The Easy Way to Turn Triangles into Star Quilt Blocks

Jun 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM / by AccuQuilt

As a quilter and a busy mom, my time can be very limited. I love to design new quilts and get started cutting and sewing as soon as possible. I have found that the AccuQuilt GO! Baby® Fabric Cutter helps me to get my more time-consuming cutting done much faster. Many of the dies for the GO! Baby are a perfect solution for cutting complicated blocks faster and easier. Hexagons, Apple Cores, Circles, and Flowers are all quite time consuming to cut out by hand or with a rotary cutter. GO! Baby dies make the cutting process so much faster and more fun. AccuQuilt has dies for traditionally pieced blocks that also substantially reduce your cutting time.

One of my favorite dies is the GO!® Triangles in Square-3" Finished (55027) die. It creates a little pieced square which can become a point for a star block, a point for star sashing, or even a stand-alone triangle shape. Typically with this block, the triangles are all fussy to cut out. The large triangle is not equilateral, meaning the bottom edge is shorter than the two sides. To achieve this shape, you would need to paper piece or use templates to get the shape correct. The smaller side triangles can be cut traditionally by cutting a rectangle and then cutting it diagonally.

 

Quilt Blocks
 

This process can be very time-consuming unless you are only making one quilt block. Along with saving me time, this AccuQuilt die cuts the “dog-ear” tips off the triangles so you know exactly where to line them up when piecing. The result is a perfectly sewn Triangle in a Square block. Quilt blocks cut accurately and sewn fast makes me very happy.

 

Quilt Blocks
 

This is a classic quilt block that typically uses the Triangle in a Square.

 

 
Quilt Blocks
 

This quilt block uses a quarter square triangle in the center square. Notice the “curve” in each corner of this block’s coloring. You can achieve the look of curves and circles with clever color placement when you design an entire quilt with the triangles in a square block.

 

 

These quilt blocks use half square triangles in the corner placement yet look completely different.

As you can see, changing the color placement completely alters the look of a quilt block and can change the overall look of the finished quilt. It becomes an incredibly versatile quilt block once you begin to play with both the shape and coloring. That is the primary reason why the GO! Triangles in Square die makes this design one of my favorite quilt blocks.

 

 
 

To piece the Triangles in a Square quilt block together, determine which fabric will be the star points and which one will be the center triangle. The star points are the skinny triangles which happen to be the red fabric in this example. Line up the top and bottom corner of the skinny triangle on the right side of the center triangle. Pinning is important for this block because those skinny triangles will shift a little when sewing. So pin the two pieces together and sew a 1/4" seam along the right side. Press the skinny triangle away from the center triangle. This seems to be the natural way the piece wants to go, and I think it looks nicest that way. Repeat with the opposite side and you are already finished. This is so easy.

 

 

Try using the GO! Triangles in Square die design as sashing in your next quilt

Here is an example of a quilt using the Triangle in a Square for sashing. These butterfly quilt blocks are vintage looking from the 1940’s. I only had to wash, press and trim them for this quilt. Adding the star sashing and the borders (not shown), was all I had to do to finish this quilt. The Triangle in a Square finishes to a 3" square and the butterfly quilt blocks were 9" finished. I added a small piece of sashing to connect the two Triangles in a Square quilt blocks. This may seem like a lot of extra piecing but as you can see here, the finished quilt is striking because of the sashing stars. This use of the Triangle in a Square die can really dress up very simple looking quilt blocks to make your quilt the star of the show.

 

Quilt Blocks
 
This last piece is one I recently made using the GO! Triangles in Square die. It is a small quilt at only 24" x 31", but I have not yet added the borders. Surprisingly, these “hexagons” are not actually hexagonal because of the uneven sides of the triangles. They are slightly longer than they are wide, which gives this project an overall vertical look. I used the “star point” triangles as the side setting triangles to give the quilt a straight edge to work with when I do add the borders. You could easily make a 1000 Pyramids quilt from this die using fat quarters and scraps. I used eight different fat quarters to make the “hexagons”, and each fat quarter yielded about 30 of the larger triangles. The quilt was pieced together in rows which made it easier for me to keep track of color placement. In order to piece it by row, you have to keep the triangle’s short side on the bottom or the top, but it cannot be on the side of the hexagons. It is quite simple, and yet the overall look that is created looks complex.  This project is composed of a lot of simple chain piecing which also makes it a fun and fast quilt to create.

These are just some of the many ideas that the GO! Triangles in Square die can make. I hope you can design and create even more ideas when you use the GO! Baby Fabric Cutter and Triangles in Square die together.

 

by Kari Ramsay, Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co.

My name is Kari Ramsay and I am the owner and designer of Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co. Fresh Cut Quilts was established in 2007 as a quilt pattern company and has quickly grown to become so much more. I have published a book called Tidbits from Triangles. I love to make quilting easier and more fun for everyone. I love to teach and welcome inquiries for trunk shows, and teaching engagements for quilt guilds and for quilt shops.

On a more personal note, I am a mom of two children who I adore, and am happily married. Before I started Fresh Cut Quilts and became a quilt pattern designer, I worked in retail management. That field taught me a great deal about marketing and branding. Prior to working in the retail field, I was a floral designer for about 10 years and specialized in wedding flower design and planning. To this day I still adore flowers and they are always at the heart of my inspiration. I learned to sew when I was 9, and was painting with my mom at age 5. Art, design, and sewing have been a part of my life ever since I can remember and now I get to follow my passion for art and design through quilting and fabric.

 

Topics: Education, GO! Product Tutorials

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