Half Square Triangle Pillow Shams

Posted by RemonaG on Monday, February 10th, 2014

Half Square Triangle Pillow Shams

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By: Remona Gopaul


Hello Everyone! My name is Remona from The Stitching Scientist. I am excited to be here at Cutting Corners to share with you this gorgeous Half Square Triangle (HST) pillow sham tutorial featuring Mod Studio by Holli Zollinger for Riley Blake Designs.

HST is a simple quilting pattern and technique that any novice or expert an have fun working with. You can make large quilts, small throw pillows, runners or decorative pillows like these shams. The pattern is very versatile and works well in highlighting the beauty of the fabric.

I am absolutely in love with this entire line from Mod Studio. The colors are rich and bright with just the right amount of contrast with gray and white as the backgrounds. One of nice things about this line is that any fabric you choose can be well matched with another fabric in the same line. The entire line blends well together. There is a good variety of small, medium and large prints to mix and match for your project.

For this HST pillow sham, I wanted to highlight the richness of the pattern designs, so I chose two fabrics that contrast each other; one with large, clustered prints and one with small sparse prints. 

Your Supplies (standard size pillow 20"x30")

4 complimentary fabric strips each measuring 6"x45" (the ones in this tutorial are Mod Damask Red, Mod Damask Black and Mod Flower Red, Mod Flower Black)

1/2 yard white cotton for the back

Optional ruffle edge (4"x90") white cotton.

Note: you can sew pieces together to get the long lengths of the strips.

Step 1- Cutting your fabric

You need to cut 9 4.5"squares of each of your fabric. You can use a 4.5" cardboard template or a quilting ruler. Using a rotating blade is best to get all the squares perfectly even.

Here are the 4 complimentary fabrics I chose for this pillow

Cut 8 squares of each of your fabric

Step 2- Draw a diagonal line in the middle of the back of each of your squares.

Step 3-With right sides together, line up two squares (different colors) and sew 1/4" away from the line in the middle. Do this for both sides of the line. (Note: its best to use a 1/4" sewing foot foe accuracy)

Step 4- Cut all the way down the middle of the line.

Step 5- Open up the two triangles and iron. Cut, the corner edges so that you have perfect squares after your iron. Repeat steps 3-5 for all your fabric squares. I made two sets of squares; dark (black) and bright (red)

Step 6- Assemble pattern strips

For this design, I decided to pair my dark squares with light squares. Each pair matches with a fabric that has a different color and pattern.

Align 7 squares together to form your strip.

Step 7-Make 5 strips using step 6 above. Sew each strip together to form your pillow top. Iron with starch.

Step 8 Optional Ruffles.

Take your 4"x90" white cotton strip and fold it in half so that you end up with a strip measuring 2"x90". Iron down the center.

There are a few ways to make the ruffles:

a) you can iron down about 1/4" fold all throughout the strip

b) you can do a  long stitch with your machine and then pull the bottom thread to gather or

c) you can fold in 1/4" while you sew.

I chose to do option c where I just fold in 1/4" as I sewed down the strip to the pillow top.

Step 9- take your strip with the raw edges facing the raw edge of the right side of the pillow top, sew all the way around, curving as you come to the ends.

Step 10- Cut the pieces for the back.

For the back you will need two pieces measuring 20"x18". Fold down the short size about 1/2" and then again about 2". Iron and sew all the way down. Repeat for both pieces.

Step 11-Put it all together.

Lay the pillow top right side up and take your two back pieces and lay them right sides down with the folded edges that you did in step 10 facing each other. Pin and sew all the way around the pillow using 3/4" seam allowance.

 Enjoy your finished project!



Thank you for joining me today for this tutorial. Happy Sewing,




Category: Home Decor


  1. Thank you for the tutorial! I'm making it right now. Love the fabrics!
    by Marina
    February 17th, 2014 at 2:47 p.m.

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