Thursday, January 3, 2013

Triangle Thursday #1!


This design is #1126 from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

Welcome to the first Triangle Thursday.  The goal of TT is to present quilt blocks that will help you use up those stray triangles cut off from other quilt blocks.  When I started looking at my collection I realized my triangles runneth over.  And, not only have I got scads of them, I’ve saved some that are way TOO small.  My new rule is the short side of the triangle must be at least 2” long.  That size will give me a 1” finished half square triangle unit.

This is just a portion of the cut off triangles I have.  I'll probably have to add some lights to go with all the colors I have. 
I plan to present a new block every Thursday.  Hopefully it will be for the whole year, but if I find I can’t keep up, or I can’t find enough appropriate blocks I’ll end sooner.  If this keeps going for the whole year I hope to put 48 blocks into a quilt.  Every block will be presented as a 6” block.  Some blocks, like today’s will also be shown as a 4” block with directions.  Both 9 patch and 4 patch blocks can easily be made as 6” blocks.  9 patch blocks require odd math to make 4” blocks so those are the ones that won’t be offered in the 4” size.  

Come join the fun and use up some of those cut off triangles. You should be able to go to this Google Docs page to find a downloadable set of instructions. When you click on download you should have an option to save as a PDF. That is the easiest way to save the document for future use. I would much prefer being able to upload my instructions as a PDF so I'm open for suggestions on how to do this. I've found that my formatting doesn't stay in place when I download the doc back to my Mac. Sigh. Hopefully I'll get this figured out.

Cutting directions are in 4” and 6” finished sizes.
     4” block            6” block
Cut 4:          1 ½ x 2 ½”           2” x  3 ½”     

Cut or find 8* 2”                  2 1/2”                

 Color 1 and  Color 2:

      Cut or Find 4* 2”                 2 1/2”
of each color
*When working with your leftover triangles you need to measure the short side of the triangle. It must be at least the measurement given.  Once the triangles have been sewn together the half square triangles units will be trimmed to the correct size.  Bigger starting triangles just means more will be trimmed away.

I sew my triangles with a scant 1/4" seam. Click on the picture to note where the 1/4" mark is on the plate. I can sometimes fudge a triangle by using a slightly smaller seam allowance and have enough to cut to the right size.

Sew the long edge of a background triangle to a color triangle making a half square
triangle.  Iron to the dark side.  Square up the square to 1 ½”  for 4” block and 2” for 6”
block (unfinished sizes.) Make 4 squares with color 1 and 4 squares with color 2.

Lay out the blocks as shown.


Sew into rows.

Press toward the background fabrics.

Sew the rows into the block.  I pressed the horizontal seams away from the pinwheel. 


If you don’t have left over triangles to make the half square triangles you can make 2 triangles from a light and dark 2” square for the 4” block and 2 ½” for the 6” block.  For a great tutorial and the “math” of half square triangles visit P.S. I Quilt blog.  I always make my units bigger and trim to the exact size I need. If 2” squares don’t give you enough room to trim, try making your blocks 2 ¼” and 2 ¾”.  Each set of squares will make 2 half square triangles.

Measure your blocks and square up to either 4 ½” or 6 ½”.  Your are done with the first block.  

Join me next Thursday for the newest Triangle Thursday post. 

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. Thanks for the suggestions about using all those leftover HSTs. I have so many!!!!

  2. What a good idea, I have a jar full of these and often wonder if I will really use them!


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