13 Half-Square Triangle Layouts for Your Next Quilt | Madam Sew

13 Half-Square Triangle Layouts for Your Next Quilt

Half-square triangles can be arranged in so many ways! Today I’m sharing 13 quilt blocks you can make with this simple unit. Be sure to save this post — you’ll want to refer back to these HST layouts when designing your next quilt.

Learning how to make half-square triangles is an essential quilting skill because they are used in a lot of patterns. If you don’t already know how to make them, head over and read Carole’s HST tutorial. I also recommend investing in some high-quality fabric marking pens and a quarter-inch patchwork ruler set.

I used “triangles on a roll paper” to make my 2-inch HSTs for this post. It’s not the most economical way to make them, but it is fast. All of the half-square triangle layouts shown in this post require 16 HST units, but you can use these layouts with any size half-square triangles you want.

I hope you find some inspiration from my list of half-square triangle layouts. Enjoy!

1. Pinwheels

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Pinwheels

Pinwheel blocks are fun. They give the illusion of movement. To make a pinwheel, you need four half-square triangles with two contrasting colors. You arrange them around a central point, turning each unit 90 degrees. Just make sure you orient the pinwheels to “spin” in the direction you want.

2. Sails

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Sails

Pinwheel blocks are fun. They give the illusion of movement. To make a pinwheel, you need four half-square triangles with two contrasting colors. You arrange them around a central point, turning each unit 90 degrees. Just make sure you orient the pinwheels to “spin” in the direction you want.

3. Diamonds

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Diamonds

Diamond units are created by arranging four half-square triangles around a central point with all the like colors touching. When several diamond units are placed together, it gives a secondary hourglass design. Do you see it?

4. Star

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Star

When you take the diamond block from above and rotate the half-square triangles in each corner by 180 degrees, you create a star design. Star quilts give off major farmhouse vibes. You see them everywhere. This HST block kind of looks like a flower, too.

5. Radiate

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Radiate

Building upon a central diamond, you can expand your quilt block with triangles that appear to “radiate” from the center. It creates an almost kaleidoscope effect. This half-square triangle layout would look great as a large ombre quilt.

6. Diamond Outline

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Diamond Outline

Another way to build on a central diamond unit is to frame it with a diamond outline using more half-square triangles. It’s simple to do and you can add as many rows as you like.

7. Parallelograms

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Parallelograms

When two half-square triangles are placed next to each other and one is rotated 180 degrees, you get a parallelogram unit. Quilts with this design look bold and modern because of the sharp juxtaposition of colors. It would also look great as a border.

8. Zigzags

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Zigzags

If you take parallelogram units and alternate them with points facing, you create a zigzag design. Several rows of these zigzags will give you a timeless chevron quilt.

9. Feathers

A slight variation to the chevron design is the feather design. It looks great as a border around quilts.

10. Flying Geese

Flying geese are a common type of quilt block, but you can also create faux flying geese with half-square triangles.

11. Diagonal Stripes

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Diagonal Stripes

If you want to add a lot of stripes to your quilt, it makes the most sense to use long strips of fabric. However, you can also form stripes with half-square triangles by rotating alternating units in a row by 180 degrees and staggering them with the following row.

12. Modern X

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Modern X

Half-square triangle stripes don’t all have to go in the same direction. By rotating some of the stripes, you can create a modern X design.

13. Fireball

Half-Square Triangle Layout - Fireball

The Fireball quilt block is another design that gives the illusion of movement. It takes zigzag units and places them in a circular pattern. It’s spikey and fun.

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In Conclusion

These 13 quilt blocks are just a small sampling of the designs you can make using half-square triangles alone. When you add in square units, the possibilities are endless.

What is your favorite half-square triangle layout? Do you have plans of using any of these in an upcoming quilt? Let us know in the comments below.

Cara Stromness,
Blogging for Madam Sew and Sewing Society 

Cara is a new contributor to the Madam Sew Blog. She loves sewing, quilting, and machine embroidery. Be sure to subscribe to see her future posts about sewing tips and fun, step-by-step projects.

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thank you for showing so many examples in an easy to follow format.

Michele T Redman

I am a new quilter and seeing these examples shows me some quilts I see are not as complicated as the look. Thanks!


I was making a quilt with snowball blocks, so I sewed a 2nd seam 1/4” on the other side of the stitch and flip corner which gave me a 2nd HST. I saved them all, added more, and made a colorful backing. Now I have a reversible, coordinated quilt!

Mary Jean Jake

Thanks for the refresher. I haven’t quilted in about 22 yrs. because of a dear friend death. We raised our children together and supported our family with the sale of them/ I am going to give it a try again just to use up fabric and start over on a bigger project beside bags.

Pattie Cockerham

I love all the half square triangles blocks. What a wonderful variety. Thanks for the post.

Bernadette Hodges

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