Monday, May 10, 2021

Strippy HST Tutorial

As promised, here's the tutorial for the Strippy HST blocks the PCQ charity committee is using for kids' quilts. 

For a quilt finishing at 45 x 60" you'll need 48 blocks. This is the sample I made for teaching, but there are many possible layouts. Any layout that works with HSTs or Log Cabin blocks will work. 

HSTs (half square triangles) work best if there is strong value contrast. If the featured prints read dark, the scrappy strips should read light, and vice-versa. All the feature prints for one quilt should read either dark or light, not mixed. In my sample, all the feature prints are dark. 

Blocks are made in pairs, so you'll need 24 sets of block parts. 

Make two matching blocks at a time. Blocks finish at 7-1/2” (8” unfinished). For each pair of blocks:

1. Cut 1 (one) 8-1/2” square of a feature print. Press a crease on the diagonal, wrong side in.

2. Cut 2” random strips of assorted fabrics. For two blocks cut 1 (one) strip 13-1/2” long. Cut 2 (two) strips 11-1/2” long. Cut 2 (two) strips 8-1/2” long.

3. Cut (one) 4” square and cut in half on the diagonal. Option: use a charm square cut on the diagonal. No need to trim it down to 4” first.

4. Piece strips to make a square larger than 8-1/2”:

o   Fold each strip in half crossways and crease in the center to create match points.

o   Matching centers, sew an 11-1/2” strip on each side of the 13-1/2” strip.

o   Sew an 8-1/2” strip on each side of the 11-1/2” strips.

o   Crease the center of the long side of each 4” HST and sew one to each side of the 8-1/2” strips.

o   Press.

5. Layer a print square and a strip pieced unit right sides together, making sure the crease in the print square is perpendicular to the strips.  

6. Sew a scant ¼” on each side of the diagonal crease. 

7. Cut apart on the crease, press, and square up each HST to 8” to make two blocks.

Because the strip pieced unit is an irregular shape, chances of the HST coming out with the strips perfectly centered and symmetrical are slim. The HST block will likely come out wonky, which is fine. 

When making multiple blocks, the yield is as follows:

For 8-1/2” feature print squares:

   - From 8-1/2” WOF strip, 4 squares (possibly 5)

      -From fat quarter, 4 squares

For 2” strips:
            - From one WOF strip:  yield 3 (three) 13-1/2” strips  -OR-  2 (two) 11-1/2” strips and 2 (two) 8-1/2” strips

 -From one half-WOF strip such as from a fat quarter:
1 (one) 11-1/2” strip and 1 (one) 8-1/2” strip

For my sample quilt I used 24 feature prints. Fewer feature prints would also work. The more different prints used, the scrappier the end result is. 

Use a very large variety of fabrics for the 2" strips and side triangles. The more the better! This is a good way to use up scraps, leftover binding, and narrow backing offcuts. 

I hope you enjoy making these blocks and this quilt. If you post your version to social media, please credit

Edited to add: If you would like a PDF of this tutorial to use for charity or donation quilts, please leave a comment. Be sure to include your email address. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt, Quilt Fabrication


  1. Nice way to use up lots of scraps. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This is a great way to use up scraps, and I especially appreciate your tip about binding scraps for the strips, too!

  3. Nice tutorial. I have a lot of strings that need to leave their cramped drawer.

  4. Thanks for the directions. Helpful to have cutting directions for the string blocks instead of winging it with random cuts. I'm going to try this one as soon as I get caught up with H2H and some gardening tasks (if it ever warms up).

  5. That quilt is SEW super cute, Jan!! Thank you for taking the time to post the tutorial. Hoping the PCQ girls have fun with these blocks!

  6. Thank you for this clear tutorial!

  7. Very nice tutorial for this charity quilt. It will be a good way for my guild to use their children's novelty fabrics, plus a lot of scraps too. I am storing this idea away to give to my guild. Thanks for linking with Design Wall Mondays, Judy

  8. Joined your blog today. Great info. Please email me this tutorial pdf. It will help with my scrap stash for charity quilts too!