Epic HST Technique

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101 Responses

  1. Dolores says:

    What a great tip. Thank you. Nice looking blocks and I look forward to seeing them all put together.

  2. Debbie says:

    I will definitely be trying this!

  3. Teri says:

    Great tip. If you don’t want to write on the ruler, E. Burns has a square up ruler that works fabulous for doing all sizes.

    • Corey says:

      It’s so handy to be able to make your own ruler!–Rulers are expensive. =) Plus the dry erase marker comes right off–easy peasy!

  4. Sophie says:

    I own a Quilt in a Day tool that is designed exactly for that technique. I’ve had it forever and I still use it all the time–a rare thing for me and speciality rulers. It’s called a 6 1/2 inch Triangle Square-up Ruler. It has those diagonal lines in 1/2 inch increments from 1 to 6 1/2 inches.


    (No association, just a really happy customer).

    • Corey says:

      Thank you for the info.!–There are usually rulers for just about any kind of cutting that you want to do! If I can work around having to buy a special tool, I am all about it. =) I had never thought about cutting HST’s this way and the fact that I now can cut them quickly without any extra expense, using tools I already have, is perfect for me. =)

  5. J Martin says:

    Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  6. marcella says:

    Love those scrappy blocks! I might have to give the a try as I love half square triangles and my scrap bag is getting close to overflowing again 🙂

    The advantage of your 2 1/2″ square ruler and trimming before you press open is that you can also cut off the “rabbit ears” at the same time you trim the two long sides. Saves even more time.

  7. Peggy says:

    Those blocks are AWESOME! I love scrappy star blocks!

    I had seen that method of trimming before you press, just never did it.
    Will have to give it a try.


  8. Jillmc says:

    Brilllllliant!!! Thank you! 😉

  9. Marcia R says:

    What a great tip! I hate the “squaring up” step for 1/2 square triangles.

  10. Linda King says:

    Thank you for this great tip! I will definitely try it.

  11. Epic. Indeed! My least favorite part of quilting is squaring HSTs

  12. Kristal says:

    But DON’T use a dry erase marker on your white washing machine! I thought it was such a great idea, too, until the marker wouldn’t come all the way off!

  13. Kathy says:

    Absolutely epic! I am really, really trying to love HST’s! I even made a pretty complex (for me) wall hanging just of HST’s! But the trimming is a pain! Great idea! Thanks!

  14. Lea says:

    What beautiful blocks! Thank you for a great tip for HST’s.

  15. Denise in PA says:

    This is *so* epic! Genius! Thank you – I will be using this technique from now on!!

  16. Christina in Cleveland says:

    Brilliant!! I think I’ll “cheat” and use a strip of painters tape. lol That is if I can’t find the highlighter tape I bought… who knows when.
    I do admit, like many, I have a ruler addiction.
    Thank you Corey… this will save me time and frustration!!!

  17. Trimming BEFORE pressing?? Genius!

  18. linda-kaye says:

    Wow – what a great idea. Just did a quilt and had to sliver trip a bunch of triangles. If I had only known – cuts the cutting time in half and no rotating a matt and ruler. Love it – thanks!

  19. Carole M says:


  20. Tiara says:

    So smart!

  21. Pauline says:

    Fabulous idea- thank you!

  22. rosa says:

    Thanks for the tips and can´t wait to see your quilt.Happy sewing!

  23. Tiffany says:

    You are a genius! I am definitely pinning this one so I don’t forget it!

  24. Claudia Gilstrap says:

    This is brilliant!!!!!!!!!

  25. Thank you SO much for this – I’m getting ready to do an entire HST quilt with an odd block size.

  26. Shari says:

    So excited as I think one of those blocks is from me! I loved the pattern so much I use the picture of the block as my Flickr icon! Can’t wait to see all your blocks put together.

    Oh, and yes, the tip is genius. It almost makes me want to set down my wine and try it out. Almost. It’ll keep to the weekend, right?

  27. prsd4tim2 says:

    Great tip! Thanks!

