HST's 8 at-a-time
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
There are multiple ways to make HST's, but often my go to is 8 at-a-time. To me it's the quickest way to make multiple HST's, so often I refer to this method and write patterns with it in mind, such as the Winter Flurry Pattern. When sizing I like to give a little wiggle room to trim but not waste any additional fabric. If you are new to making HST's it can never hurt to go up 1/8" or 1/4" in sizing when you cut your squares. For example if the pattern called for 8" squares, maybe cut them at 8 1/8" or 8 1/4" to add a little more room for trimming..
To start, take the Background Square and mark a line diagonally in both directions. My go-to- tool for marking is the hera marker. This is not my favorite part in making HST's so often I stack 3-4 of my background squares and mark them all at the same time creating a crease in multiple ones. However, if you are sewing in a dimly lite area theses marks can be hard to see. If you are new to HST's, using a pencil or pen like the one in the picture by Pilot , which disappears with heat from an iron, may be easier to start. This is what I used for this post.
To start, take the background fabric and lay it on top of the main fabric square, matching up the corners.
Sew a 1/4" to the right and left of both the diagonal lines, as shown in the photo to the left.. Then finger presss the squares in half both vertically and horizontally. This makes it easier to line up the ruler and cut the large block into four smaller blocks with your rotary cutter.
See the picture to the right for where to place the ruler....
Once the block is cut into four squares, using the rotary cutter, go ahead and cut down the diagonal on the marked line that is between the sewn 1/4" seams to create 8 triangles.
I always press open to the darkest side, doing a finger press and then press with a hot iron my pressing mat. Try not to distort the fabric with too much movement of the iron or your center seam will create a bowed curve..
To trim my HST's I use the bloc-loc ruler. It has a groove notched out the center that butts up to the seam if pressed to one side, which helps deter movement, making it easier to trim down.
This ruler will NOT work if you press your seams open.
Bloc Loc - Half Square Acrylic Triangle Ruler, 5.5 Inches
(click image to purchase)
If you prefer to press the seams open, any square ruler will work such as the Omnigrid ruler below. Just use the 45 degree angle on the ruler to line up with the 45 degree seam on the HST. I often find these rulers slip and slide on top of the fabric and will shift when the rotary cutter is pressed up to the edge. A great way to help avoid that shifting is by adding grips to the ruler. I put True Grips on all my rulers. You can pick these up from most sewing/craft shops. I bought mine from Hobby Lobby.
Omnigrid 6 x 6 Ruler
(click the image for link to purchase)
To line up the Bloc-Loc ruler.....center the dimensions you want inside the HST, so for example if you are making a 3.5"x 3.5" HST, center the lines inside. Trim along the top and right edge. Flip the HST and the ruler, lining up the 3.5 mark with the edge that was just trimmed. Trim the remaining outer edges and the HST is Done.
Your HST's are finished and ready to be sewn into the pattern.
Here is a quick video of me making my HST's for this post, Enjoy!