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Half Square Triangle Quilt Layouts & Free Baby Quilt Pattern

Turn simple half-square triangle quilt blocks into 10 different baby quilts using our free baby quilt pattern and half square triangle quilt layout printable!

close up of coral and white baby quilt

Earlier this year, I played around with some quilt layout ideas and snapped a few photos to share on my Instagram stories. I was surprised at how many people messaged me asking for more information about the quilt layouts I was considering.

woman placing half square triangle quilt blocks on wall

I created 64 half square triangle quilt blocks, arranged them into 8 rows with 8 blocks in each row, and then began rotating the blocks to create different layouts.

It was fun to share the process on my IG stories, and I ended up answering quite a few DM’s regarding the layout ideas I was contemplating.

diagram of coral and white half square triangle quilt blocks arranged into 8 rows of 8 squares

Did you know that simply rotating the direction of the seam of a half square triangle quilt block yields a totally different quilt pattern?

I thought today I’d share with you 10 simple half-square triangle quilt patterns and layouts, along with a basic quilt pattern to create a 48″ square baby quilt.

TIP: Half Square triangle quilts are great for a beginner! All of the blocks give you lots of practice trimming and squaring up your blocks, and these types of quilts are very scrap-friendly!

diagram of coral and white half square triangle quilt blocks arranged into 8 rows of 8 squares

All of the layouts are created with the SAME 64 blocks. The only thing that changes in each layout is the direction of the angles on the triangles.

From simple half-square triangle blocks, you can create all of the following quilt designs and more!

  • Pinwheel Quilts
  • Flying Geese Quilts
  • Sawtooth Star Quilts
  • Chevron Pattern Quilts (or zigzags)
  • Diamonds

First up, a few basics.

What is a Half Square Triangle Quilt Block?

(fabrics in the quilt are from the Ahoy! Mermaids collection)

A Half Square Triangle quilt block is commonly referred to as an HST block (HST is a simple abbreviation that is commonly used when referring to these types of blocks).

It is comprised of two right triangles that are sewn together along the hypotenuse (the long side). They are widely considered to be a building block for many other quilt blocks, including many modern quilting patterns.

How to Make a Traditional Half Square Triangle Block

There are a hundred different ways to make a half-square triangle block. Each quilter you talk to probably has their own favorite way.

I’ve outlined my method step by step for you guys. I prefer this method because it allows you to make an HST block in ANY size you like. It also allows a bit of “wiggle room” when trimming your blocks if your piecing isn’t perfect (and mine rarely is!)

hand holding white, green and blue quilt blocks on white cutting mag

I like to create my hst blocks from 2 squares of fabric, which is a two at a time hst method (you can also find an eight at a time half square triangle tutorial on our site). I sew two seams, each 1/4″ out from the diagonal center, then cut the squares apart and square them up. If you’d like more details, hop on over to the blog post.

What Size is the Finished Baby Quilt?

close up of coral and white baby quilt

The baby quilt pattern I’m sharing with you today is 48″ x 48″. It comprises 8 blocks across and 8 down that are 6″ when finished (6 x 8 = 48). The size of the unfinished hsts is 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

If you want your quilt larger or smaller, increase the size of the triangles or increase the number of the blocks!

coral and white quilt draped over chair by pool

Quilting Terminology Tip!

FYI: if you’re new to quilt terminology, the terms finished and unfinished can be confusing.

When quilt patterns refer to the size of a quilt block, they usually refer to the block’s FINISHED size. The finished block size is the size the block is AFTER it is sewn into the final quilt. The unfinished size is 1/2″ larger (which takes into account a 1/4″ seam allowance on both sides of the block).

close up of coral and white baby quilt

So a 6 1/2″ quilt block, sewn into a quilt becomes 6″ square (you lose 1/4″ on each side when the block is sewn into the quilt).

The blocks in today’s quilt are 6 1/2″ square after you create them but are referred to as 6″ blocks since that is the size they are in the FINISHED quilt.

