quarter square triangle unitQuarter-Square Triangles - sometimes known as Hour Glass units and often abbreviated to QST - are quick and easy to make. If you only wish to make a couple of units or have more than two colours in the unit then it is probably easiest to just cut the squares, cut them into four across the diagonals and re-stitch. For multiple units of two-colour units then marking the fabric in advance, stitching and then cutting is probably more accurate.

The important measurement to remember is 1 1/4 - this is the seam allowance required to take care of all those points. So add 1 1/4 inches to the finished size of your unit to get the size of squares you wish to cut; i.e for 3 inch finished units cut squares measuring 4 1/4 inches.

To make a few two colour QST units cut the number of squares needed from both fabrics - remember each pair of squares will make two units.

mark squareMark both diagonals on the wrong side of the lighter fabric. If you wish, mark the sewing lines either side of one of these diagonals - 1/4 inch away. Mark fairly lightly so you can see it but not so it will show once you have finished stitching. The marks shown are very heavy so they can be seen in the photos.



Pair the squares, right sides together. Stitch either side of one diagonal using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press to the darker fabric - don't be tempted to 'iron' as the seam is on the bias and you risk stretching it.

qst cut first diagonal

qst cut second diagonal

Cut the squares apart on both diagonals. It is easier (and more accurate) if you place the squares on the cutting mat so you do not have to move them after making the first cut, just move yourself (or the mat) and cut again.



If you have to make a lot of these units it is sometimes easier to cut strips, mark one, sew the seams and cut the strips apart.

qst cut strip


Cut the strips 1 1/4 inches wider than the finished units.



qst mark strip


Mark the squares on the wrong side of the lighter strips.



qst mark seams


Then mark both diagonals. As before, mark the sewing lines on both sides of one of these diagonals, 1/4 inch either side.



qst pin strips


Pin the two strips right sides together.



qst stitch seam lines


Stitch along the marked sewing lines, pivoting at the turns.



qst cut squares


Press the strip to set the stitching. Cut apart into squares on the marked lines.



As before, cut the squares apart along both diagonals. Press the seams to the darker fabric - with care as the seam is on the bias.

qst diagonal cut

qst units pressed

From each square you will have two pairs of units to be joined to complete two QST units.




qst arrange unitsMatch them up and stitch them together making sure the seam lines butt up against each other.qst butt seams




qst stitchPress the stitching and then press the seam to one side. qst complete unit




qst undo seamIf you prefer you can 'split' the seam the same way as for the 4-patch. Undo a little of the seam on each side in the centre - in the allowanceseams pressed of the seam just completed. You should then be able to turn half the allowance to one side and half to the other and your centre will lie nice and flat.