Sew an easy and beautiful baby quilt with half square triangles. You can use just two different fabrics or mix it up with lots of different scraps like I did.
I love half square triangles, known as HST’s in the quilting world. They are easy and fun to make. Sewing them together is easy and repetitive, it’s my my ‘quilt therapy.’
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This quilt design uses 144 half square triangles and has a simple background colored border. This free quilt pattern includes instructions for making the half square triangles and then sewing them together.
However, when I made this baby quilt I used 144 leftover HST’s from sewing my Fat Quarter Fancy II quilt. You can also make leftover HST’s at the same time when you are sewing my first Fat Quarter Fancy Quilt.
Tip: The finished size of this quilt is 42’’ square. My HST’s were 3 1/2’’ before I sewed them together (3’’ finished), and the width of the border strips matched the half square triangles.
If you want to change the size of this quilt by using different sizes of HSTs and matching border strips, just multiply the finished size of the HST’s by 14. So 4’’ (finished) HST’s will make a 56’’ square quilt, 5’’ (finished) HST’s will make a 70’’ square quilt, and so forth. Tips for making different sizes of HST’s can be found here.
Let’s get to the free quilt pattern!
Child’s Play – Easy Half Square Triangle Baby Quilt Pattern
Approximately 42’’ x 42’’ square.
You will need:
1 1/2 yards of background fabric
about 1 yard total of other coordinating fabrics or scraps – enough to cut 72 squares 4’’ x 4’’.
48’’ square of quilt batting
3 yards of quilt backing fabric
1/2 yard of binding fabric
From your coordinating print fabrics, cut:
72 squares, 4’’ x 4’’
From your background fabrics, cut:
72 squares, 4’’ x 4’’
2 strips 3 1/2’’ x 36 1/2’’ (side borders)
2 strips 3 1/2’’ x 42 1/2’’ x 42 1/2’’ (top and bottom borders)
Make 144 Half Square Triangle Units (HSTs)
Note: The fabric pieces shown in these photos are not the same size as the HSTs that I used in my quilt (they are 1/2’’ smaller), but the technique for making them is the same.
1. Use a pencil, pen, or fabric pen to draw a diagonal line across the back of all of the background colored 4’’ squares. This is a cutting line – not a sewing line.
2. Place a background fabric right sides together with a print fabric square. Sew in a straight line a scant 1/4’’ away from either side of the drawn line.
If you have an even feed or walking foot, you might like it for this step – I do!
3. Cut the half square triangles apart along the drawn line.
Press each one open and trim to 3 1/2’’ square.
Tip: BlocLoc HST Rulers are fun to use and make trimming HSTs a breeze.
4. Repeat with all of the 4’’ squares until you have 144 half square triangles.
Sew the Half Square Triangles Together
1. Arrange the half square triangles in the design shown above. You may go for a scrappy and random layout as I did (trying to avoid placing two of the same HSTs next to each other) or you can make a pattern with your different fabrics.
2. To make sewing the quilt top easy, break down the quilt design into 9 blocks, each block with 16 HSTs as seen above.
3. Sew each block together by first sewing each row of 4 HSTs, and then joining the 4 rows.
Repeat to make all 9 blocks.
4. Sew the blocks together to make 3 rows, each with 3 blocks. Then sew the rows together to make the center of the quilt.
5. Sew the 3 1/2’’ x 36 1/2’’ side border strips to the sides of the quilt top. Then attach the 3 1/2’’ x 42 1/2’’ top and bottom border strips.
Finishing the Baby Quilt
1. Cut the backing fabric in half and sew it together to make a piece big enough for the back of the quilt (at least 46 1/2’’ x 46 1/2’’).
2. Sandwich the quilt top, batting, and backing together and baste (I like pin basting with quilter’s safety pins).
3. Quilt the quilt top as desired. I quilted a grid of straight lines 1 1/2’’ apart.
4. Cut 5 strips of binding 2 1/2’’ x width-of-fabric (or as desired) and sew them together using diagonal seams. Bind the quilt using your preferred method. See how I mind my quilts by machine here.
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