Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MODA Modern Building Blocks - Week 4 - Triangle Paper Cheats!

Now that I got your attention! :-) 

So I am on my way to Quilt Market - but I couldn't forget about our blocks! 

In class, we talked about how the center of Block #1, Block #12 and Block #18 are all 12" finished blocks and are really a variation on a theme. 

We have focused a lot on the precision method of piecing. TODAY we are going to talk about Half Square Triangle Paper cheats. 

My favorite Triangle Paper is produced by Quiltime. (Of course we carry them at the shop!)

If you have never used Triangle Paper. It is thin paper with pre-printed stitch and cut lines for specific finished sizes of half (or quarter) square triangles. It it easier to use the paper if you are making a bunch of half square triangles with the same fabric combination than it is to draw lines with the handy dandy Quick Quarter on individual squares. 

For a quick tutorial on the basics - a special thank you to Quiltime for this great tutorial with illustrations: 

STEP 1 - Layer and Pin (or Spray Baste with 505)
First cut pieces of fabric to cover the area of the Triangle Paper triangles you wish to use (see below regarding cutting paper to size). Place fabric right sides together and place paper on top. Pin or Spray Baste to hold in place.

STEP 2 - Sew on Dashed Lines
Now, sew the paper and fabric together along all dashed lines to make the seams between the fabric triangles in each square.

I reduce my stitch length when I am sewing on Triangle Paper.

STEP 3 - Cut on Solid Lines
Now, cut the paper and fabric apart along all solid lines to get squares. For quarter square paper, cut on vertical lines, then the lower left to upper right diagonal lines.

STEP 4 - Tear Paper Away
Fold the paper back over the seam to perforate the paper, and tear gently up or out from the seam.

I often refer to the triangles with paper attached as "fortune cookies".

STEP 5 - Press and Trim
I added this step. After you have removed all of the papers, carefully press the squares open. Trim off tails to reduce bulk. 

We find Triangle Paper to be incredibly accurate. If you picked the wrong size paper and need to square up or you simply just need a little help. We like the June Tailor - Perfect Half and Quarter Square ruler to help squaring up. 

A Tip to Conserve Unused Triangle Paper
Cut the paper apart along solid lines (vertical solid lines for the quarter square paper) to get the number of triangle squares needed for a given pair of fabrics for your project. Cut your fabric pieces to fit the remaining area with a little extra on the edges for insurance.

Okay, now that you know a little bit about triangle paper, let's talk about why this is important for these blocks. 

If you look at these three blocks, they can all be pieced with half square triangles instead of flying geese and half square triangles. 

You will need 3 sheets of 3" finished half square triangle paper. (or 1 sheet per block) 

A Quiltime 3" finished sheet will yield 16 squares. 

For Block #1, you would arrange like this:

For Block #12, you would arrange like this: 

For Block #18, you would arrange like this: 

Precision Piecing Tip: 

Now for those of you that do not wish to add all of this bulk to your blocks. If you make all three blocks with the same fabrics you can still use ONE sheet of triangle paper to make quick work of your squares! 

Now to finish getting ready for my Quilt Market trip! Stay tuned this weekend for really fun updates from Houston! 

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