  28. Sue says:

    Epic tip. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Kristen says:

    Never ever again will I trim them after pressing! I love making 1/2 square triangles, and this will make it even better! 🙂

  30. Jeneta says:

    Absolutely brilliant idea!!

  31. karen f says:

    with your small ruler you even cut off the dog ears, clever.

  32. DianeY says:

    You are a genius! but you make me feel really dumb

  33. Nita says:

    Love those A Ha moments, eh? 🙂

  34. Gunilla says:

    Love the idea! Thanks for the tip!

  35. Marie-Claire says:

    Les patch sont tres beau je veux voire plus Marie-Claire

  36. Charlotte says:

    Genius!!!!! Thank you 😀

  37. Dear friend,
    excelente work!!!!!


    Maria Filomena

  38. Laurelle C says:

    Great post! and I feel really smart now because I recently made my first jacobs ladder quilt for a friend ( she picked the pattern,not my usual style I prefer no pattern 🙂 ) I found the same annoying thing with all the half square triangles and after squaring up a heap thought how stupid am I to be opening them first and started trimming them before ironing too. I can’t remember how I lined them up though so will check if I do the ruler thing next time,so thanks for the tip 🙂

  39. Dorian says:

    Oh my gosh, I never thought of this!!! THank you. I hate, hate, hate trimming hst’s. It’s sooo boring and tedious. lol. What a great idea 🙂

  40. Joanna says:

    Funny, I was just thinking about trying to figure something like this out! I’m making pinwheels and have a lot of HST to trim and as I was pressing them open, I was wondering if it was possible to trim them before opening them up. Definitely going to go back and trim up some HST this way now!!

  41. Liz Therrien says:

    Thank you so much for this tip. I usually shy away from HST patterns because of the trimming. (I can’t seem to get them the correct size unless I make them bigger and then trim down.) I will definitely be using this technique now and will try it on an upcoming retreat I am taking. Will also share with everyone there. Again, thanks so much. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of genius that we all have and the light bulb goes on!! Happy quilting.

  42. Pam H says:

    What a great block and a wonderful way to use up scraps. I would definitely use an Accuquilt on all those HST…I’m inspired to start cranking them out this afternoon ….this would be a great retreat project because of all the rote sewing! Thanks for sharing it!

  43. Lu says:

    Nifty idea. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Peg says:

    Corey, this is pure GENIUS! Why didn’t I ever think to do this?!? And your tip couldn’t be more timely – I’ve got a couple hundred scrap HSTs to trim and this will make it so easy. Thank you!

  45. Hayley says:

    That is brilliant! I have so many projects languishing because I cannot stand the thought of trimming the HSTs! I’ll definitely give this a crack

  46. Teresa says:

    Bazinga!!! I LOVE IT!!! Great ideas! Makes me wanna make some HSTs.
    Thanks for coming up with this!

  47. Kristi says:

    Mind. Blown.

  48. Teresa says:

    You have made my day. I’m the geek who saves the triangles cut from flying geese or mitered binding, sews them together and trims them to 1-1/2″ squares using a cardboard template. I’ve got skads of them hoping to make a little pinwheel quilt one day, and this tip will surely speed the process, genius!

  49. Camille says:

    OMG! How clever of you to figure this out! I have made tons of HST, using the method of sewing strips together or just sewing two triangles together a little bigger than needed and squaring up AFTER pressing. This is so much easier and faster. I will sew oversized triangles together now an use this method to square up. Thank you for sharing!

  50. julie says:

    Shared your technique with image:

    Let me know if you’d like it removed. It’s such a time saver!

  51. Teje says:

    Hi! That block looks fantastic and I love HST triangles, no problem to sew tons of them so I’m very happy to see your great tip to trim them! Thanks! x Teje

  52. SarahZ says:

    This is what is so great about blogland! Such a great time and effort saver! Thank you so much for figuring this out AND sharing!

