Quiltmaking with 60-Degree Triangles with Gigi Khalsa

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quilters newsletter TV the quilters

community is brought to you by handi

quilter designed by a quilter for

quilters and Husqvarna Viking keeping

the world sewing for over 140 years hi

and welcome to quilters newsletter TV

the quilters community I'm Mary Kate

Carr Petrus and I'm here today with my

fellow associate editor on the quilters

newsletter staff Gigi Khalsa welcome

Gigi Thank You Gigi's here to talk to us

today about cutting sixty-degree or

equilateral triangles which you use to

great effect in this fantastic tree

skirt that you designed for our best

Christmas quilts 2014 issue it's


thank you we named it metropolitan

mm-hmm I kept trying to think of a way

to work in like Nick and Nora Charles

but you know large part due to the

triangles and the way that they're

arranged and I guess if you want to make

the tree skirt that pattern is available

in the issue but today I'd I just want

to talk about the triangles in general

so 60 degree triangles or equilateral

triangles you may remember from geometry

all the angles are 60 degrees and all

the the sides are the same blanks mm-hm

so you can mix and match and turn the

patches around and really get cool

effects and they'll all fit together

perfectly mm-hmm so in this one you can

see I've done hexagons I've got little

triangles here I mean diamonds got

triangles and a big great six pointed

star so you can really get a lot of

effects just depending on value and

color placement right and like you said

they're pretty simple once there you'll

deal with bias on some of the edges

that's true than that they're they

doesn't take a lot of skill to work with

them successfully I don't think are a

lot of experiences you know I've been to

them pretty pretty easily as long as you

follow a few simple rules

you want to start your fabric of course

yes but that helps just to keep

everything the same size mm-hmm and it's

very easy you don't you there are

special tools available of course

there's the applets and rulers but you

can just use a standard ruler cutting

mat and a rotary cutter and get these

triangles and really have a lot of fun

creative yeah great well let's take a

look at some of the samples that you

brought in some of the techniques that

you'll show okay so in order to make

those pieced triangles the ones with the

stripes on them you want to of course

piece your strip and so what I've done

is I just sewed my strips from selvage

to selvage and the proportions are in

the issue of course so the first thing

you want to do is make a 60-degree side

and what you can do is you'll see on my

ruler I've got a mark that goes 60

degrees both ways and so I'm just gonna

use that and line it up with the edge of

my fabric I just want to make sure that

it's right on there right and then you

make your first cut line that up and

this is probably what takes the most

times of this whole process is just

making sure that everything's perfect

and so there you go and that's your

first cut then I'm gonna flip this

around so I can work with it and the way

to get your next patch is line up that

same 60 degree mark with the cut you

just made and that's why that precision

matters because if you're exactly by a

thread or two it's gonna start adding up

it will add up the further you get done

the strip and then your your patches

won't match and you might be mad at me

and that won't be good

oh another thing you want to do is make

sure that you're right on the points yes

right on the angle where the the two

sides meet and I'm just gonna go ahead

and make that cut and then to continue

I'm gonna line this up with the bottom

now for the top I guess whichever you

prefer but what that's the line going in

the opposite direction yes

this you'll see the 60-degree mark right

there lined up with the strip and I want

to make sure that it's right at the edge

there so I'm gonna just scoot that over

make sure that all my marks line up and

then I'm gonna go ahead and make that

cut and you'll see how I get very

different patches from the same strip

yeah and so you can have a lot of fun

with this just because the proportions

are so different you can really mix

they're basically two different patches

even though from the same strips so for

the sake of clarity let's call this unit

1 and unit 2 just so we can tell them


mm-hmm and in the tree skirt you use I

believe 36 unit ones and 24 unit twos so

you'll have some leftover if when you're

cutting them like this to get the exact

these are gonna have some leftovers of

you will have a couple left over so

that's a really fun opportunity to play

around and make something cool and

that's exactly what I did course you did


so I made a fun little pillow out of my

leftover patches and this really goes to

show how you can arrange the same

patches to get totally different things

so I've got sort of a weird geometric

thing over here and then I've got sort

of a reverse star on the side and so I

have a couple pieces tech tips and I'll

just go over those so here's my patches

for example you could arrange them to

make sort of gradated hexagons here or

whatever you want you could introduce

solids or other prints and really good

cool design effects but let's say we're

gonna make that pillow so I'm just going

to figure out what I did okay okay we

just gotta scoot all these so and then

all of a sudden you have this design yes

which is totally different

and what I like to do is to join these

in rows so I start by joining the pairs

together and then I'll join these to the

to the end now what you might be tempted

to join them in pairs like this hmm but

the trouble with that is once you want

to join all of them together you have an

inset seam which is you can do but why

it's not terrible but if you can avoid

it you might as well so I prefer to do

horizontal rows mm-hmm so when I've got

