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Thread: Is this normal? Cutting triangles question.

  1. #1
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    Is this normal? Cutting triangles question.

    I bought a book last week called Your First Quilt Book by Carol Doak from amazon. I decided to make a table runner and thought if I really like it I will make more. So I went to Joann's last week and bought the fabric. Started cutting yesterday. It's squares and triangles. Squares were a cinch. But...these triangles are a pain in the rear. So I need to know if this is normally the way you would cut to get to the sizes you need. There are 2 different sizes of triangles. The project info says Name of Block is Four X, Four Patch half blocks, finished block size is 12" x 12" and then it says Patchwork Grid: Nine patch (3) Four patch (4)

    First you cut the large squares...then you cut diagonally to get 2 triangles from each square. And you use 2 different colors of fabric. Then you cut smaller squares, cut diagonally and then cut diagonally to get 4 smaller triangles and again 2 different colors of fabric. So you end up with 12 large triangles and 24 smaller ones. Now this is the part that gets me. You were supposed to draw and cut out square and triangle templates...which I did. She just gave the dimensions for all of the squares. Once everything was cut...squares and all of the triangles...I thought everything was cut and I could start to piece. But noooooooooooo.......nothing went together right. I finally figured it out. You THEN use the triangle templates to cut them all down to the size you need so the pieces fit together correctly. She did NOT tell you that in her directions and I wondered why I had cut these templates at all.

    So my question is...what I asked in the title. Is this normal? Back in 1999 when I started to piece a quilt and never finished piecing it...I swear I cut strips and then the triangles from them. I know I didn't use a template since I didn't have the plastic to cut one and since that was the first time I ever even looked at a quilting book and decided to try it...I wouldn't have had a clue after cutting my triangle pieces that I would then have to make cut smaller.

    Sorry so long...and I hope I explained this so you can understand it. But it made me think...if someone has never made a quilting project and ended up with the triangles not fitting together...would they even think that they had to now use the templates to cut them down again? Or would they throw up their hands and say...well this is wrong and stuff it back in the bag and forget it. Knowing me...I probably would. LOL
    Last edited by LindaM49; 01-29-2012 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I have this book. Can you tell us which page? Just browsing through her book I think she
    works a lot on bias edges which I try to avoid at all cost. Maybe there's an easier way
    for what you are making.

  3. #3
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    I just finished making the free Craftsy February Block-of-the-Month. The two blocks used triangles. In the second block, the triangle squares had to be cut to size of 3 1/2 inches. I trimmed off about 1/8 to 1/4 inch all around. In the first block, two pieces of fabric were sewn together on all 4 sides, then cut into 4 triangles. I don't remember having to do anything but cut off the "dog ears" or whatever you call those little extended pieces. Fortunately, the insturctions were excellent and I could watch the video as often as I needed to. As to whether trimming the blocks is "normal", I don't know. This is the first time I remember having to trim the blocks. Don't give up! I'm sure your table runner will be as pretty as the picture.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Cutting like that is asking for trouble IMO. I use Triangulations software which makes doing triangles a cinch. They are always fast, easy and no issues with bias or matching seams. Google it. Connecting Threads carries it.

  5. #5
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    If I'm understanding correctly the pattern has simple half square triangles? these are easy to do when you lay two fabric squares facing each other and then sew either side of a diagonal line. These generally need to be squared up after pressing open. And if I'm understanding your pattern, it's a very simple one.
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  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i would imagine that this is why it says---read all instructions first-before beginning- so you know the whole process- and can simplify the technique if you know a different way-
    i've done lots of Carol Doak patterns and have never run into this situation- is it an (older) book? where things have changed with time?
    as for being 'normal' maybe it was the normal way when she wrote the book. but when ever trying out a new pattern it really helps to read the whole thing-start to finish before cutting a single piece of fabric....sometimes there are errors (no one's really perfect-including proof-readers) and if you read through the pattern first sometimes you can see the errors before you make incorrect cuts
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  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    There are dozens of way to make HSTs. I use the tube method most of the time, no sewing triangles together. There is a ruler named Wondercut ruler that is easy to make the tube method without measuring.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
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    Does she have misc. instructions in the book, usually at the front, that are to be followed with all her patterns. Most have this.

  9. #9
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I just did a quilt out of a magazine and it gave the exact dimensions to cut the half square triangles then it went on to say if you wanted to do it an easier way, you could cut squares a certain size sew together, cut apart and then trim down to correct size. fortunately, I am familiar with this process. If I had to cut HST without doing the square method, I wouldn't do the quilt. That darn bias will have me pulling my hair out!
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for all of your replies. I'm still working downstairs since I didn't get this room rearranged for my new machine. So...the book is downstairs...I will bring it up with me tomorrow and try to answer your questions.

    Maybe I didn't explain it just right. Nowhere in the instructions for this table runner does it say how to use any of the templates that you made. The Fons & Porter Christmas Table Topper that I made explained every little detail in the pattern instructions for using the templates.

    Someone said something that jogged my memory. The quilt top I started in 1999 was sewing 2 strips of different fabric together and then cutting squares and then triangles.

    I like the idea of the Wondercut ruler...I will have to look for that.

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