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Thread: Are triangles evil?

  1. #1
    Member Threadbanger's Avatar
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    Are triangles evil?

    Hey all- I'm very new to quilting (less than a year) and as of yet have only done piecing with squares/rectangles. I am very interested in doing the fun patterns with triangles but am a bit wary. I'm afraid they will be complicated and I will end up ruining some of my precious and pretty new fabric stash. I also want to avoid overly frustrating myself. Life is stressful enough and hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable. What say you more experienced quilters? Should I just jump in or get a little more straight line experience?
    Emily

    A fugitive from the Quilt Police

  2. #2
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Well, I think some triangles are evil, but many are merely misguided. Some are simply capricious or mischievous.

    For a while, I thought HST's (half-square-triangles) would ruin my life, but I'm doing a lot better with them. My biggest improvement came when I started using Triangulations - it's a CD with many, many, many sizes of HST's & QST's.

    Every month, I get ten fat eighths in a Block of the Month kit. The blocks are called "Lady of the Lake" and they consist of one large HST block and nine small ones along two edges. Triangulations lets me print exactly the same size every month and my blocks have been consistently sized for almost a year. Of course, you DO have to get that pesky 1/4" seam right, but this month I noticed very few lost or floating points on my blocks - yahoooo! What a change!

    Good luck to you and have fun with it!

  3. #3
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    you are probably ready to jump in and try it as long as you keep your seems 1/4 they will be fairly easy to do You could start with a pattern that only has a few triangles in it for your first time or how about making a rug mug or potholder with triangles than you will know if you like it or not

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    The biggest help for me with triangles is to use spray starch. If you can keep your seams consistent and are using starch, it's not so bad. Try a couple of sample blocks first to build your confidence.

  5. #5
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    This is one way. I have used this one once.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...es-t74134.html
    I like the one in the middle of this churn-dash pattern best. (I make it a little bigger then cut it down.)
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...al-t73577.html
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  6. #6
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    One of the first quilts I ever did was a Dutchman's Puzzle..

    http://www.quilterscache.com/D/Dutch...zzleBlock.html

    I had no trouble and it went together in a snap. THEN I started reading about how hard triangles were and how terrible they were and I psyched myself out and didn't try another one for years. How ding dong is that?? My advice to you is do what you want and find what works for you. Not all your pieces are going to go together like you want them too..but remember how our grandma's did it..cardboard templates and scissors. =) And NO FEAR! =) Enjoy your journey and have fun! =)
    A bed without a Quilt is like a Sky without Stars..Sew On!

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Triangles are manageable as long as you keep in mind that you WILL have bias somewhere on the triangle, so you have to be careful not to stretch it when you're sewing or pressing. (Press up and down, never side to side.)

    Also - starch the snot out of the fabric before you cut the triangles!

  8. #8
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    Remember when making HST to cut your fabric bigger then pattern says. Example if it say cut your fabric 2 7/8 cut it 3 or 3 1/4 the after sewn together trim to size needed > here it would be 2 1/2.
    Relax and have fun.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

  9. #9
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    looking at your avatar. Did you think they were evil then?

  10. #10
    Member Threadbanger's Avatar
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    My avatar is of the strip twist quilt pattern by bonnie hunter. The directions for that quilt were different from cutting out HST and QST (as I understand it). In her directions, you sandwich the strip sections together, cut a square and then cut the square on a diagonal, hold those pieces together and sew along the diagonal, then press open to give a square. Maybe I need to find a book with patterns and detailed directions spelled out. I'm not too good at improvising yet.
    Emily

    A fugitive from the Quilt Police

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    No, they're not evil! The math can be tricky to work out, until you find the right formulas, also there are easy methods of putting together patterns that involve triangles. Just keep an eye on your points, and jump in and give them a try. Be fearless- at best you'll be happy with your accomplishment, at worst, you'll have learned something! : )
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  12. #12
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    I don't like trianges. I'll do the draw the line on the square and make hst like that. I've been told that I don't change my needle often enough and that's what causes my problem with pushing the fabric into the feed dogs.

  13. #13
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I like to put 2 squares right sides together, draw a diagonal line and sew 1/4 away from the line on each side, then cut between the sewn lines on the drawn line. Then trim to the correct size. Most will need little trimming if you cut 7/8 of an inch bigger than the desired size, though one inch is easier to measure and takes little trimming. I use this method because the bias seam is sewn without handling it and the edges you are left with are on the straight grain.

