I am going to pack as many helpful hints as I can into this weeks blog :) Buckle up, here come all my little secrets and shortcuts. Most have come through trial and error and a whole lot of what not to do when piecing angles!
Here is a sneak peak at a new design I have in the works. It’ll be quite a while before it’s available, but it’s turning out super cute. Notice all those diamonds, triangles and trapezoids… I am going to use the “leaf” block to show you some things about piecing these shapes together.
I cut 3½” diamonds from a 3½” strip of green. I’m using the 60 degree diamond ruler that I designed for Creative Grids which has a flat tip at both ends. I make sure to use that to cut the tip of the fabric off, as this will help when I go to line things up later. If you are using an angle ruler that doesn’t have a flat tip, you can just remove ¼” from the tip with a regular ruler (it will be a little less accurate, but it will work).
For my background, I cut 3½” triangles from 3½” white strips. I also turned the ruler into each of the two remaining corners to remove their tips.
Okay so, triangles have two biased edges and one straight of grain edge. I am pointing to the biased edge on one side here, and the straight of grain edge along the bottom in the second photo. Biased edges will not fray, they will stretch a little if you give them a tug… straight of grain edges will fray though, that’s one way to tell the difference. Do you see the frayed edge in the second photo?
Now to sew them together. I laid out the three pieces for my leaf block: one diamond and two triangles. I made sure to turn my triangle piece so it’s straight of grain edge was against the straight of grain edge of the diamond block. Whenever possible, sew straight to straight and bias to bias.
Because I cut all those tips off the triangle block, I have a perfect match up point when I sew, and I know my edges will come out even once they are sewn together.
I like to press seams open when piecing angles, but this time I am pressing the seam out to the white (trying to disperse as much bulk away from that diamond point as I can).
Now to sew the triangle to the other side: this one is the biased edge of the diamond, so I turned one of the biased triangle edges to match it. Again, I have my match up points because I removed those tips.
Do you ever use a stiletto when piecing? I couldn’t live without mine! It’s like an extra long pointy finger, and it holds those pieces right where they need to be as the points go into the machine.
I pressed this seam out towards the white just as before. This is about as flat as a point could get with that many layers together in one place.
Last but not least, I spritz the block with Best Press and give it one last press from the front. This helps stabilize those biased edges so they don’t grow on me before I get them stitched into the rest of the quilt.
And here you see how well all those pieces come together! I am piecing these units between bigger flower blocks to make rows.
TO RECAP ALL THAT
• Cut the tips off
• Sew biased to biased and straight to straight whenever possible
• Use a Stiletto to keep things in place
• Press seams either open or away from the tips to eliminate bulk
• And don’t be shy with the spray starch
I hope that was helpful! And maybe it’ll save some headaches :)
Happy Sunday, everyone!
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