Friday, April 27, 2007

Triangles. Cubed.

Cubed in the sense that there are a looooooot of them. Nothing algebraic going on at this point.

I'm getting together with my quilting friends tomorrow and want to use the (child-free, phone-free and, most critically, Internet-free) time to lay out the whole design.

That means I need a lot of triangles. There are two different kinds of triangles in my pattern, and they are different sizes, so I need to cut my fabrics into strips of two different widths. I'll need some of each kind of triangle from every fabric, and overall, I'll need twice as many large triangles as small ones, so I cut twice as many wide strips as narrow ones.



As it is currently designed, the quilt would measure 30 x 36 inches. In order to make it using the 22 fabrics I have chosen, I would need around 10 large and 5 small triangles from each fabric. However, I've decided that I want to make it larger than that; so, once I had cut a few strips and sliced them into triangles, I counted how many I could get from a strip and decided that I should cut two four-inch strips and one 2 5/8-inch strip from each fat quarter (a fat quarter is about 22 inches wide), and just one of each width from fabrics for which I had the full 44-inch width available. I'll have a lot of extra small triangles from the full-width fabric, but since I don't know how much I'll be using of each color, I'll just go ahead and cut the whole strip into triangles and figure out what to do with the extras later.



It took a lot longer than I thought to press the fabrics and cut my strips. Fortunately, once I had the strips stacked carefully together, it took a lot less time than I thought to cut them into triangles and then separate the stacked pieces back out by color.

The transparent ruler with the four triangles taped to it has been lying around with my quilting stuff for five years, which is how long it's been since I last made this block pattern (for this quilt). I knew there was a reason not to bother pulling the templates off!

There are two templates for each triangle, and they are oriented differently on the ruler. For the first cut, I line up the appropriate template with the edge of the strip and cut along the edge of the ruler. From there on out, I alternate between the two template orientations, lining up the paper cutout with the previous cut and the edge of the strip, and then cutting along the exposed edge. And voilĂ  - six perfect triangles, all at once, with each cut.


I have no idea how many triangles there are in the picture below. There are around 25 or so large triangles for most of the fabrics, and anywhere from about 15 to probably 35 small ones, depending on the width of the original piece of fabric. The lightest blue was an oddly-shaped scrap (left over from this project - and it was only a fat quarter to begin with), so that had to be cut up on its own and with great care. It yielded fewer triangles of both sizes, but there are enough to use in two or three blocks, which is good.

2 comments:

Charlotte April 27, 2007 11:52 PM  

It's lovely watching your quilt grow and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Sorry I've been absent from your blog lately. I've been reading it faithfully, but just having trouble accessing Blogger.

The Teacher May 03, 2007 10:34 PM  

I've read and reread this post SO many times and I'm still confused. Did you use/create a tutorial for it? Because I'm in love with this.

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