Ever since making this quilt helped me finally start figuring out all those modern patchwork shortcuts that everyone else has known about forever, I feel a whole world of possibilities opening up. The last time I made a quilt with triangles in it, I did math and figured out hypotenuses and stuff, and drew triangle templates, and cut out all the triangles individually and then pieced them together, and though I loved the results, it was as you can surely imagine, pretty time-consuming. At the time, I knew there was undoubtedly a better way, but I guess I felt it would just be easier to go with what I knew. And then I resolved never to work with triangles again.
But I want to make all kinds of quilts, so I got down to brass tacks and figured out a trick. This came to my on its own, though it’s so easy and obvious that it is most assuredly already out there in print and online resources. Anyway, here’s what I did:
Cut two squares (mine are 6 1/2”) and pin them together with right sides facing. Draw a line between two opposing corners.
Stitch on either side of the drawn line using the edge of your presser foot as a guide, which should yield a seam just shy of 1/4”. I think you can also get a 1/4” presser foot, made specifically, for patchwork, but anyhoo.
Cut on the drawn line.
Open and press.
When pieced into a quilt using the same seams throughout (which is what I do, I just use the width of my presser foot—I’m lazy) the finished size of the square is roughly 5 1/2”. As long as I use the same size seam throughout the quilt, the corners will all line up and my grandma would be really proud. Home free! [edit to add: Karen knows about the actual math here—scroll down the comments to learn even more].
I love learning new things. This almost-quilt is already the brightest thing in the room.