A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life


I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
Comments are always welcome, always read - and answered if need be. Feel free to share, I love hearing from all my cyber-space friends.
Please do check out some of the links in my side-bar - you'll find other bloggers and fabulous people to visit.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sewing Triangles

Well, the rain has arrived as promised, and the snow seems to be all gone.   Sigh!       I knew it couldn’t last – we do live in a rain forest after all.   Lots of people have commented how they dislike the snow, a few others how much they love it – as for me, I’ll take snow over rain any day.  Somehow I don’t feel as cold when it snows (even when temperatures dip well below freezing), as I do when it’s raining out there!  And I’d much rather walk in the snow than in the rain.  Driving – well, as long as I don’t have to snow-plow….

Anyway, with the cold, cold weather we’ve been having, it didn’t matter what it was doing outside, we weren’t going out in it if we didn’t have to.   And that meant I got this flimsy done:001  Yesterday the weather warmed a bit, and we ventured out to get caught up on some errands, including finding some backing fabric for this – so should be all finished in a day or so.

As you can see, this quilt also has a few triangles – I seem to be doing a lot of those lately.  When I lamented to another blogger about my struggles with triangles, she kindly posted a tutorial.  Her method was very similar to what I’d been doing.  Over the next few days after that, I did some more blocks with triangles (posted here), and I said I’d share the three different methods used for the three different blocks.  So here it is:

This block:005 was made using the traditional method of creating half-square triangles from sewing 2 squares together, marking the diagonal and sewing on either side, then cutting on the marked line.  But first I pulled out a few tools – a ruler with a 45-degree angle marked on it, and an emery board.  Grizz made the emery board for me a little while ago, fine sand paper on a very thin piece of plywood.  The sandpaper helps to keep the fabric from stretching when marking it:


Then, I found a ruler in a drawer, hidden, purchased a few years ago and then totally forgotten – this ruler is specifically for marking the diagonal on fabric:


And when marked, the center diagonal (cutting) line is ‘dashed’ and the 1/4 " sewing lines are solid.  Really helps to sew straight!

004 I still found that my triangles weren’t exactly square – so my answer to that: cut the original squares a little larger (on the 1/4" especially if the original measurement is on the 1/8"), then there’s some leeway for squaring up and still having the right size square for the block.  I really do wonder if the problem lies in how I press – will have to do some more research on that!

The next method for triangles was in making this version of the Seven Sisters block:009 

It’s a pattern by Marti Michell, that simplifies the block without using inset seams


The pattern includes these templates, to get just the right size triangles, diamonds and pentagrams –


easy once you figure out the size of the pieces.  Marti also makes the rulers to match the templates, to make all this cutting easier – I haven’t purchased any yet, though (too much Scot in me to buy something that I’m not sure I’ll use regularly).


When I got to this third block:014 I pulled out a couple of books to see what they had to say about how to do triangles.  I found this book in my ‘library’:004 

with a method for making triangles, cutting the fabric on the bias

005 The one drawback – the triangle size examples in the book weren’t large enough, and my math skills are just not good enough to easily figure out the width to cut to get the size I wanted.  So I cut quite a large width on the bias.  As with any bias cuts, there’s more waste of course – but when sewing these triangles together, the sewing is all done on the grain of the fabric.  This seemed to make for the best triangles I’ve ever done, and they were square!!

Tomorrow is First Advent – and we begin to celebrate Christmas.  That means today is the day the boxes comes out, and we get started on the decorating.  But that will be after I go out for breakfast with friends, and ‘chat' with my sister.

Happy triangles!    Blessed season!       Blessings, Peg


  1. Triangles can be difficult. I mostly do the method you describe first of putting the squares together and marking across the diagonal. I use a pencil for that mark. I shows up well without pressing - and if I don't press down the fabric usually doesn't move. And the mark really doesn't matter because it ends up on the edge of the seam allowance. Good for you for all your experimenting to get it perfect!

  2. I dont really enjoy doing triangles, but your ideas are very helpful.

  3. Wow - lots of ways to make triangles - I avoid them as much as possible. :-) When I make them - I sew just to the inside of the drawn line - it makes up for the fold when you press it and my triangles come out closer to the size I need.

  4. Lots of ways of doing triangles there Peg!!! Wonderful post of triangle play... Love that method of making the Seven Sisters block!!! I will have to look for that pattern! 8-)

  5. Isn't geometry just the coolest thing?