Twice the Fun: Week 1 Tips
Hi, I'm Lindsay from American Patchwork & Quilting! And welcome to Week 1 of the Twice the Fun quilt-along! This week, we're assembling triangle-squares. And this quilt has a lot of triangle-squares, so we wanted to share some tips right away to make them easier and more accurately, so you can continue with this pattern in confidence!
Make your triangle-squares larger than needed, then trim them down to size. To do this, cut the initial squares 1/8" larger than specified in the pattern. Then assemble the triangle-squares, and then you'll want to square each one up by lining up the 45° line on your ruler with the seam line and trimming the unit to the designated size. While this takes extra time, the precision is worth it for a lot of quilters.
Use a scant seam allowance. When making triangle-squares, the distance you sew away from the marked diagonal lines should be just a little narrower than 1/4". This scant 1/4" seam allowance will give you the extra few threads to account for the bulk of pressing to get precise triangle-squares. We recommend you still check the size and, if necessary, square up the block. If you're having trouble with the points being pulled down into the machine, try switching out for a straight stitch plate. It has a smaller hole for the needle and so there's less area for your point to be eaten by your machine.
Draw the stitching lines. Most times, instructions will tell you to mark a diagonal line through the center of your square and sew ¼" away from the lines. But you can also mark the stitching lines instead by lining up the ¼" line in your ruler with the diagonal points and drawing a line with a pencil. You can also use one of these nifty rulers made for doing this exact task.
Set your seams when pressing. To do this, press on top of the stitching lines first, which helps the stitching sink into the fabric, so when you press the triangle-square open, you have a clean, straight line diagonally through the square.
Cut off the triangular dog-ears that result when piecing triangle-squares. This will allow you to add the triangle-squares to other pieces with more precision. (If you are making your squares larger and trimming them down to size, you'll already have done this!)
And finally, when you're sewing multiple triangle-squares together, which you will later in this quilt-along, start with a leader strip for a nice clean start! I just like to use a small scrap of fabric to start sewing on, and then if your machine is having trouble getting over a bulky section where triangle-square seams meet, you can use the leader to gently pull and guide the pieces through your machine.
We hope these tips help as you sew triangle-squares for this quilt! We can't wait to see your progress on this quilt! Find more details and join the quilt-along on our website at AllPeopleQuilt.com/TwiceTheFun.