Half Square Traingles made with the Strip Tube Ruler

Happy Saturday to all my quilting buddies out there!  I decided to work on my Pepto quilt today.  The design I came up with is going to require 240 half square triangles. {HSTs}  Say what!  Yes I said 240 HSTs.  I must be crazy.

I wanted to show you a quick and easy way to make HSTs by using the Strip Tube Ruler.  It’s one of my favorite methods.

All you need is a rotary cutter & the strip tube ruler.

I need 4.5″ finished HSTs for my Pepto quilt so my HSTs need to measure 5″ before I sew them together.  When you use the strip tube ruler all you do is cut strips of fabric and sew them together.  If you can sew a straight line, you can make HSTs.  And you can make a lot of them at one time.

A HST is made up of 2 colors.  Mine will be half pink and half beige.  Therefore, I cut one 4″ wide strip of pink and one 4″ wide strip of beige.

The strips of fabric are put right sides together and sewn 1/4″ on each side  This makes a tube of fabric.

You can see I’ve already sewn a 1/4″ seam on the left side.  Now I’m doing the other side.

Now I use my strip tube ruler and start cutting the HSTs.  I mentioned my HSTs need to be 5″ unfinished.  This is important information to know.  This tells me what line on the strip tube ruler I need to use.  I will be laying the 5″ line of the ruler on my stitch line.  See the picture below.


Then I use my rotary cutter and cut up one side and down the other.

I flip the strip tube ruler over to the other stitch line and cut again.  That’s HST number 2.

I keep going until I run out of fabric.

I was able to get 11 HSTs from one tube of fabric.

My pile of 11 HSTs

Of course the number of HSTs will vary depending on what size you need.  The smaller the HST the more you will be able to get out of one tube.  And vice versa.  The strip tube ruler will make HSTs as small as 1/2″ up to 9.5.”  I am NOT even crazy enough to make any 1/2″ HSTs!  That’s just not going to happen.   

Once I had them all cut I pressed them open and trim off the little triangle corners. 

Trim that little triangle off. 

Here they are after I’ve pressed them all open and trimmed the little triangles.

It shouldn’t take me too long to get 240 HSTs made using this method. 

I can’t really think of any negative aspects of the strip tube ruler.  All in all it’s a pretty efficient way to make HSTs. 

Have you used the strip tube ruler?  If so, do you like it?  I know I do.

As always…I try to make my tutorials easy to follow.  If something doesn’t make sense just leave me a comment.  I’ll do my best to clear it up.

Happy Quilting

12 thoughts on “Half Square Traingles made with the Strip Tube Ruler”

  1. Vicki, your tutorial was excellent! I’ve never heard of that ruler, but I can certainly see how effective it is when a person has to make so many HSTs…well done and thanks for sharing!

  2. This is my FAVORITE method of making HST’s. I think the only negative is that the edge of the HST is bias. I use a lot of starch when doing this method. And, it’s not really too much of a negative b/c other methods will give you a bias edge and aren’t nearly as fast!

  3. Great tutorial and a fun way to make a lot for sure and for larger HSTs this is really nice. But I agree with Sunni….I recently discovered Eleanor Burns’ method which will make 8 at a time from 2 squares, and you get NO bias edges. For smaller piecing, definitely check out EB’s.

    1. My question too. I need 3 1/2″ HST unfinished, 3″ in quilt. How wide should my strips be? Is there a chart for different sizes?

  4. I use this ruler, make them 1/2″ larger when placing on STR and then use the Bloc Ruler to square up my HST’s! Perfect!

  5. I’m lucky enough to live near Cozy Quilt Shop, home of the strip tube ruler and the junior strip tube ruler. It is my favorite method as well. One easy trick, don’t flip the ruler, flip the tube over to cut opposite side. It’s an easier cut.

  6. I love this method for making HST; I recently used it to make 130 units. I especially love that you don’t have to spend the time drawing lines like the other methods. I did wonder what the formula is for the width of the strip = size of finished block. I did a few sample blocks before I had a strip that made a 3″ HST.

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