Let's Talk HST's!

Morning lovely! I wanted to show you what I'm sewing at the moment. Last year I brought some pretty fabric with the intention of making an Easter quilt. Of course that didn't happen, and its been sitting in the cupboard patiently waiting for its turn to shine. Yesterday I decided its now or never and I started to sew.

Aren't they the sweetest prints? Just perfect for Easter! I found these fabrics at Spotlight and instantly fell in love with the carrot prints and the bunny selvedges. I didn't have a design in mind but I grabbed a half yard of each because I knew an idea would come eventually.
So this week I finally cut into it and I'm keeping it simple and making some quick and easy 5" (finished) HST's. I'll decide on a quilt layout later but I'm aiming for sewing at least a 100 of them to make it a 50" square throw.
I'm sewing four HST's at a time and I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to share my method with you, and to give you a chart of cutting requirements for other sizes. I love this method so much because there's no marking and its super quick. So here we go:

  • To make four 5" (finished) HST's (5 1/2" unfinished) you need to cut a 8 1/2" square from both your main and your background fabric. You will need to trim your HST's at the end and I find this original sized square is perfect for me. It requires minimal trimming but if you prefer more excess for squaring up your squares you can always add an extra 1/4" and cut it 8 3/4" square.

  • Lay your main fabric square on top of your background square, right sides together, and once you've lined up the raw edges pop in a few pins to secure. I only pin two sides and I find it doesn't move as I sew.
  • Sew a 1/4" seam around all four raw edges. You can do this two ways - in one continuous seam, pivoting at the corners or sewing across each raw edge as a single seam. Someone will probably tell me that the first option is the right option but it works either way so do what's best for you (I wont tell).

  • Cut your square diagonally twice to yield the four HST's. Make sure your ruler is correctly positioned before you make any cuts, and for this size block it helps if you have a non slip coating on your ruler so it doesn't slide as you glide (the cutter). Something like this Matildas Own Ruler Sticky Grips may help. They're transparent and they adhere to your ruler giving it more stability for long cuts.

  • Press each unit and I emphasise press. The cuts have been made on the bias so hold down the iron and press, do not iron back and forth or else you risk distorting the seams.
  • Using a bloc loc ruler, carefully square up and trim each of the HST's to 5 1/2" square.

And that's it! Four HST blocks sewn quickly and easily with very little waste. I've made a few already and I'll probably keep it simple and set them in rows with the same orientation - I'll keep you posted I could change my mind yet. ;)
I've also made up a chart to help you use this method for other sized HST's. I've included the sizes I think you might use the most. There's minimal trimming with these measurements so again, add an extra 1/4" if you prefer a little more excess to square up your squares:

I hope this helps with your next project, and it saves you a little time at the cutting table. You can sew so many wonderful quilts with simple HST's so its a good reference to have in your files.  I'm planning on adding a few more to my pile today and I'm hoping to have a quilt finished for Easter but if not I should have a quilt top :)

Happy quilting :)


  1. wow how very clever! would never have thought to do that!
    thanx for sharing

    1. It is clever isn't it Selina? It saves heaps of time, especially when you want a quick finish. You can also sew eight at a time so I might link up a tutorial for that method when I do a follow up post of this HST quilt :)

  2. THANK YOU for this neat tutorial+hst chart!I'd saved several hst charts and none were correct for cutting 4 hst at once! A neat+time saving tip! Love it!

    1. You're welcome Linda. Math is hard and these sizes work for me with minimal waste. Add a little extra to the original square if you are worried - no matter how accurate we try to cut, sometimes things go a little askew! ;)

  3. What is the brand of that Fabric

    1. It's Bunny Tales by Lucie Crovatto for Studio E Fabrics :)


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