Do you have any tips for making Quarter-Square Triangles?

Posted by on March 13, 2014 in block lotto community | 7 comments

Someone emailed me yesterday and asked for help making the Quarter-square Triangles (QST) that form the points for the star center in this month’s block.   She was cutting them larger and trimming to size and kept ending up with points that were a little unequal.

I realized that the main reason that I, personally, usually do NOT cut larger when making these is because trimming them to size can be fiddly because you have to make sure the center point (where the four triangles meet) is in the center, which is 1 1/4 inch from each edge in our block) and that the diagonal seams are perfectly diagonal from each corner.   I definitely use the 45% line on my ruler when I am trimming and it helps, but … if there is a better/easier/faster way, I just don’t know it.

Do you?  If you cut larger and trim to size, do you have any tips to offer?  Leave a comment and I promise to collect them all in one place and save them for the next time we are making blocks with QST units.


  1. I’ve found that if I cut the HSTs that are the base of the QST a bit large and then trim them (the HSTs) to ‘perfection’, the only thing I need to do to make the QSTs correctly is get a good scant 1/4″ seam. A full 1/4″ won’t work because of the bulk at the intersecting seams.

    Of course, I really hate having to do a scant seam – that seems so…arbitrary. But it’s gotta be done!

    • I actually considered this approach when I made my blocks. For our blocks, those HST units would be trimmed to 2 7/8 before proceeding with the next step.

  2. I like to make them larger and trim to size. I have used my June Taylor Shape Cut forever to do this – lining up the diagonal line and cutting through the slots. I just invested the money to get the June Taylor Perfect Half -square and Quarter square Triangle ruler, and used it for the first time on this block, and it really made the triangle squares quick, easy, and perfect. Sorry if this comes off as a commercial, (I am NOT the type that has to have a new ruler for every project!) but if you do a lot of these and struggle with it you might want to give this ruler a try.

    • No worries, Kathleen. It didn’t read like a commercial — more like a review of an interesting tool. You made me go looking for it–I found it here. It looks interesting and something that could be used for many projects.

  3. I cut larger and trim down. It is fiddly when I’m making a lot of units — and that is precisely what I did last year when I made a quilt with, hmmm, about 72 pinwheel blocks. Every time I cut large/trim down I think of Judy Martin, who does NOT do that–she advocates precise cutting and precise piecing from the get-go. I realize that cut large/trim down can lead to sloppiness. I try to channel Judy M and Gwen Marston in equal proportions for a happy medium. 🙂

  4. I have two video tutorial using two different tools. One is the June Tailor perfect HST and QST and the other is the Angler 2 on my blog Here is the link
    Like Kathleen….this is information only, to be helpful….I’m not pushing projects, etc

  5. I make a ton of half- and quarter-square triangles and have tried everything from triangle papers, Thangles, fancy rulers, etc. I finally heard about the Quilt in a Day ruler (Eleanor Burns) and I’ve been with it ever since. I come out with perfect triangles every time, so it was worth the price. The directions with the ruler are superb. This may sound like an ad, but if someone has a better, quicker or more accurate system, I’m in favor.

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