Summertime Pinwheel Quilt - so easy you can make it with a bunch of layer cakes or 10" stackers. A simple summer quilt to make

This summer quilt was also created using only half-square triangle blocks. It’s much larger than the baby quilt in today’s post.

The blocks are 9″ when finished, and there are 8 blocks across and 10 blocks down in the quilt. See how that works? Pretty cool, huh!?

Half Square Triangle Quilt Layouts

navy and white herringbone quilt on white wall

Another example is this herringbone baby quilt. It is comprised of 9 rows with 6 blocks in each row. Each block is 6″ finished. All of the blocks are just simple half-square triangles!

I’ve taken the time to mock up 10 different quilt layouts using 64 half-square triangle blocks. This is just a small sampling of the half-square triangle pattern arrangements you can make. I could keep going and think of at least another 10 layouts. But these are 10 that I love and think you will too.

Free Printable Layout Guide

I’ve created a printable with ten free quilt pattern layouts. Print it off at home and use it as a reference as you create your quilt. Note: all of these hst quilt pattern layouts work with eight across layouts.

If you fill out the form below, we will send you the printable.

coral and white quilt draped over chair by pool

Instructions

close up of coral and white baby quilt

Half Square Triangle Baby Quilt Pattern

Melissa Mortenson
Create a graphic, modern baby quilt using our free half square triangle quilt pattern!
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours

supplies

  • 7 7" x WOF* Strips of fabric in various prints. They do not all need to be the same print but should be the same color.
  • 7 7" x WOF* Strips of fabric in various prints. They do not all need to be the same print but should be significantly different from the other strips of fabric- either lighter or darker.
  • 1 1/2 Yards 60" wide backing fabric OR
  • 3 yards 42" wide backing fabric
  • 3/8 yard Binding fabric
  • 1 piece Batting at least 50" x 50"

Instructions
 

Cutting

  • Cut your 7" wide strips of fabric into 7" squares. Cut 32 squares from your first color of fabric and 32 squares from the second color of fabric.

Create the Half Square Triangles

  • Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 32 squares cut from lighter fabric.
    The October Quilt Block of the Month, a variation of a simple pinwheel block. Join in the block of the month series and make a quilt one month at a time.
  • Layer one darker and one lighter square, right sides facing and stitch 1/4" on each side of the line you drew.
    The October Quilt Block of the Month, a variation of a simple pinwheel block. Join in the block of the month series and make a quilt one month at a time.
  • Cut apart along the line, and trim up to 6 1/2" square. Repeat for all squares.
    The October Quilt Block of the Month, a variation of a simple pinwheel block. Join in the block of the month series and make a quilt one month at a time.
  • For a step by step more detailed tutorial to create Half Square Triangles (along with a lot of tips) please visit our Half Square Triangle Tutorial.

Assemble Quilt

  • Arrange the 64 sewn blocks into 8 rows with 8 blocks in each row. Refer to the printable for layout suggestions and ideas.
  • Quilt and bind as desired.

Notes

*WOF = Width Of Fabric. Even though most quilting fabrics are 42″ wide, it is rare that you can use all 42″.  The calculations in this pattern assume you can get five 7″ squares from one 7″ x WOF strip. If your fabric is slightly larger or has a very small selvage, you may be able to get six squares. 
 
Fabrics used in the example quilt are from the Ahoy! Mermaid’s fabric collection by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake Designs. 
PRINT
Love this tutorial? Get the behind the scenes on Instagram

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coral and white baby quilt hanging on fence

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8 Comments

  1. I look forward to making your 1/2 square triangle baby block quilt. Thank you for the free pattern and all the different layouts for the blocks.
    Carolyn

  2. Thank you so much for putting all these half-square triangle patterns in one place! You’ve got an eye for design. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi. I’m having difficulty navigating the library to find the layout sheet for half-square triangel quilts. I have the password and have scanned the mutliple pages in the library content without success.

    Suggestions?

    1. It’s right here. You’re looking at the baby quilt pattern. Just use the GIANT green button at the bottom to print it if you would like to save it.

4.91 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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