colour fair down under qal half square triangle

Two ways to trim Half Square Triangles (HSTs) video tutorial – Colour Fair Down Under QAL

If you were going to learn just one quilting block I’d recommend half square triangles (HST) be it. By using HSTs alone or combined with plain squares you can make any number of quilt blocks. Your imagination is the limit.

Colour Fair Down Under blocks are basically made with HSTs.

Why trimming?

When making HSTs several at a time the resulting pieces aren’t always accurate. For this reason I prefer making my HSTs slightly bigger than necessary and then trim them to the required size.

For instance when HST formulas call for 1/8” cuts such as 3 7/8” I just use the next rounded figure, eg 4” for 3 7/8”, so at the end I’ll have to trim. It takes a bit longer but the result is a lot more accurate and less frustrating.

I usually trim my half square triangles after pressing them open. However I’ve found a faster way to do that.

Check out my video tutorial demonstrating both techniques.

I recommend you use tape instead of using a visual to trim down your HST. If you don’t have access to tape that’s fine too but you may want to double check your ruler hasn’t moved before you cut.

Cutting ahead of starting the QAL

Some of you have asked if you should cut your pieces ahead of the QAL or not. I know it’s an exciting time and we’ve been waiting for a while now but it’s up to you.

I won’t be demonstrating how to cut fabric. My video tutorials will be in line with my usual style. Quick and to the point with a list of cutting instructions at the beginning.

Note: The pattern has directions for making HSTs in bulk for those of you who make the quilt using 8 different coordinated prints plus a background print. In this case you’ll have to do all the cutting and sewing before next week or when you start as you’ll need pieces in all prints ready to go on day one.

Of course if you use 8 coordinated prints and you prefer making the HST as demonstrated on the video tutorials please do.

Colour Fair Down Under Quilt

We made this quilt as a quilt along at the end of 2021. The pattern is still available and so are all the videos:

QAL fabric inspiration

How to trim half square triangles (bonus video)

8-pointed star block

Diamond block

Cross block

Whirlpool block


Share your progress

Let’s share our blocks to encourage each other:

  • On Instagram please tag me with @teresadownunder and hashtag #colourfairdownunderqal
  • Join my Facebook group and post your pictures there
  • You can also show your pictures on my QAL Event page on Facebook

Do you wish to receive my tutorials in your inbox?

Share your work!

If you make any of my tutorials this is how you can share your pictures:

  • On Instagram please tag me with @teresadownunder and hashtag #teresadownunder
  • Join my Facebook group and post your pictures there

My book Turnabout Patchwork

“Turnabout Patchwork. Simple quilts with a twist” is all about playing with blocks – making a block, slicing it up, and turning or repositioning the pieces to make a completely different block (sometimes two smaller blocks) to yield endless quilt tops.

Buy individual chapters of my book

Now that my publisher is going out of business I have bought the rights to publish my book. Now you can download individual chapters. Each digital download is a bundle with 4 quilt patterns in it.

As well as the instructions and fabric needs to make the blocks you’ll find a section on quiltmaking basics at the end of the pattern that discusses:

  • Tools
  • Squaring up blocks
  • Borders
  • Assembly and quilting
  • Binding

See all the quilts in the book in a real life project


  1. You are my favorite quilt person. Love all you videos and book.
    Looking for ideas for my 10 year old grandson who’s passion for mountain bikes and trails. If you have any ideas please let me know. Changed my email to a more secure. Tired of Google mail.

    Liked by 1 person

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