Welcome back to all my crafty, creative friends! Since last year, we have journeyed through a pink and blue Hope quilt for Cancer Hope Network’s 2017 Chrysalis Gala, two golf throw pillows for our Annual Golf Classic in June, and a wonderful year overall for Cancer Hope Network.
I had so much fun sharing my quilting experience with you for last year’s Gala that I absolutely had to share this one. Color scheme this year is dark purple, lavender, and black – a bold combination but beautiful one that some lucky winner will take home from our silent auction. Here is the color spread (as cut into squares):
For every project I do, I always like to learn and incorporate a new skill/feature that I’ve never done before. Because that’s what life is about – thinking outside the box and trying new things. This year’s latest and greatest? TRIANGLE SQUARES!
I have always been intimidated by triangle squares (mainly because of calculating the right sizes), but as far as I’m concerned, if we mastered zippers together over the summer, we can do anything.
So let’s do this. I will start you off with three pieces of great news:
- The hardest thing you will have to do here is basic math (yes, for English majors like me, that is a big deal – don’t make fun);
- One set of squares will yield TWO beautiful triangle squares – so HALF the work for twice the results; and
- You will be able to use this same method for ANY size triangle square you want to make in the future. You just have to re-calculate your size as necessary (see #1 above, and again, don’t make fun of English majors).
One more bit of good news: everything you need, you probably already have:
- Sewing machine/thread
- Fabric Scissors
- Fabric Pencil
- Rotary Cutter
- A cutting mat with angular lines on it. Like this one.
So let’s get started!
STEP ONE: MATH AND MEASURING
When complete, my quilt is going to be a compilation of 12-inch squares. That means, assuming I were just going to sew these regular squares together in strips, I would cut each individual square 12.5 inches x 12.5 inches. Why? Because of seam allowance – I need 1/4 inch extra room on each side of each square to join it with its neighbor. Doing the math? I’ll lose a half inch on all sides after sewing all the neighbors together – which leaves me with perfect 12-inch squares when sewn!
But when cutting fabric squares that will ultimately become your triangles, add another half inch all around. Cut yourself 13-inch squares! Why? Because along with the half inch you will lose sewing the completed triangle squares to their neighbors, you will also lose another half inch from the seam allowance when creating the actual triangle squares.
So this long winded explanation of how to cut your fabric can be summed up in one basic rule for any size triangle square: Always add an inch! And that’s all the math we will need for today!
STEP TWO: STACK YOUR SQUARES, DRAW YOUR LINE AND SEW ‘EM UP!
Take the two 13-inch squares that will create the triangles and lie one on top of the other right sides together like so (you will hopefully see little bits of lavender fabric peeking out from under the dark purple).
You will also see in the photo that I have drawn a line (with my fabric pencil – also pictured) slicing the square at a perfect 45-degree angle – using the angular ruler lines on my cutting mat.
This pencil line is going to be your guide to create two seams – each one exactly 1/4 inch from the pencil line. Since the seam allowance on most sewing machines is 1/4 inch, you can use this pencil line to line yourself up and sew. Like this:
As you can see in the photo, I have already done my seam down the right side of the pencil line, and now I’m doing the left side – the machine foot is sitting right on the line and making a stitch exactly 1/4 inch from it.
Here’s another better shot of what one seam will look like next to your pencil line (see the black seam line to the left of the pencil line).
Once you have sewn your 1/4 seams on either side of the pencil line, you are almost done – one more step to go!
STEP THREE: SLICE YOUR SQUARE IN HALF
Now take your rotary cutter and carefully slice your square in half along the pencil line. Sort of like you’re cutting a sandwich. Unfold the two halves.
Congratulations! You now officially have TWO TRIANGLE SQUARES!
Iron them into two places: 1) along the seam and 2) across the whole thing to de-wrinkle.
You will also need to do some quick scissor snips to get rid of some leftover fabric sticking out of the bottoms. Look at the bottom right of the photo below (as well as the closeup version)
And now you have a perfect triangle square!
STEP FOUR: REPEAT, SEW, AND LAY IT OUT
This step is pretty much self-explanatory. Make however many triangle squares you need, sew them together as your quilt design calls for, and lay out your masterpiece! And then go celebrate because you just tried and learned something new!
Thank you all again for joining me on another creative journey. I hope to see you at the Gala this year, which is on Saturday, November 10th at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston, New Jersey. For more information or to buy tickets/donate/participate, visit www.cancerhopenetwork.org/gala.
Enjoy, and keep creating!!!