Have you ever set aside half square triangle scraps with the intent to use them but can’t figure out what to do with them? What do you do with your project scraps? I always feel so good when I save them. They are perfect to use in charity blocks or a scrappie project. As I was working on two of the three Double Pinwheel Quilts I made, I did a little prep work and laid the foundation for a few hundred half square triangles all from scraps. They have been waiting patiently for me in a basket on top of my sewing cabinet for a few years. Which I see each and every time I sit down to sew. Today is the day to use some of them.
How to create Half Square Triangle Scraps
In this Double Pin Wheel Quilt Pattern we cut out a rectangle and then added a square to the rectangle. We sewed on the diagonal of the square and then trimmed off the excess to make an angled edge. However, before I trimmed the excess off, I decided to sew an extra seam a little more than 1/4” after the seam. I could have taken more time and made a more precise seam by drawing an extra line so I had enough seam allowance. However, since I was up against a deadline, I wanted to do it quickly. It has basically turned into pinning the fabrics together but much more efficiently.
How to use your HST Scraps
I used this concept when making my Mary Elizabeth Butterfly Quilt as well. I created a heart block with the scraps from that project. Every month this year I will be sharing a block made using my half square triangle scraps. After I sewed a seam with the correct seam allowance and ironed the half square triangle open, I used my Bloc Loc ruler to trim the square down to a 2” square. Above is a quick video showing how I did it. I love working with big blocks so this isn’t my ideal size to work with, but I do feel that it’s important to produce less waste and give back to the community with charity quilts.
Eight – 2″ Half Square Triangles (white/pink)
Four – 2″ Half Square Triangles (light pink/pink)
Four – 2″ Half Square Triangles (white/white)
One – 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ strip of white
One – 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ strip of white
One – 4 3/4″ x 8 1/2″ strip of white
One – 4 3/4″ x 12 3/4″ strip of white
NOTE: If you don't have HST scraps to work with and want to make a 2" HST: Start with (2) 2 1/2" squares. Use a ruler to draw a diagonal line (in the center) on the back of one of the squares. Place the two squares on top of each other, right sides together. Pin. Sew a seam 1/4" away from the line. Use the line to cut the square in half. This will give you two HSTs. For more information on making HSTs click here.
Place one white/pink half square triangles on top of the other. Pin the white sides together so they mirror each other. Sew them together. Repeat for a total of four. Then pin two light pink/pink half square triangles together on the light pink edge. They will also mirror each other. Sew them together. Repeat for a total of two, creating six half square triangle rectangles.
Ironing– Take three white/pink half square triangle sets and two light pink/pink half square triangle sets and iron seams to the right side. Take one white/pink half square triangle set and iron the seam to the left side.
Take one white/pink half square triangle set and one light pink/ pink half square triangle set and place them on top of each other making sure the pink edges touch. Pin and sew them together. Repeat for a total of two. Next place them on top of each other making sure the light pink edges meet. Pin and sew them together.
Now take one white/pink half square triangle set. Place a white/white half square triangle on both edges of the half square triangle set making sure the diagonal seams meet at the same corner.
Ironing – Iron the middle section down. Iron the two side sections up.
Take your center strip. Pin the side strips to both sides of the center strip making sure that the pink edges touch. Iron open. This process will create one 6 1/2″ square.
Pin and sew the 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ strip of white to the right edge of the star square. Iron open. Pin and sew the 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ strip of white to the top edge of the star square. Iron open. Pin and sew the 4 3/4″ x 8 1/2″ strip of white to the bottom edge of the square. Iron open. Pin and sew the 4 3/4″ x 12 3/4″ strip of white to the left edge of the star square. Iron open.
I gave you a little wiggle room so you can trim your square down to a 12 1/2″ square. The 12 1/2″ ruler has become one of my favorites. I have come to love it because I can place it on top of the square and I don’t have to move it. Simply cut each side and voila, it’s perfect. Somehow I tend to trim my charity blocks wrong so this ruler lets me play without paying attention. No more measuring twice when trimming these 12 1/2″ blocks.