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Surprise! Part 5 is going live EARLY –it’s a gift to those who live “Down Under” where it’s already Friday.
I was putting the finishing touches on this post and I thought, heck! WHY NOT! So – TADA!
Today was spent getting more than 350 Essential Triangle Tools out the door.
There are more to go out before we leave for our own Christmas at Quilt Villa – we will be on the road by post office closing time tomorrow. We will resume shipping on December 27th. Our son and his girlfriend are leaving the cabin after lunch on Monday the 26th, and we will lock up behind them and make our way home.
Since we have pushed ALL of the Essential Triangle Tool parts toward the back end of this mystery, it’s time to get started!
Half-Square Triangles On Parade!
“Impulsive” Dark Purple & Neutral.
3 1/2’’ UNFINISHED, Finishing at 3’’ in the quilt.
We are just a couple days shy of Christmas and Hanukkah. Family mode is in full gear. Baking has reached a high level of overload! Many of you are extremely busy, and I promised to go light on you this week. This is it. 64 half-square triangle units that finish at 3’’. You can do this. Even if you just do an even dozen, you’ll know all you need to know and can get back to making more after the
chaos lovely and memorable family time.
Of course there are many ways to make half-square triangles, and you are welcome to use ANY method you desire, should it be thangles, triangles on a roll, sew-big-sliver-trim-down, or the basic rotary cutting method of starting with 3 7/8’’ squares. It’s up to you. The thing to keep in mind is unit size, both UNFINISHED, and FINISHED.
Do what you need to do to make sure your units are coming out at the right size.
- Watch your cutting – start with a full strip width by keeping the line you are measuring by ON the fabric, not on the mat next to the fabric.
- Do some test units to be sure your seam allowance is where it needs to be.
- Measure the unit, NOT the seam allowance by itself. The proof of correct seam allowance is in unit size!
Sadie thinks you might like the Essential Triangle Tool!
She KNOWS that this one tool can be your left AND right hand when it comes to quickly cutting and sewing already matched pairs of units from Scrap User’s System width strips in the sizes you need them to be, be they half-square, quarter-square for hour glass units, or flying geese, or even 3 part triangles. If the triangle has a RIGHT angle, this is the RIGHT tool!
Let's get started!
Pair a dark purple 3 1/2’’ strip to a neutral 3 1/2’’ strip with right sides together.
Place one of the red lines on the ruler at the upper corner on the strip set as shown. If you are a lefty, you’ll be doing this in mirror image on the left end of the strip. Trim the selvage and uneven ends and make sure you have a good square corner.
Righties – Place the clean cut end on your left.
Lefties, turn it to your right.
The red lines are for cutting half-square triangles. Place the 3’’ line at the top of the strip-set. Remember, ON the fabric, NOT above it. Make a cut.
This is one matched pair ready to sew.
Pivot the ruler, putting the 3’’ line on the bottom end of the strip-set.
That 3’’ line is your “business” line and it always goes ON the fabric, Not below it or above it.
Remember the ruler is marked in FINISHED size. These units will finish at 3’’ square when in the quilt, but they will measure the same width as the strip set when the diagonal seam is sewn. This is a 3 1/2’’ strip, so the unit will also measure 3 1/2’’ unfinished.
To determine what width of strip to start with, simply add 1 /2’’ to the finished size that you desire.
To help you further, here is the little demo video I filmed with C&T during Quilt Market in Houston in October:
The strips in the video are 2 1/2’’ for a 2’’ finished unit. But the technique is the same. Our strips are 3 1/2’’ for a 3’’ finished unit.
See how easy these are to chain sew?
*HINT!* Don’t let go!!
Do you see the placement of my left hand? Just outside of the presser foot. My fingers are safe here. And they do an important job. As that tail end of the triangle pair goes under the presser foot I’m going to lose control of the fabric.
Even if I sew with a stiletto, it can only help to a point…and then the triangle tip can go surfing on its own. My left hand stays put next to the presser foot to help guide it all the way past the needle. If your triangle pairs have swoopy ends, it could be that you are letting go too soon. Try this! My seams are much straighter, and I keep my seam allowance all the way to the end.
(4 patch on the floor! LOL!)
I take my entire chain to the ironing board, lay it with the dark triangles on top, and work my way up my chain pressing them to the dark while they are still connected. Then it is easy for me to come through with my snips and cut them apart.
3 1/2’’ square!
Just had to remove one dog ear, and a smidge of excess.
This one I trimmed a bit more, but still barely a couple of threads.
We are hand guiding. Fabric moves and is supple. There will be some "variations" I am looking for "that'll do" and "good enough" for the most part.
There is BARELY any waste from these 8..mostly dog ears and a couple of wayward threads.
I know some of you are consummate trimmer-downers. There is no reason to feel guilty or bad about being a perfectionist. If you are one of those who really enjoys sliver trimming –instead of cutting big to sliver trim down, why not give this method a try, and just sew a few threads more scant. You’ll have plenty of room to sliver trim to heaven and back, and you will save oodles of fabric as you go.
Did you know that by cutting your triangles with the Essential Triangle Tool and 3 1/2’’ strips instead of going up to 3 7/8’’ squares, or even 4’’ squares that you are saving between 3/4’’ and 1’’ PER STRIP SET? All of those trimmings you are so proud of cost you $12.00 per yard. Cut quicker, sew faster, trim less.
64 3’’ Finished Triangle Units. Make them from Scrappy Dark Purples and Scrappy Neutrals.
Essential Triangle Tools can be ordered in the Rulers, Notions & Tools section of the Quiltville Store. It’s marked $3.00 off the list price. With purchase, you also receive a FREE PDF download for a Wanderlust Table Runner, an $8.00 value! The download link is sent to your inbox upon purchase.
For an added bonus, purchase the Addicted to Scraps book and Essential Triangle Tool Bundle for additional savings. Yes, you still get the free Wanderlust Table Runner pattern as well!
We will be using this tool a LOT in the future!
It would even make today's Quiltville Quote background a breeze:
Quiltville Quote of the Day!
What’s not to love about all of these scrappy half-square triangles in an ocean of vintage lavender solid?!
Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Part 5!