I was having a crafting existential crisis a few weeks ago, just one of those creative funks that happens to all of us once in a while. I easily get caught up in the everyday routine and forget to set some time aside to just make. No creating = Sad Cinti. So it was time I got stuck into a big project that I could look forward to spending time on…A quilt.
Inspired by some artworks on pinterest, I thought a Triangle quilt would be fun. I started cutting last weekend and thought it may be interesting to have a little Triangle Quiltalong.
Every few weeks I’ll show you a stage in the process and guide you along the way. There are no strict rules, just potter along in your own time and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #TriangleQuiltalong. I’ll pin the photos on a dedicated Pinterest board so everyone can be inspired.
I’m no professional quilter, so my style may sometimes be a little unorthodox. I’ll explain how I’ve gone about each stage, and add some hints and tips that I find helpful. I haven’t created a pattern for you, but more an opportunity to experiment and have fun.
Today I’ll be covering cutting, and have included a template and planning grid for you to print.
There are a couple of ways to go about making a quilt – Improvising or Planning.
I’m thoroughly in the improvising camp. For me patchwork is all about using fabric scraps and remnants, the fun for me is making a sows ear into a silk purse. The challenge comes in making bits of old clothing, an old cushion cover, fabric scraps and bits of tea towels, into a visually pleasing result.
So I had a triangle template and just started sorting and cutting until I had enough triangles for the size quilt I wanted.
If you prefer to plan, you can use the triangle grid PDF to sketch and colour in, helping you plan how much fabric to buy. For some design inspiration head over to the #TriangleQuiltalong Pinterest Board where I’ve pinned some inspiring quilts and designs make by other crafters.
Choosing fabric: If you are using remnants, it’s best to avoid stretchy or synthetics. Cottons and linens work best, and if possible try to match the weight of the fabric to each other. I have broken this rule slightly and have included denim with some mid weight dress fabric and thinner shirting. I’ve even thrown in some velvet (although piecing that was a nightmare so best avoid if possible).
Of course there is a huge selection of quilting fabrics that are great to work with, especially if you are just starting out.
I’ve used a commercially available 5″ template, but have also created a printable one for you. Enlarge or shrink it to the size that suits you, (but remember the seam allowance will be affected). Print the Triangle Template PDF
It’s important to cut the triangles as accurately as possible. You will be using the edges as a guide for your seams, so a consistent shape will make the piecing easier and neater.
A cutting mat, rotary cutter and acrylic quilting template/ruler is ideal, but good results are still possible by marking your shapes onto the fabric with a marker and cutting with scissors.
Remember that once you start sewing your quilt will shrink due to the seam allowances, so make sure you factor that into your initial layout.
For the edges and the corners you will need to cut half triangles.
I spent quite a while arranging and re-arranging the pattern until I was happy with the layout. Don’t rush this part, it may take a little bit of experimenting to get to something you are happy with.
If you are a planner, do the same but on the paper grid.
It’s a good idea to lay your pieces out on a blanket that can be rolled away when need be. There is nothing worse than having the perfect layout and then somebody clears it away to make room for playing!
So this is my final design. It’s destined to be a throw on my sofa and will end up being about a cot size when finished.
Do you feel like joining in? I’d love you to leave a comment with links to any pictures of your progress, or just hashtag #TriangleQuiltalong on Instagram.
The next installment (due in a couple of weeks to give you all time to get started) is all about piecing the quilt top. Till then, I’ll be in my sewing room.