So you’re thinking about making some HSTs are you? Great! You’ve come to the right place. I love creating with these versatile blocks and they are so easy and fun to make. Of course there are many methods used by many a talented quilter.
The method I’d like to show you here is the one I have used for several quilts but specifically for my Road Trip Quilts, both version 1 and 2
and my Shelter Quilt (pattern in the works). This tutorial is hyperlinked in my PDF Road Trip pattern which can be found in my Etsy Shop here, and is meant to accompany that pattern specifically. However, can be used on any HST pattern! So let’s get started.
Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your favorite sewing machine and fabric: *a cutting mat *a rotary cutter * a quilting ruler *a square grid ruler the size that you want your finished block to be or larger * straight pins * a fabric marking pen
So I’ll start here assuming you have cut the size squares you need for the pattern. Cutting instructions with diagram are included in my pattern. My general rule of thumb on sizing is this: my squares will be cut 1/2″ larger than what I would like my finished HST to be. Example- I want a finished HST to be 6.5″, I will start with two 7″ squares. Some people prefer an extra 3/8″ for a bit more “wiggle room”. So that would mean a finished HST of 6.5″ would start with two 7 3/8″ squares. Either way works. I like to have my squares all pressed before I start pairing them up.
Okay, so, place two squares right (front) sides together. If you are working with solids, this does not matter. For whatever quilt I’m making, I like to use an assembly line method, so I place all my squares together first, creating little “square pairs”, and then move on to the next step with ALL of them and the next step with ALL of them, etc.
After smoothing them out to be sure all sides are evenly matched up, take your quilting ruler and line it up on the diagonal from corner to corner. Carefully draw a line through this center. Continue with all your other square pairs.
Place a pin through the squares a couple of inches from the line on either side. Again, continue this step with all square pairs.
You are now ready to sew. Using your line as a guide, sew a scant 1/4″ (not pictured here) from the line on both sides. I simply sew right next to the line all the way down and then turn my square pair and sew down the other side of the line. You could chain piece here, however, I prefer to do one pair at a time and sew on both sides of the line before moving on to the next pair.
After you have sewn the seams on each square pair, take them all to the cutting mat and remove all pins to begin cutting. They should look something like this!
Carefully line your quilting ruler up along the drawn line and using your rotary cutter, cut the the square in HALF! Continue this step with all the squares.
Now you are ready to press. Depending on what your pattern calls for, you may do different things here. If using my Road Trip Pattern, I specify, however some may have different instructions such as pressing all seams open or all to one side, etc.
The last step is trimming your HST to the exact right size. Using your square quilting ruler, you will carefully line up the ruler’s diagonal line with the diagonal seam in your block, as well as all the edges, then cut along edges, being careful to hold your block ruler steady and in the same position. This will square everything up and remove all the dog ear corners so you have a nice tidy block.
You will repeat this step on all of your squares, making them ready to sew together in your quilt.
Now go create your masterpiece!