Quarter Square Triangles: the most obvious method

quarter square triangle with title.

Quarter square triangle units are squares made of four equal triangles stitched together. It is sometimes called an hourglass.

The obvious way to make these is to cut triangles and stitch them together.


To begin, cut two squares of fabric – one light and one dark

The squares should be cut 1-1/4″ larger than you want the finished unit to be. In this case, for a 4″ unit, cut 5-1/4″.

fabric squares for cutting quarter square triangles.

Cut these squares on both diagonals to make triangles.

quarter square triangles cut out.


Join the triangles in pairs, stitching on one of the short legs. Be sure to stitch both pairs in the same orientation.

joining fabric triangles into pairs.

Open and press. You will clearly see the two sides of the QST.

triangle pairs joined for quarter square triangle piece.

Stitch together, being sure to line up the dark to the light.

final seam for the quarter square triangle unit.

Open and press.

If necessary, trim the edges to make it 4-1/2″ square. This will finish at 4″ with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

measuring the quarter square triangle unit.

You’re done!

two quarter square triangle units.

What’s Good

  • intuitive, easy to remember
  • no marking

What’s not Good

  • bias edges

When to use this method

  • when you cut and stitch precisely
  • to make a scrappy quilt

Rating: 2 out of 5

This method usually needs to be trimmed to get the exact size and the finished square has bias edges. That means that it will easily stretch and be difficult to piece.

[mailerlite_form form_id=4]
assorted pieced triangles with title.

white and blue fabric pieced triangles with title "half square triangles".

Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

Scroll to Top