these two joined there we go you go and

these two no that's totally wrong yeah

there we go and you'll see how it can be

really confusing to figure out which one

is which just playing just yeah but when

when you go to join your patches it's a

good idea to pin which seem you're going

to be sewing yes otherwise yeah you get

to the sewing machine and you're like

wait which side yes so I always pin the

one that's ever happened yeah I just

heard that in some way I've never

expected myself yeah so another fun

thing about using the strips versus

templates is that you can use these

little dog ears to line up your next

patch ha ha and that and then you can

use this little knot to be your quarter

inch seam allowance that one right there

and I definitely recommend using a

design wall and normally when you are

doing this at home you don't have a

camera on you so that's true just join

them in rows go slowly stitch slowly if

you want your points to match you're

gonna have to pin mm-hmm as you sew and

just do it very carefully you may have

to take some seams out if you get the

wrong side attached to the wrong thing

as you can see it's very easy to do yes

chain piecing is maybe not always the

best for this because you want to keep

things it's true if I had a long strip

I tend to join them in pairs press all

the pairs and then I joined the pairs

into a long strip so that's that's my

tips for sewing them together it just go


be very careful know what you're doing

and you still had some triangles left

over I did have some triangles left over

it so and I figured you know I've got

enough I got a tree skirt I have a

little pillow but what if I want to go

out so I made a little clutch that's


thanks and I just got this chain from my

local craft store and made a little

fancy clutch to take to all my holiday

parties really it's so that's it's

perfect for the holidays it is so

flexible and it's great this time of

year I'm having a intense love affair

with this with this fabric line yeah I

can't get enough of it it's great

tacular it's really spectacular

fantastic well what else do you have so

say you want to do that triangles of a

different size yes yes so you want to

figure out what size strip you need in

order to get triangles of say four

inches mm-hmm so there's probably a way

to do it on the computer but I'm very

analog yes I just do stuff by hand so

well with this technique the only

specialty equipment you need is graph

paper that's right it's in addition to

your pencil and your ruler yes so what

what I do start very simply and I just

drew a four inch line on my graph paper

and it's hard to see through the the

paper or the with this cutting mat

behind it but this is basically 4-inch

and it matches up with the marks on the

graph paper mm-hmm and I drew a light

line right through the center of that

and then I did a quarter inch line which

is your seam allowance so the next step

is to just line up your four inch mark

with that line right there and then

bring the tip of the ruler right to that

Center in there

and then just mark that this is this is

a place where having a really sharp

pencil point will again make a

difference it will because if it's thick

or if you're off the line a little bit

it's again it's just those little

incremental measures you make in the

pound yes so I always use a mechanical

pencil on graph paper I just find it a

lot easier so you want to do the same

thing on the other side just go straight

from that center line right to the mark

that you made and there is your

equilateral triangle and that's not

enough because we're going to be cutting

and sewing these yes so you'll just want

to add your seam allowance I love these

little thin graph rulers to add your

quarter inch seam allowance and there

you go and now you could conceivably

just go ahead and mark the tip of that

but you want to make sure that you're

you're accurate so once you've got your

triangle drawn you want to make sure

that it will continue correctly so I'm

just going to make another quarter inch

line and this will be the beginning of

my next triangle so I'm gonna just mark

the top of that and then mark a quarter

inch down this way and then all of a

sudden you've almost got a full triangle

right and the best way to finish up is

just to make sure

see I've got four inches mmm over there

and mark that and put on your seam

allowance and you're done and I went

ahead and measured it and my strip is

gonna be four and a quarter inches I

don't have to do any math you just have

to do the dress measure it and if you

want to do a really big triangle just

get really great big graph paper right

the same thing yes and so what I did

when I got my four inch for an a quarter

inch strip I cut a bunch of striped


rather than piecing on my figured why

not use printed stripes for the same

kind of cool effect and I did a little

strip you'll see how my I press all my

seams open okay and that's how you get

your little dog ears to match up right

and I don't know if you remember but

last year's best Christmas quotes 2013 I

did the eye candy glasses case I

remember them and this is basically the

perfect size so I just went ahead and

cut that into four inches by 15 inches

and made a glasses case I believe that

pattern is probably still available

oddly it was really well your very so

inventive and these are great this is

great technique to use and it's really

said it's it's pretty easy it doesn't

take a whole lot of skill or experience

to jump into working with 60 degree

triangles so take some of these tips

just start playing around and see what

you can come up with thanks so much for

showing this today to you thanks for

having me take care we look forward to

seeing you next time bye bye quilters

newsletter TV the quilters community is

brought to you by handi quilter designed

by a quilter for quilters and Husqvarna

Viking keeping the world sewing for over

140 years