Make a patchwork using half square triangles | Zarina ZA | Skillshare

Make a patchwork using half square triangles

Zarina ZA, Fabric Enthusiast, Thread Dyer, Quilter

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
6 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Constructing the HST Part 1

    • 3. Constructing the HST Part 2

    • 4. Ironing the HSTs

    • 5. Trimming the Square

    • 6. Joining the squares


Project Description

Using half square triangles in patchwork

Quilting 102: Piecing with Triangles


Quilting as a craft is actually made up of two different techniques. The first is patchwork or the sewing of separate pieces to make a piece of fabric. The second part is the quilting or the stitches to make three layers of a quilt.

This course will only cover the patchwork part. Using the most basic shape, the square we are going to make the front of a cushion cover.

The project is to construct an 18-inch cushion cover using the patchwork piece.

Materials and Tools for QuiltingMaterial

Using the right fabric for quilting will make the process effortlessly. It is recommended to use cotton fabric. 

The feature of cotton is that it creases easily. When we are joining the pieces, every seam is to be pressed (with an iron, more about this later). With this feature, all the seams and the corners are crisp and flat. To check this, fold the fabric and run your finger over it with a slight pressure. If the crease is crisp and hold, then it’s good. 

Another feature to check is that it has an even weave. Looking at the fabric closely you can check that the weave is even. Alternatively, look at the selvages. If the selvage is even and thick, it is good enough for quilting.

In the market, there are several grades of cotton fabric available. The highest quality is the quilting cotton that is 100% cotton. It also comes with a price but you can’t go wrong using this grade. 

Personally, I like to use high quality cotton fabric. The percentage of cotton is quite high and thick. And the price is mid range enabling us to make many quilts.


To make quilts effortlessly, it is recommended to invest in the following basic tools:

A rotary cutter and a self-healing cutting mat.

The recommended size of the rotary cutter is 45mm.

For the cutting mat, the medium size 12”x18” should be just enough for all types of shapes and size of the pieces.

]It will be good to invest in a good quality ruler, measuring 6”x24”. It is long enough to cut strips from the width of fabric.

A good iron that can reaches high temperature for cotton. Steam iron is not a requirement for quilting. 

Other tools that is good to have

  • long pins with flat head or any shape is good
  • curved safety pins or spray adhesive for basting (not required for this project)
  • a domestic sewing machine 

Preparing and Cutting the Fabric 

If you are following my project, you will need the following materials:

  • two pieces measuring a quarter of a yard or two FQs (fat quarters) that will complement each other
  • a bit more of half a yard, at least 20” for the back of the cushion cover
  • an 18” square cushion insert

[Fat Quarters are quarter-yard cuts of fabric cut wide (hence the name fat). Their approximate size is 18" x 21" (]

When choosing a fabric to use in the quilt, it is a good idea to check the design for a cut piece. The easiest method is to lay the quilting ruler on top of the fabric. Using the markings on the ruler, you can see what is the minimum size that will effectively show the design of the fabric.

Ideally, all the fabrics that are to be used in the project/quilt need to be washed. The main reason is to avoid any shrinkage of the fabric. And the second reason is to avoid any bleeding (color runs) of the fabric that may happen.

If you are washing the fabric, iron the fabric with a hot iron when the fabric is a bit damp. This will help remove the creases in the fabric without using the steam function on the iron.

If you are cutting from yardage, fold the fabric lengthwise matching the selvages together. It will be good that you iron the fold.

Place the folded fabric onto the self-heal cutting mat. Place the fold onto any of the gridlines. 

Using the quilter ruler, place on top of the fabric with the required piece underneath the ruler. If you are a right-handed person, the required strip will be on the left.

Match any of the major gridline of the quilter ruler with the fold (and the gridline of the self-healing mat).

This is a very useful quilting adage to follow: measure twice, cut once.

To make the half square triangles, HST I begin by cutting a square at least an inch bigger than the short edge of the triangle. For this project, I will first cut the batiks into 4” squares.

Taking the lighter of the batiks, I will draw the sewing lines along the diagonal of the square. There will be two sewing lines drawn, a ¼” from the line corner-to-opposite-corner. When I have sewn on top of the lines, I will cut the squares into two in between the sewing lines (cutting from corner-to-opposite-corner).

All these seams of the pieces will then be pressed open.

Using the 45 angle lines of the quilting ruler, I will trim the squares into an exactly 3 ½” squares.

Laying out the Triangles

Using triangles and a combination with squares; you can many more layout for the patchwork.

For this project, I will be using three different batiks where one is a neutral to let the other two batiks pop. I will be using the traditional quilting block called Broken Dishes for the cushion cover.

* as soon as I can, I will provide different layouts you can use. Examples include the Pin Wheel.

Student Projects