Back to School

I can hardly fathom it's August already! You may or may not be gearing up to get the kids back-to-school ready, but just thinking about school gave me the idea this would be a great time for us to brush up on a little quilter's math.

I just started a new quilt project that involves a lot of different sized half-square triangles (HSTs) so why not have a little tutorial about how to "do the math"! There's an easy formula for figuring out what size square to cut for any size half-square triangle that will take the guesswork out of cutting and piecing, especially if you like to draft your own blocks. 

HST Formula

Finished size square + 7/8" = Cut size

Example: If you need a 2" finished square, then you need to cut a 2-7/8" square (Note: If working with non-whole numbers, it helps to convert the fractions to decimals to add the 7/8" (.875) to the finished size dimensions) 

Half-square Triangle Units

Make a set of HST units, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lighter square.

Place marked square right sides together with another (same size) square, matching edges.

Stitch a 1/4" on either side of the drawn line.

Cut on the drawn line. 

Press open and trim dog ears. Makes two HST units.

Half-square Triangles

Some blocks require the use of half-square triangle pieces. Two HSTs are cut from a square and the cutting size is figured exactly the same way as for determining the size of HST units. In the quilt I am making, I need 2" finished, 4" finished, and 6" finished HST pieces. So I cut 2-7/8", 4-7/8", and 6-7/8" squares then cut the squares in half diagonally. This method is a time saver because I did not need to use any templates. I could cut a strip the width of the square cutting size, cut into squares, then cut in half diagonally. If you've cut your strips and squares accurately and used a true 1/4" seam allowance, there's no need to square up and trim your HSTs! 


Shown above are all the different size HST unit and pieces needed for a section of my Tea Leaf block.

I am making a throw quilt just for me! You'd think with all the quilts I make they would all be for me but not really the case. This one will use selected prints from all four of my Art Gallery Fabrics fabric lines and be a soothing accent to my family room decor (which has been much neglected over the years of being too busy to redecorate). More next post on the soon-to-be-finished quilt.  


Each month is a new opportunity to win a fat quarter bundle from my sponsor the Fat Quarter Shop. This month we are showcasing Amy Sinibaldi's newest Art Gallery Fabrics fabric line called Playground



The Fat Quarter Shop will be giving away two 10-pc bundles of the Sunny Adventures colorway this month. Two lucky winners will be randomly selected. Giveaway for the Playground fabrics bundle begins today, Monday, August 1th, 2016 and will end on Monday, August 8th, 2016 at 4 p.m. EDT. 

  • Leave a comment on this blog post anytime between 8/1/16 and 4 p.m. EDT on 8/8/16 to be entered into drawing

Two winners will be randomly drawn and notified via email so be sure to completely fill out the comment box entry form with a valid email address. If I cannot reach the winners within 24 hours I will select an alternate winner. Check back on your comment after 4 p.m. EDT 8/8/16 to see if you are a winner!