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HST Tutorial: 8 at a time

Half-square triangles (HSTs) are very versatile quilt blocks. There are many methods available to create HSTs including 1 at a time, 2 at a time, 8 at a time and others. This is a tutorial for using the 8 at a time technique. 

Supplies Needed

We’ll make a set of 8 at a time HSTs that finish at 3”

Two 8” squares

Marking tool

Rotary cutter

Cutting mat


Sewing machine + thread

Make 8 at a time half-square triangles (HSTs)

1. Gather two 8" squares.

2. On the wrong side of one of the 8” squares, draw the following lines using a marking tool. 

a) Draw lines centered both horizontally and vertically.

b) Draw lines from corner to corner on both diagonals. 

3. Place the two squares right sides together (RST). 

4. Pin or clip together. Stitch a scant ¼” on each side of the diagonal lines only. Scant means about one stitch length narrower than a ¼” seam.

Here is a digital rendering to show you where to sew. The dashed lines = the sewn lines on either side of the diagonal lines.

5. Place on a cutting mat and cut on the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines originally marked on the fabric. Be careful to ensure the fabric doesn't move while you are cutting. (If the fabric does move, you can separate the pieces and cut on the drawn lines of each unit.)

6. This yields 8 HSTs. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric. Use a ruler to trim each unit to 3.5” square. This is the unfinished sized. Once you use these HSTs in a project, they will finish at 3” square.

Half-square Triangles 8 at a time Size Chart

Use the chart to determine what initial square sizes to cut for various finished HST sizes.

Calculate Additional HST Sizes for 8 at a time

  • Take the finished HST size you need and add 1". 
  • Take that number x 2. Cut your squares this size.

A. If you need 3" finished HSTs, take 3" + 1" = 4"
4" x 2 = 8" You need (2) 8" squares.

B. If you need 4.5" finished HSTs, take 4.5" + 1" = 5.5"
5.5" x 2 = 11" You need (2) 11" squares.

Enjoy making 8 at a time HSTs! 


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