May Block of the Month: Half Square Sawtooth Star

Happy May my lovely quilters!!

First off I need to apologize for getting this block out so late…

We have been in a constant estate of upheaval and it has been almost a miracle for me to even get this block posted at all! It’s only thanks to my Mom (she took all the pics) and my amazing pattern testers that this block is even here!


Family photo by Utah Photographer Mel Habermeye

For those that don’t know, our little family is moving across state lines. We are excited, sad, anxious, and eagerly anticipating this move. And as such we are dealing with all the craziness that comes with such an enormous life change.

I’ll be giving more details later, but just know that we are still doing the block of the month! And I even have the June pattern in the works already. That way it can still be posted on time while I’m mid-move!

So without further ado…. Here is our May Block!

Half Square Sawtooth Star!

I have seen other quilters make this similar type of block but I don’t remember what they called it. If you have seen this before, drop a comment or tag the quilter so I can share credit! I will say, I still had to do all the dirty work of figuring out the sizing and fabric requirements for this to fit with our full pattern. And thanks to my amazing testers for making sure the sizing turns out as it should. The size for this block is 12 1/2”, which fits with all the other blocks posted on the website.

Background Fabric Accent Fabric # 1 Accent Fabric # 2
(5) 3 1⁄2” squares (1) 7” square (5) 3 1⁄2” squares
(1) 4” squares (1) 4” square
(2) 3 1⁄2” x 6 1⁄2” rectangles (2) 3 1⁄2” x 6 1⁄2” rectangles
(1) 7” square

Here are the sizes of blocks you will need to make this block.


The first step is to make the flying geese.  First take (2) 3 1/2” squares of Accent #2 Fabric. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the squares. 
Next take (1) 3 1/2” x 6 1/2” background rectangle and place the accent square on the left side with the diagonal line pointing up toward the center of the rectangle. 
Sew on the diagonal line. 
Press the background fabric open to check that the edges line up with the outer edges of the rectangle. If they line up well, fold the background fabric back and carefully trim ¼” away from the seam.  Discard the excess fabric.
***If they dont line up well, you will want to unpick and sew the seam again.  Take care to mark the diagonal line straight and make sure the edges of the square line up before sewing the seam again.  Keeping the edges straight will help the flying geese to stay the correct size.***

Place the next 3 1/2” square on the other side of the rectangle with the drawn diagonal line pointing up and left toward the center of the rectangle.  Sew on the drawn line and check the edges of the triangle before trimming. (The picture is from the second set of flying geese and shows the colors inverted. It’s the only other photo I had of this step.  Please MAKE SURE that you have the 3 1/2” squares are the same fabric and your flying geese will end up just right.) 

Repeat these steps to make two flying geese in using the background rectangle. 

Next, repeat these steps to make two flying geese in the opposite color way; use background fabric squares and accent fabric rectangles.

After making the flying geese set them aside and admire your handiwork! These should measure 3 1/2” x 6 1/2” when finished.

Make HSTs 

Next we will make half square triangles.  The large center square is a half square triangle, and we make it the same way as everyone else. 

Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 7” background square. Pin right sides together with the 7” square Accent #1 fabric. Sew one seam ¼” away from the drawn diagonal line. Cut directly on the drawn diagonal line.  Press the large HST open, pressing the seam toward the darker fabric. Save the excess triangle pieces to cut other pieces from for blocks later in the year.  Trim the block to measure 6 ½” x 6 ½”.

If it’s easier for you to make both sides of the square into an HST, that is fine! But you can easily use the excess triangles in future blocks. There aren’t specific blocks that use these exact sizes of triangles, but they can be sub cut and used in coming months.

Now make HSTs using the smaller squares.  Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 4” background fabric square. Place right sides together with the 4” Accent #2 fabric square. Sew two seams ¼” away on either side of the drawn diagonal line. Carefully cut directly on the drawn diagonal line.  Press both HSTs open, pressing toward the darker fabric.

You’’ll want to make sure and sew on both sides of the drawn diagonal line on this set of HSTs. 

Now we get to lay out the block.

Follow the layout to make sure the corner pieces end up in the right place.  Use the large 6 ½” HST as your center block. Follow the diagonal line in the HST to place the two corner HSTs. These pieces should create one long diagonal line. 

Place the flying geese made with the Accent #2 fabric rectangle on the top and left side of the large center HST, orienting the flying geese to point toward the center square. 

Place the flying geese made with the background fabric rectangles on the bottom and right side of the large center HST with the flying geese pointing toward the center fabric.

Place the final two corner blocks. Put the 3 ½” accent #2 fabric square in the top left corner.  Place the 3 ½” background fabric square in the bottom right corner.

Now remember, I like to say “Press as you please”.  So if you want to press the seams any other way, go for it! This is how I wrote the pattern for pressing seams: 

Sew the top row together, pressing seams out away from the flying geese.  

Sew the middle row together, pressing the seams toward the large center HST. 

Sew the bottom row together, pressing seams out away from the flying geese. 

Sew the rows together, pressing the final seams open.

As always, I can’t wait to see what you make! Make sure to use the hashtag #seweasybom when you share your blocks on social media!