Did you get all your units made last week?
I know some of you did, and I’m liking the ones I’m seeing — there are gonna be some really cute quilts out there when we’re done with this!
I’m back today with our second tutorial for making triangle-square units.
If you’re just now joining us, there are links in the sidebar to all the information and tutorials, so please don’t think you’re behind — we’ve only just gotten started.
This week’s tutorial shows you a method for making 8 identical half-square triangles all at once.
I’ll show you the step-by-step, and then we’ll go over the formula, and the pros and cons of this method, and what you’ll need for your Triangle Salad quilt, so read all the way through to get the entire scoop.
Let’s get at it (as My Cowboy would say)!
You will need two squares of print fabric, 7 3/4″ each.
On the back side of the lightest-colored one, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner with a marking pencil in both directions (so you have an X).
Layer this square with the other square, right sides together, and pin.
Sew 1/4″ on each side of both lines, all the way across.
Now, for the cutting . . .
You will be making 4 cuts without moving the sewn piece, so place it on your work surface, and get your ruler and cutter ready.
The first cut is to cut the squares in half vertically.
The second cut is to cut the squares in half horizontally.
The third cut is to cut on one of the drawn lines (it doesn’t matter which you do first).
The final cut is to cut on the other drawn line.
Here’s what you’ll end up with.
Then press each unit open.
Trim the dog ears that stick out.
You should have 8 identical units, each measuring 3 1/2″.
Pretty slick, huh?
As with the method in Tutorial #1, you can cut your squares bigger for this method, and then trim the units down when you’re done, if you’re worried about accuracy.
You can also use the “tape on the bed of your sewing machine” method as mentioned in Tutorial #1 to save having to draw all the lines, if you have a setup that works well for that.
Formula for making these any size you need:
To make these squares any size you need for your project, once again, there’s a very simple formula. Take the size of the finished unit you desire, and add 7/8″ to it.
For example, the ones we made above are to finish in the quilt at 3″ square, so you would use the number 3 7/8″.
Then multiply this number x 2. This is the size to cut your squares.
In our example, we’ll need squares that are 7 3/4″ (3 7/8″ x 2).
We’ll do another example:
If you want your units to finish at 2 1/2″, you’d add 7/8″ to 2 1/2″ to get 3 3/8″. Then multiply by 2 to figure the size to cut your squares. 3 3/8″ x 2 = 6 3/4″.
Here’s the formula in an equation, if that helps any further:
(size of finished unit + 7/8″) x 2 = size to cut the squares
Advantages of using this method:
There are times when this method could be the best and easiest to use for your chosen project.
- If you need a lot of units, and it doesn’t matter if there are several that are all alike, this method is fast, and doesn’t require any special papers or tools.
- If you already have a bunch of squares cut in a size you can use for making these, it’s very handy to just pick those up and use them, rather than cutting more.
Disadvantages of using this method:
There are also times when one of the other methods might work better for your project.
- If you need a greater variety of fabrics among your units.
- If you don’t want to draw lines on the back of all those background squares.
For the Quilt-Along:
For the Triangle Salad quilt, the units we need this time should measure 3 1/2″ (unfinished), to finish at 3″ in the quilt, which means you can use the measurements I provided above in the tutorial.
You will need to make 48 units using two print fabrics together. So this means you need to do this 6 times, using 2 different print fabrics each time.
Store these 48 finished half-square triangle units in one of your ziplock baggies, and stick in with them the label that says 3″ Finished.
I forgot to tell you last week to store your finished units in one of the baggies and label it with the 4″ Finished label.
This way you will know which units to grab without having to measure them when we go to make the blocks in a few weeks.
Have fun with these, and next week, we’ll do some more!