    No, HSTs are not hard, just a little more time consuming.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    Buy some cheap fabric and practice.

  15. #15
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    I have been sewing triangles for more than 60 years and never heard anything bad about them until I joined this board. I also belong to a very large quilting group, well over 100 members and have never heard anyone complain triangles, in fact one young quilt maker just showed a very large quilt made entirely of small 1/2 square triangles.Put your 2 pieces together properly before you start sewing, do not just fix one end and expect to match the rest while you have part of it under the needle. Feed your matched pieces gently and take a bit of care at the finishing end because they have a tendency to pull to the side and narrow the seam. Remember you are the master and it's just another piece of fabric you are sewing. It's very easy if you don't get yourself in a tizzy. I know you can do it!

  16. #16
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    I think there's a great tutorial on here for that.

  17. #17
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I think that I'm scared too, after reading more. I also tried them and found them somewhat difficult. For me, the key is making them a bit bigger and then cutting them back down to size. IOW, I start with a square that is bigger than I need, sew those together down the middle, trim in half, press, and trim again.

    Lots of work. I don't have starch available, that I've seen, so I'd have to make my own. I really don't want to do that as it gives me the creeps to basically soak my fabric in a flour/starch water mixture and then sew on it.

    I suppose I pay the price for that feeling, but I suppose I lived in FL too long where bugs like flour....

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
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    I am making a mystery quilt with a LOT of HST and QST. I just finished 350 HST this morning. The instructor, Bonnie K. Hunter, recommended the Companion Angle Ruler and the Easy Angle Ruler. These rulers have made all the difference in the world. My triangles all turned out perfect.....try it. It was actually fun - and fast - considering how accurate everything was.

  19. #19
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    I use Thangles or just cut larger squares, sew and cut them apart. I don't do just triangle cuts, they stretch and are too frustrating for me

  20. #20
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    If you use the easy method for making half square triangles. it will open the door to a lot of interesting quilt designs. It is just a matter of arranging them in pleasing patterns.The method is in this tutorial link below:

    http://quilting.about.com/od/quickpi...squaretria.htm

  21. #21
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    Get some "practice" fabric, some starch, an Easy Angle ruler, and ENJOY!! I use to "hate" making the HST - not any more. In fact, I keep getting drawn more and more to patterns with HST's in them. Good Luck!! You can do it!!

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    There are many ways to make HSTs and some are really bad. Beware of methods that leave bias edges on the outer sides. An example of this is the sewing of a 1/4 in around the outside of a large square to make many triangles at a time.
    If you sew an x on a large square to make 8 at a time you will not have any bias edges. But these methods do require squaring up over sized HSTs. If you prefer to square up I recommend Quilt In A Days triangle square up ruler that uses one cut to square up.
    I bought the Triangulations cd and am not impressed. I do not like using paper to tear off. It does make exact size triangles. It was expensive and you can draw your own paper patterns without the cost of $22 dollars.
    I have a set of Ta Da interfaced triangles this leaves interfacing inside the triangles. Great to use as a pattern for exact size paper triangles.
    After trying many different ways for many years I recommend the Quilt in a Day way over all the others. Your triangles come out perfect every time with just one investment for the triangle square up ruler. It is also faster and easier to do. No paper to tear off and squareing up is just one cut.
    By squaring up you know they will be perfect every time and you make 8 at a time.

  23. #23
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    Use your least favorite precious fabric and make some practice blocks.
    Life is made up of bits and pieces. You won't know how it'll turn out till its done.

  24. #24
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    triangles are not evil........hst(half square triangles) are a good way to start....I really recommend Eleanor Burns patterns....she approaches patterns with simple and complete illustrations and explanations.....If I am making a lot of hst for a pattern I will buy triangles on a roll......easiest way for me.....otherwise there is a template named Easy Angle which makes them almost foolproof........You must expand your horizons....that goes for any "hobby"...each time you accomplish something new it give you a lift. I personally do not starch anything and have no problems....but each of us finds what works for us. good luck in your new challenge

  25. #25
    Super Member Cottontop's Avatar
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    I think the key words are calm and patient. Rhonda has a super great tut on hst, makes it fast and easy to consttruct. When press, don't move your iron back and forth, just press downward. Goodluck. you'll do fine.
    Cottontop
    (Sally)

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