Easy Herringbone Quilt Tutorial with Half Square Triangles

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Make an Easy Herringbone Quilt using half square triangles! This simple quilt comes together soo fast since you are using 10 inch fabric squares and a shortcut half square triangle method.

How to make a herringbone quilt

It’s been so crazy lately with everything going on over the last few months.

Most challenging for me, was the six weeks of distance learning with an unmotivated and unfocused 7th and 9th grader; so yes, it was definitely a tough 6 weeks.

While all of the schooling was going on, I had no extra energy to even think about visiting my sewing room. (Made plenty of time for baking sweets though, so I guess the next challenging time will be three months of dieting, lol.)

Thankfully, “home-school” is out for now and I’ve (mostly) regained my sanity and am starting to get the urge to make pretty things!

The first project that came to mind was a simple quilt in my favorite colors.

Easy Herringbone Quilt Made with Half Square Triangles

Simple quilts are fun to me, it’s minimal amount of time per project, but the results are fabulous! (Also why I love making little girl dresses – like a pillowcase dress.)

This herringbone quilt is a perfect quilt project for a new-ish quilter or someone who likes quick projects that really make a impact. (Like me, lol.) One of the reasons it is so quick is you can make this quilt using a layer cake(s)! Plus making the triangles is more fun than just sewing squares together.

In today’s post, I am creating the blocks for this quilt using a half square triangle shortcut method, then putting the triangles together to make the blocks for this amazing Pink Herringbone Quilt. The quilt comes together so fast! 

Half Square Triangles Are the Best!

I just love working with half square triangles. There are so many fun designs you can make with them. 

The method I am showing you today makes 2 half square triangles using two 10 inch squares. I have another fun and Easy Chevron Quilt Tutorial that is made similarly, but that method makes 4 half square triangles from two 10 inch squares.

herringbone quilt made with half square triangles

For my Pink Herringbone Quilt, I used part of a layer cake for the white squares and yardage from my stash for the pink.

I cut the pink squares into 10 inch squares with a 10 inch quilting ruler.  (I have a ton of one yard cuts is various shades of pink from when my missy was younger and I was just collecting fabric. She’s no longer into pink and one yard of fabric is not enough fabric to make a dress or skirt anymore.)

Quilt Block Details:

One finished block is 9.5 by 9.5 inches. The picnic sized quilt top is 5 blocks across by 6 blocks down and is 45 by 54 inches. Of course, it is completely up to you on the size you want to make your quilt. 

I plan on adding a 4 inch border all the way around before binding, so my quilt should end up being around 52.5 by 61.25. A perfect lap or picnic sized quilt.

easy Herringbone quilt tutorial

Various Quilt Size Suggestions

If you are interested in turning this Herringbone quilt tutorial into a different size, here is a list of suggested quilt sizes (in inches). All you will need to do is add blocks to get close to your desired size. (2 ten inch squares make 2 blocks.)

  • Baby/Crib: 36 by 52
  • Lap/picnic: 50 by 65
  • Twin: 70 by 90
  • Full: 85 by 108
  • Queen: 90 by 108
  • King: 110 by 108see

Love Quilting? Make sure to check out these easy quilting projects!

How to Make an Easy Herringbone Quilt: 

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Time needed for quilt top: (if using precuts) 3 to 4 hours

Herringbone Quilt Layout Guide:

Print the guide here.  It will come in handy when you are putting the quilt blocks together.

herringbone quilt pattern

Materials Needed to Make a Herringbone Quilt top (picnic size):

Sewing Instructions:

Tutorial Note:  For the 1st part of this tutorial, I am using smaller cuts of fabric so all the blocks will fit in the frame of the camera. Your blocks are 10 by 10 inches.

Step 1: Organize and cut fabric squares, create blocks.

For the 1st two rows you will start with 5 blocks of white and 5 blocks of a colored fabric.

how to make a herringbone quilt

Line up a block of white and a block of the color, right sides together.

herringbone quilt with half square triangles

Use a ruler and draw a line from one corner to another.

how to make a half square triangle

Sew a straight stitch 1/4 inch on each side from the center line you drew.

make a half square triangle the easy way
easy half square triangle

Cut the square in half down the line you drew.

half square triangle method

Open the triangles and press into squares. Trim off the corners

make a herringbone quilt the easy way

Optional step, use a ruler and “square up” your squares. (At this point, they should be 9.5 inches by 9.5 inches) Technically, this step is optional, but it is incredibly helpful in the later steps. Ensuring your blocks are uniform in size, helps to line up all the seems when the rows together. 

Repeat these steps with four more pairs of white and colored squares. 

This gives you enough for the 1st two rows

Use the printable template and arrange squares into the correct alignment.

how to make a herringbone quilt

Repeat the above process with the next two colors. (When done, you will have 6 rows of three colors.)

easy herringbone quilt tutorial

Step 2: Sew blocks together.

Starting with the top row:

herringbone quilt tutorial with half square triangles

Line up first two blocks right sides together and sew with a .25 inch seam.

Then sew the next 2 blocks together, and then the last block to the second set of 2. Then sew the 2 groups together.

easy quilt tutorial

Repeat with the second row.

Then, matching up the seams and pinning, sew the two rows together. Tip: I like to match up the center most seam first and work outwards.

quilts for beginners

Nesting the seams together, like this:

how to nest a quilt block

Keep repeating step 2 until all your blocks and row are sewn together!

herringbone quilt pattern for beginners

Finish quilt as desired. 

For me, (and this particular quilt) I am thinking of adding 4 inch white borders and a raspberry pin dot/polka dot for the binding. Not sure about the back at this point, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a contrasting herringbone on the back? 

I’ll show it off when finished!

If you end up making one of these quilts, be sure to tag me on Instagram with #scatteredmompatterns or you can upload the photos to your finished project in my private Facebook group!

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  1. Braidie Waite says:

    Hey! How much fabric yard-wise do I need for the herringbone quilt?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      You can get 12 10-inch squares from a yard o 42-inch fabric. If you make it the exact size I made, you would need:
      1 1/3 yard for the background and half a yard for each color.

      Good luck!

  2. How many squares across and down would a queen sized quilt be?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      You would need approximately 10 across by 12 down.

  3. Audrey L White says:

    Thank you for sharing the quilts.
    Annd thanks for the breakfast bake. I am going to use turkey sausage. My fam will love this.

  4. I like your idea for the back: same pattern differentcolor!

  5. Ok just delete my comments!!! I’m confused about how to do these, I think you do cut it twice!! Otherwise you couldn’t open it!!

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      There are two ways, lol!

      One is to sew all the way around the 2 squares a quarter inch from the edge and then cut an X. You get four smaller half square triangles. ( I have a tutorial for a Chevron quilt that I did this way. I linked to it up in the post.)

      The other way is what I showed here, where you make a line diagonally through the middle and and sew along the edges. This makes 2 larger half square triangles.

      I almost used the 1st method for this quilt, but I wanted larger half square triangles so the project would go faster.

  6. Oh I made a mistake in my comment above! You cut the square once diagonally to make the half square triangle block! It winds up being the same size as the blocks in your quilt example.

  7. A friend showed me another super easy way to make half square triangle blocks that works great. You place each block together, right sides facing each other, then you see a 1/4 inch seam all the way around the outside edge of the block. Then use your ruler and rotary cutter and cut from corner to corner diagonally twice. From this one block you end up with four finished blocks!! Then you finish the quilt as above! I did my first quilt like that recently and it went really fast! I did use the 10” squares, and made a baby quilt.