No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks – Part One

How to make 1/2-square triangles the easy way by Nancy Zieman

No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks – Part One

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How to make 1/2-square triangles the easy way by Nancy ZiemanOne of the easiest places to start quilting is with a 1/2-square triangle. Nancy Zieman shows how to create this traditional quilting staple without fussing around with bias-cut edges. Make the block unit easily, “Nancy’s no-hassle way,” with this episode of Sewing With Nancy, which features blocks from Nancy’s book, No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks.

During the first episode on Sewing With Nancy, learn to create six different blocks, all made with 1/2-square triangles. During the second episode—next week’s feature—learn about 1/4-square triangles. Watch this Sewing With Nancy episode!

The Box Quilt (1898)

One of the more streamline quilt blocks to create from 1/2-square triangles is the Box Quilt. First illustrated in print in 1898, it’s created with eight 1/2-square triangle blocks and a square. The design has great movement, reminiscent of a pinwheel.

How to Make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

Shadow Play

Instead of making all the 1/2-square triangles from the same fabrics, stitch together three different color combos. This block is called Shadow Play, where the fabric choices create the impact.

How to Make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy ZiemanGodey Design

Godey’s Lady’s Book was a monthly magazine published in Philadelphia between 1830 and 1876. Before the Civil War, it was the most widely circulated magazine in the United States. Sarah Josepha Hall was the editor of the magazine from 1837 to 1877; she also wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb. One of the designs featured in the magazine in 1858 was simply called, Godey Design.

How to Make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

Square in a Square

When researching quilt block names, Nancy found literally dozens of quilt blocks named Square in a Square. With seemingly limitless geometric options with squares, no wonder it’s a common name. Regardless, it’s an attractive block all designed with 1/2-square triangles.

How to make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

May Basket

May Basket is another frequently used name for a quilt block. This block is also named, Cactus Flower. Your fabric choice will dictate the name. This version combines two sizes of finished triangles: 3-1/2″ and 6-1/2″, giving the block a center focal point.

How to make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

Nancy’s Spool

This block may or may not be an original arrangement of 1/2-square triangles. Our guess is that it has been created before, but since Nancy couldn’t find it in print, she named it Nancy’s Spool.

How to make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

How to Make 1/2-Square Triangles

During the TV episode, Nancy shared how to easily make the above blocks as well as basic 2-1/2″, 3-1/2″, 4-1/2″, 5-1/2″ and 6-1/2″ half-square triangles. (Learn 1/4-square triangle tips in the next episode!) There’s no hassle and no need to cut a single triangle! The measurements are printed on the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge that Nancy designed for Clover.

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover Needlecraft

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover Left Side IMG_4158

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4203

  • Lay the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge onto squares to double-check the block size. If the block set is larger or smaller than the confines of the gauge, recut the blocks.

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4137

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4142

  • Stitch a scant 1/4″ from each side of the center marking.

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4144

  • Cut along the center diagonal line.

Nancy Zieman No-Hassle Triangle Gauge from Clover IMG_4988

  • Presto, there are now two accurate 1/2-square triangles!

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4152

Watch No-Hassle Triangle Quilts—Part One! You’ll see step-by-step details for creating these six precision-made quilt blocks.

Make This Sampler Quilt at Home

The No-Hassle Triangles Quilt book shows exactly how to make the 12-block sampler quilt. Hint: the remaining six blocks will be featured in part two of No-Hassle Triangles Quilts. For best results, use the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge

How to make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman

Watch No-Hassle Triangles (Part One and Part Two) on The Best of Sewing With Nancy online.

The Best of Sewing With Nancy TV Show hosted by Nancy Zieman Screen Shot 2019 07 01 at 2.36.38 PM



Nancys Giveaway 5 13121

For a chance to win a copy of the No-Hassle Triangles Quilt book, tell us which of the 1/2-square blocks you would like to make.

