂

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  2. It’s funny how my eyes have only just opened to the fact but really now I do see HSTs everywhere!

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  3. Nicole says:

    HSTs are so versatile! The possibilities are endless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colleen says:

    Your table runner turned out great, love your colour choices ! I made a hst quilt for my son that I haven’t shown on my blog yet. I think it had 420 hst’s, I was a little sick of them after that ! Looks like you had a great day for your trip.

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