Step-by-Step Half-Square Triangles

MAIN_FriendshipTriangles Whether you’re making them for yourself, or you’re participating in a Triangle Block Exchange… creating these triangles is both fun and easy. With Edyta Sitar’s clear step-by-step instructions, expert tips and friendly encouragement, you’re on your way to creating Half-Square Triangle Block Quilts.

Edyta’s beautiful Friendship Triangles includes 15 gorgeous half-square triangle projects including table toppers, wallhangings, quilts, an easy tote bag, and even a book cover!


Where to begin: supplies


  • Laundry Basket Quilts Half Square Triangle Exchange Paper (available at your local quilt shop or at
  • Cotton thread (Edyta prefers Aurifil™ 2370 for color because it blends beautifully with any fabric)
  • An acrylic ruler, rotary cutter, cutting mat, pins, and desired amount of light and dark fabrics (refer to your pattern instructions for quantity)



1. Cut a 6-1/2″ x 21″ rectangle from each of the light and dark fabric pieces. Place the light fabric rectangle on the dark fabric rectangle, right sides together. break

light-dark-layer-final-2 2. Lay the Triangle Exchange Paper, with printed lines facing up, on top of the light fabric piece. Each sheet of Triangle Exchange Paper will make 28 half-square triangles. Here’s a Tip: The half-square triangle’s seam allowance will automatically go toward the dark fabric when the exchange paper is placed on the light fabric. break
hopsotch-pin 3. Pin the paper in place using a hopscotch pattern—two pins in the outside triangle markings and one pin in the center. Do not pin over the dashed lines. You will be sewing on these lines. Here’s a Tip: Use a sharp 80/12 needle and cotton thread in your sewing machine and sew with a close stitch. I usually set my machine stitch to 1.5. A closer stitch allows the paper to tear away more easily.


start-sewing-machine-1 4. Place the corner of the paper marked “Start Sewing” under your presser foot and begin sewing on the dashed line. Sew until you reach the end of the first continuous dashed line. Here’s a Tip: Use the needle down function on your machine while sewing through the paper and fabric. It will allow you to turn the corners without shifting the paper and fabric.


sewing-on-paper 5. Turn the paper and fabric and follow the arrow to sew the remaining dashed line. Remove the pins.

break cutting-fabric_paper

fabric_paper-triangles 6. Using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, cut on the solid lines of the Triangle Exchange Paper. Each sheet of Triangle Exchange Paper will make 28 half-square triangles.


Here’s a Tip: If you are exchanging the half-square triangles with friends or through your quilt shop, skip the following steps and do not remove the paper or press the triangles open. It makes a fun surprise for the exchange participants to open the triangles they have received.

finger-press 7. With the paper still attached, press the half-square triangle blocks open. The seam allowance should go toward the darker fabric. Trim the “bunny ears” from the block.


finger-thumb-tear 8. Perforate the Triangle Exchange Paper by pinching the center of the light fabric triangle and the paper.


9. Remove the paper by tearing from the center to the outside edges of the block. final-tear


finished-triangles 10. Your triangles are now ready to be used in any of your favorite projects.

Now that you’ve made so many lovely triangles, you’re ready to exchange them or use them to create your own treasures. Remember that you can find 15 delightful projects for stunning quilts in Edyta Sitar’s Friendship Triangles.

What tips do you have for beginning quilters? What lessons did you learn the hard way? Share them in the comments below!



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