Screen Shot 2018 12 31 at 12.02.45 PM

Giveaway Winner 5 132The randomly selected winner of a copy of Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares Book and DVD is Vivian Oaks.

Screenshot 2014 08 12 14.45.16

Her comment is: My dream travel destination is anywhere necessary to see some beautiful auroras! I love all the Aurora Borealis pictures on Pinterest and elsewhere. Whether it’s Alaska, Finland, Iceland, or any other northern countries—it wouldn’t matter, so long as I could see and take some beautiful pictures!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!! I’d love Nancy’s book and DVD!!




Baby Lock's 2019 Annual Sewing Machine Warehouse Sale




Happy Quilting!

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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  • Anne Z
    July 4, 2019

    I love the Godey Design block. I have always had a passion for star blocks and using 1/2 square triangles this one is easy to make.

  • Helen Heise
    July 4, 2019

    I would like to make the Shadow Play blocks for a fun and colorful quilt..

  • L H
    July 4, 2019

    Box Quilt or Square in a Square

  • Lorraine Alves
    July 4, 2019

    I would make Godey Design. The star could be made in a color combination to mimic the twinkling stars in the night sky.

  • Sharon
    July 4, 2019

    Square in a Square

  • Ann West
    July 4, 2019

    The Godey Design Block would be the first block I would make followed closely by the Square in A Square. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Joyce
    July 4, 2019

    i would love to make the Godey design!

  • Nancy Lewis
    July 4, 2019

    I love half square triangle quilts and the May Basket is the first one I would try.

  • Joyce West
    July 4, 2019

    I would like to make Godey’s Design.

  • Carolyn T
    July 4, 2019

    The first block I’ll make is Nancy’s Spool. My sister will be the recipient after I frame it for her. P.S. I loved reading the history behind each block in today’s blog!

  • Shirley C
    July 4, 2019

    I think I would like to try the sampler from half square triangles. Nancy’s instructions are so clear and concise, I should not have any problems. So, I am looking forward to making the sampler quilt.

  • Lorna
    July 4, 2019

    May basket

  • Dixie
    July 4, 2019

    I would make the Godey Design Block.

  • Linda
    July 4, 2019

    I think they’re all beautiful but would do the square in a square first. The right tools make the work easier and the No Hassle Triangle Gauge is one of my favorites!

  • Bev Bolduc Aldridge
    July 4, 2019

    Square in a Square, I do not believe I have made anything like this before. Thankyou for dating patterns.

  • Marylou Wahl
    July 4, 2019

    My goodness-I like all of them so real hard to pick one- I really love Godey Design but Nancy’s spool is a favorite too!

  • Rosalie Knoll
    July 4, 2019

    The Godey Design block looks so impressive. A table topper would show this block off nicely. Although you do not give this as a choice even though the photo is in the beginning, I really would love to do the card tricks block which has been daunting for me. All of the blocks are great and look very easy the way Nancy shows. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book and DVD. I would thoroughly enjoy them.

  • Regina Harris
    July 4, 2019

    I would like to make May basket

  • Marie
    July 4, 2019

    I’m always drawn to stars! They are so eye-catching and really lend themselves to scrap quilts. I can see me making a quilt from scrappy Godey Design.

  • CathyH
    July 4, 2019

    I Iove the Godey and Square in a Square equally as well.

  • Patti Ziegler
    July 4, 2019

    I love all of the half square triangles but I would like to start with shadow play. Then go on to incorporate the rest of the hst blocks.

  • Linda Reaves
    July 4, 2019

    Love all the blocks. I would probably start with the square in a square and make all of them to create a sampler quilt.

  • Deborah Whaley
    July 4, 2019

    I really love all of them but if I had to pick just one – it would be the Godey design. I will end of trying all of them if I’m to be honest.

  • Mary
    July 4, 2019

    I have always wanted to make a sampler quilt. Maybe this would spur me on. I really like the Godey block and the Shadow Play block.

