Kate Quilts: Half-Square Triangles

Guess what? I’m falling in love with quilting again! I made my first quilt 30 years ago, and because I knew nothing, I chose a pattern with billions of tiny triangles combined to make stars that were set on the diagonal. I enjoyed the process, but I ended up not setting the quilt on the diagonal. I just used sashing and set the squares non-diagonally. Still, I had to add a giant triangular wedge across the top so the quilt would be square-ish. My daughter still has it on her bed at her dad’s house, and if you fold it over just right, you can’t see the wedge.

After that quilt, I decided to stick with square and rectangles. Then I re-discovered making clothes, and I stopped making quilts.

Studio 180 Rulers to the Rescue!

Enter Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Rulers, and I’m hooked on quilting again! Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a new quilter, Studio 180 rulers will change your life. Today, I’m going to show you how to use the Tucker Trimmer I to make half-square triangles. Stay tuned for quarter-square triangles, combination units, and shaded 4-patches, all using the same ruler!

Deb Tucker’s rulers work well because you create slightly oversized units and then trim them perfectly. Each ruler has only the markings you need to make the units it’s designed for.

Let’s make some half-square triangles!

First, determine what size starting squares to make based on the desired finished-size, which today is 4”, or 4 ½” cut-size. Deb’s starting squares size chart (included with the ruler), says to start with 5” squares.

Stack the two squares right-sides-together, and use Deb Tucker’s Quilter’s Magic Wand to draw two lines exactly ¼” from the diagonal.

Stitch along the two diagonal lines and cut in between them.

Position the Tucker Trimmer over the unit (because the cut size of the square is 4 ½”, place the half-circle in the upper right corner). Trim one corner (two sides).

Rotate the unit 180 degrees (hence the name of Deb’s company), line up the Tucker Trimmer, and trim the other corner.

Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you will have a precisely trimmed half-square triangle.


You’ll be able to make a bazillion different quilts and combos with just this unit, but stay tuned for more magic with the Tucker Trimmer!

The Tucker Trimmer I will make 11 different sizes of half-square triangles. If that’s not enough for you, Deb has created the Tucker Trimmer II (for ¼” and ¾” increments), and the Tucker Trimmer III (for 24 sizes up to 12 ½” inches).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *