Second Chance Quilt: HST Cast-Offs to Pinwheel Lap Quilt

A hand-me-down bag had a lot of fairly large half-square triangles in it. They weren’t all the same size, but the colors looked nice together. Some were already stitched across the diagonal, some weren’t.

First, I stitched the diagonals as needed, then pressed the blocks open and trimmed them to 4″, the largest size that would fit the blocks.

TIP: When working with Half Square Triangle blocks (HSTs), it is completely worth your time to trim and square up the blocks. There are many good tutorials out there and a variety of methods. Try a few and decide what works for you, but DO NOT skip this step.

I decided that this one would be a simple lap size quilt. I didn’t have any background fabric that really worked with the lighter color in the HSTs, and there was enough to make good size top using only the fabric I had.

Pinwheel time! All the pinwheels were made with a single fabric for the colored sections. Except two, where I mixed similar colors to fill out the needed 48 blocks.

Stitch them together and, ta-dah!, a 42″ x 56″ quilt. Good for a young child or anyone needing a snuggle. This isn’t anything special, I guess, but it is fabric that has found a purpose instead of a bag of guilt. That is a win in my book.

Do you have HSTs lying around, or charm squares that could be paired up with a background fabric? Give it a go!


Let me know how it works out for you, or if you have questions that I might be able to help with.

This post first appeared in the Online Quilt Magazine. Consider subscribing. There is a FREE version, or get the paid upgrade for a GREAT price (totally worth it!)

ps–It took a lot of trial and error to come up with that binding, but the final result was worth it.

Another Potential Project

Hand-me-down projects are so much fun to work with. I try to approach them with an attitude of curiosity: What can this be?

Still thinking on this, but in the meantime I can start ironing those half square triangles open and squaring them up.

It will be exciting to see what happens next.

Funky Flight Quilt Finish

I saved the idea a long time ago. The movement of the floating blocks really caught my eye.

But I didn’t know how funky and cool it would look finished. Yes, it is different, but different is good.

The “cracked” quilting is just what I wanted and makes even the large background spaces interesting. I plan to gift the quilt to a teacher friend.

PS–For your information, I used 2-1/2″ half square triangle pieces. The individual blocks finish at 8″. The entire quilt is 56″ x 72″.

Flight Quilt Top Finished

Some of all of those half square triangles are now in a finished top.

I found a great starting point HERE: Joannes Designs Week52 (all-about-quilts.com)

Obviously I changed the solid color squares to half-square triangle blocks. I also sized the blocks up to 8″ so the top finishes as a nice size throw (56″ x 72″).

It went together quickly. It is a little quirky with the very traditional color scheme and the wild layout, but I do like it. It would be a fun quilt to show off free motion quilting.

I hope to have a completed project soon. In the meantime, I am still plotting/pondering on what to do with the almost 500 half square triangles that remain…Someone put a lot of work into them. And I am grateful.

Potential Projects

A section of my shelving is devoted to Potential Projects. Most often these come as groups of scraps in hand-me-down bags, or even partially finished projects.

And I have a lot of them.

So many, in fact, that I am going to take one bag or pile each month and decide to either make it into a project, or put the fabric back into regular circulation, or even just get rid of it.

This is the first pile.

And this is the first idea of what to do with it. Hmm…should be interesting.