  • DeAnna S
    July 4, 2019

    I love them all but I like Shadow Play and Card Trick the best. I love the look of Card Trick in various colors.

  • Teri c
    July 4, 2019

    I’d like to try the Square in a Square block first.

  • Clovis
    July 4, 2019

    All of them would be fun to make. The colors you use are just popping.

  • Lillian K
    July 4, 2019

    Box Quilt is one I can use to showcase some floral fabric I have. I would use my florals as the center block.

  • Karen A
    July 4, 2019

    I like the May Basket

  • Pat
    July 4, 2019

    I’d like to make the May basket square. It just makes me think of new flowers and the promise of Spring.

  • Sandra C
    July 4, 2019

    I have always wanted to make a sampler quilt but I would make Nancy’s Spools first as that is my favorite block. This book is one of the best books as it inspires me to sew a new quilt. If I don’t win it, I sure want to buy it to have it in my collection of books.

  • Virginia
    July 4, 2019

    Looks like a fun quilt to make.

  • EllenB
    July 4, 2019

    Card Trick is one of my favorites, but the Spool would make some fun pillows.

  • Florence
    July 4, 2019

    I like star block patterns and would make the Godey Design Block. All the fabric prints and colors in the sampler quilt are lively and bright!

  • Anita
    July 4, 2019

    It’s between the Godey design and Nancy’s Spool. I like doing half-square triangle stars, but I would love to make a tribute to Nancy for convincing me that I could quilt. Seven quilts down and 10 more in the wings waiting to be started. Thanks, Nancy!

  • Gail Beam
    July 4, 2019

    I love all of the blocks, but my favorites are the Godey block and Nancy’s spool. Thanks for the chance to win one of Nancy’s books that provides all of the necessary information to make a number of no hassle triangle quilts.

  • Barb K
    July 4, 2019

    I especially like Nancy’s Spool–a spool block has been on my “to do” list for a long time.

  • Niomi
    July 4, 2019

    I chose Square in a Square as my favorite. Never thought to make”squares” with triangles. 🙂 Must try it.

  • Karen King
    July 4, 2019

    I like the square in a square. I am always amazed how many different blocks a half square triangle can make. When I do flying geese, I try to sew a seam before cutting off the waste triangles…I am getting so many tiny half square triangles! I can ‘t wait to try some mini blocks!

  • Joanne T
    July 4, 2019

    The Godey Design block would be first.

  • JOELLA L Gerzon
    July 5, 2019

    Love the whole quilt! But, the one that caught my eye is the spool. ❤

  • Debbie
    July 5, 2019

    I actually love the entire sampler quilt on the cover. I recently purchased the gauge but haven’t tried it yet. This has inspired me and I think I would start with the spool block. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

    July 5, 2019

    “Square in a Square” would be what I would like to make and having a book would so help me. A DVD of the book would also be great but that is not mentioned so I do not know if there is one. All the squares are fantastic and I think making a sampler quilt with each square would make an absolutely stunning quilt. Thanks for letting me enter the contest.

  • Linda H
    July 5, 2019

    I would make the Godey Design block and Nancy’s spool. They are my favorites.

  • Shirley Clark
    July 5, 2019

    I love the Godey design, but they’re all pretty! I need one of those gauges.

  • Hannah W
    July 6, 2019

    Godey design caught my eye:)

  • Paulette Bergman
    July 6, 2019

    It is between the Shadow Play and May Basket, but the whole sampler would be the most fun. Thank you for the info & opportunity! pj stitches!

  • Kar
    July 7, 2019

    Card Trick and Nancy’s Spool are my favorites. Love how Nancy has turned this sampler quilt into something even a beginner, like me, can be successful at and enjoy making.

  • Julie Kill
    July 8, 2019

    My Favorite is the Godey Design. I would like to make the whole sampler though. Thank you again for making beautiful quilting easier!

  • Susan
    July 9, 2019

    The Godey Design captures my attention. The star pattern is so attractive and can be used in many seasons of home decorating.

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