Welcome to Day 5 of the Festival of Half Square Triangles! Thanks, Megan, for inviting me to participate. I love half square triangles, and use them all of the time in quilt blocks. This time, I wanted to do something other than a traditional block with repeats.
The colors in this quilt remind me of the beach, although truth be told Santa Cruz is a little bit gray-er than this Santa Cruz
, the quilt, is a combination of two quilts I have loved making—Cool by the Pool
and Streetscape in Triangles
. This simple but graphic design sews up quickly and the layout is a bit like a puzzle–you can arrange the 3 rows of half square triangles in any shape you wish: pinwheels, flying geese, diamonds, stars, a combination, or (mostly) randomly, as I have.
(27) 5” blocks (~2/3 yard fabric)
1/4 yard solid (color)
1/2 yard solid (neutral)
1 yard + scraps backing fabric
1/3 yard binding fabric
40” x 40” piece of batting
The feature section of Santa Cruz is made entirely of half square triangles; the directions allow for trimming the half square triangle pairs. In my first HST quilt, I didn’t realize I needed to trim them. Trust me. It helps! Press fabric before cutting the 5” squares; use starch or starch alternative if desired.Note: All seams are 1/4”.
Cut 27 5’’ blocks from yardage or scraps
Cut 5 binding strips to preferred width
Trim the 1/4 of fabric to 8 1/2” x width of fabric
Trim the 1/2 of fabric to 16 1/2” x width of fabric
Half Square Triangle Assembly
1. Use the marking method of your choice (I prefer hera markers) to mark a diagonal line on the back of half of the 5” squares. Pair marked squares with unmarked pairs.
2. Pin if desired, and sew a 1/4” seam to the left of your center dividing line. Chain piece your squares. Note: Chain piecing is another word for assembly line piecing. Instead of sewing two blocks together, cutting the threads and putting them in a pile, sew multiple pairs of blocks together in a row, without cutting the threads between them. This speeds up your piecing, and if your machine tends to sputter or catch threads if the needle isn’t on the fabric when you start sewing, this helps that problem.
3. If you have particularly bold color combinations that you do not want to repeat, then cut those pairs in half diagonally along the marked line. Mix and match the unsewn triangles, place right sides together, and sew a 1/4” along the edge. For the remaining pairs, sew a 1/4” line to the right of the center line.
4. Cut each pair in half diagonally along the marked line. Open triangle pairs and press towards the darker fabric.
5. To square half square triangles, line up the seam with the 45 degree angle mark on your quilting ruler, and trim blocks to 4 1/2” x 4 1/2”.
Quilt Top Assembly
1. Arrange triangles in 3 rows of 9 pairs. Rearrange until you have a pattern you like.
2. Sew triangles together in vertical rows. Note: Take a quick picture of the quilt layout for future reference, in case some of the blocks get mixed up on the way to your machine.
3. Press Row 1 towards the top, Row 2 towards the bottom, and Row 3 towards the top so that you can nest the seams as you pin and sew.
4. Pin Rows 1 and 2 on either side of each seam. Sew and press. Pin Row 3 to Row 2. Sew and press.
5. Pin and sew the colored solid measuring 8 1/2” x width of fabric to the left of row 1 (I added a small strip to to top, just because). Pin and sew the neutral solid measuring 16 1/2” x width of fabric to the right of row 3. Press both sides. Quilt top complete! Check back for a finished quilt soon!
Finishing the Quilt
1. The finished quilt top measures 36 1/2” x 36 1/2”. If you use a 1 yard piece for the back, piece a small strip (a row of half square triangles?) to add to the back, which will be just a few inches short. (Simple ideas for piecing backs shared as part of 100 Quilts for Kids)
2. Create a quilt sandwich using the quilt top, batting, and quilt back.
3. Baste and quilt using your favorite method (Quilting ideas and tutorials gathered here as part of 100 Quilts for Kids)
4. Sew binding strips together and bind your quilt! (Check out Heather Bailey’s hand binding tutorial or my Machine Binding Tutorial if needed)
Please let me know if you have any questions, I’ll answer them in the comments. Don’t forget to link up any project you have made using half square triangles on Megan’s blog starting Monday, April 16. Further instructions are here!
And now, what to make with the scraps?