Trimming 1/4-square triangles

Today on Terrific Tip Tuesday, we are trimming triangles!! Say that 5 times in a row…I dare you!!

Most of us are happy trimming 1/2-square triangles….we could do them in our sleep!!

But, trimming a 1/4-square triangle can get tricky!!

It is important that that the center point ends up in the right place….ie….the center!!!

If you just put your ruler down and cut, it may end up like this…..

The solution is to add one additional registration point….

To find that magical point, you divide the trimming size by 2. So, if you were trimming to a 2-inch square, the 1-inch point on your ruler would need to be touching this center intersection…

It gets trickier when you are trimming to a 1/2-inch….ie 2-1/2-inch square. Then the centering mark would need to be at the 1-1/4-inch point.

Enter my hack!!

I talked two weeks ago about using painter’s tape on rulers and this is the perfect solution here.

If I place a strip of tape at the 1-inch intersection point…..

….I can line my ruler up with the diagonal line and then slide the ruler down until I can just see the intersection in front of the tape…..

I really could see it but the photo angle makes it disappear….sorry!!

Now that it is in position, I can make my first two cuts and reposition my ruler for the next two…..

The result is a perfect 2-inch, 1/4-square triangle with the center in the center…..

Do you have other cutting tips??? I would love to hear them!

Did you know that many tools from your kitchen can move to your studio, making your quilting even more fun? To receive a free pdf featuring 5 such tools, please subscribe to my newsletter. You can sign-up in the top, right-hand column of this blog, or click HERE

But there are SO many lines….

Do you ever find it confusing when you are looking for the correct line on a rotary ruler?

And, some of the rulers have SO MANY lines!!

In the past, I have used a water-soluble marker to remind myself where to cut but I worry about getting the marker on my project.

Instead, I have now started using painter’s masking tape.

It is easy to position, it comes off without leaving a residue and you can’t miss that bright blue color!!!

If I am cutting a 4-inch square, I might place the tape directly on the measuring line…..

….or just behind the line if I am cutting a 1/8th inch increment (3-5/8 in this photo)…..

I still have to do some adjusting to make sure that the ruler is properly lined up but at least I know the general area that I am headed for!!


What tricks do you employ to make your cutting easier???

Print your own

Several times in my quilting career I needed graph paper to design a quilt, and sometimes I even needed Hexagons or Isometric Triangles.

You can’t just pop down to the store and pick up a pad of those!!

As I searched online for a source of this graph paper, I came across several sites that will allow you to print it yourself….or at least save it as a pdf.

You might check out PRINT FREE GRAPH PAPER. You don’t have as many options as to the size of the designs, but if you are just planning, you probably don’t care too much.

Also, what if you need a 3.5-inch hexagon pattern for your newest English-Paper-Piecing project???

Check out PATTERN UNIVERSE.

They have over 1,400 different patterns….

…and many are available in multiple sizes.

Just like the graph paper, when you click on the design, it is downloaded as a pdf file and then you can print as MANY copies as you like.

The moral of this story…..

Don’t reinvent the wheel when you need something. Make good use of the internet and check online for it first!!

Seam Rippers get dull???

Did you know that your seam ripper gets dull just like your scissors do??

I have had the same seam ripper for YEARS and years….

….and I love to use it…..well, not really LOVE to use it because that means I have made a mistake and am having to un-sew…..

But, you know what I mean!!

I had noticed that this particular tool was not performing as well as it used to but that thought had stayed in the back of my brain and hadn’t really made it into the front of my brain.

At our last quilt retreat, one of the gifts given to each participant was a new seam ripper.

OH MY GOODNESS…..what a difference it made.

I also like this new one because two of the sides are flat meaning that it doesn’t roll off of my slightly unbalanced sewing table!!

So the moral of this story is……unless you are the perfect quilter……

BUY YOURSELF A NEW SEAM RIPPER!!!

Did you know that many tools from your kitchen can move to your studio, making your quilting even more fun? To receive a free pdf featuring 5 such tools, please subscribe to my newsletter. You can sign-up in the top, right-hand column of this blog, or click HERE