  53. Fleurette says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

  54. Kathy h says:

    I love this idea. Some friends and I were just making a whole bunch of them and it took so long to trim the 4 sides. I have been waiting to work on another project because I knew how long it would take, now I will try it out. Thanks so much.

  55. Kate says:

    If you don’t want to write on your ruler use narrow painter’s tape available at any DIY store.
    Peels off easily and leaves no residue

  56. Joyce says:

    this is the greatest tip I have found in a long time. so accurate. my Jacob’s Ladder quilt will be finished in half the time now. thanks.

  57. Dar in MO says:

    Great idea. Thanks for the tip.

  58. Mrs. JP says:

    brilliant, thanks

  59. karen walker says:

    this is great!!!! I am offering an online class using modern techniques to make the Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt. So many of those blocks are made from hst’s!!
    I will be sharing this method!! Good for you to come up with this!
    thank you!…and i’ll give credit where credit’s due! 🙂

  60. Marian says:

    I love this idea, but if you do happen to have the correct size ruler i.e the 2 1/2 inch for that size square…you can cut the dog ears off quite easily at the same time…for me it’s worth buying the ruler!

  61. Heather says:

    Brilliant !! Love this technique – also works for quarter square triangles. I drew my line, used my ruler’s diagonal line to line up with the perpendicular stitching line for the quarter squares. Came out perfectly, thanks

  62. Marilyn says:

    Thanks so much love new tips and hints as not been quilting long so these posts are a real help to me.

  63. Michelle Perth WA says:

    Brilliant. 🙂

  64. Marjorie says:

    Why not line up the seam line with the drawn line and the ruler edge with one of the cut sides? That way there is only one side to cut. Does anyone see a downside to this?

  65. helenmarie says:

    awesome idea! Thank you!
    This will save me a ton of time as I am currently working on an HST project for my grandson!

  66. MEqwilter says:

    I have a bag full of HST just waiting for this tip. Thank you. I have used a magic marker on my rulers, for accuracy, for quite some time. When you are doing a lot of cutting you get cross eyed after a while, this helps and the marks wipe off.

  67. Patti says:

    Just be careful not to place the marking on the rule on the block side or you will come up short…

  68. Linda opalewski says:

    works great. I used blue painters tape. Squared up hourglass block. Came out perfect.

  69. Nancy Smith says:

    I’m new at this…What is HST?

  70. Joyce says:

    thankyou,thank you,thank you! Wonderful tip, I am fairly new quilter and love these special tips to save time and money!

  71. Joyce says:

    thankyou,thank you,thank you! Wonderful tip, I am fairly new quilter and love these special tips to save time and cash!

  72. Karee says:

    Wondering about pressing with this HST Square Up method — I would think pressing the seams open works best with this technique. What has been your experience? Thanks for being so darn clever!

    • Corey says:

      I press for whatever works best for the blocks I will be using them in. Sometimes that means pressing open, other times to one side–just depends on the project! You do have to be very careful when pressing so as not to distort the block at all since you won’t be trimming them after pressing.

  73. Rosanna says:

    Love this! Also love the fact I don’t have to purchase another tool! Would rather spend the $$ on fabric! Hahaha

  74. Janetta Dobler says:

    If you have permanent marker on something (like a white board), just rub a dry erase marker over it and then use a towel to wipe off. Some of my teaching tricks pay off in real life!!

  75. Helen Bazinet says:

    It sure makes sense to press,press, then square up.

  76. Diane S says:

    Before opening your half square triangle flip the ruler 180˚ line up and trim the dog ears. Then open and press. Ta done!

  77. Melanie says:

    I have never quilted HSTs, I don’t understand why they need trimming at all. I am obviously clueless, can someone please explain?

  78. What a fabulous idea! I’ve been on a kick recently making hst. This technique would have been so helpful. I still have 3 more quilts to make requiring hst and you can bet I’ll be doing this.

  79. Sandra Lanter says:

    This is just great! I have little bags of HST and this will save buying yet another ruler and so much time. Thanks!

  80. Linda Chin says:

    Is there a picture of the finished quilt?

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