Wednesday 11 June 2014

Mini Quilt WIP and Triangle Tips

So I decided that I would do this mini quilt swap. The Schnitzel and Boo swap.

I've never done a swap before (not even swapping gum with my best friend in middle school/junior high. Did you? Really? Haha, gross, or you loved your best friend way more than me. Although, I have to say that if my best friend needed gum and I was chewing some, she got half. Gross, yes. So I might not be a swapper, but definitely a giver. Don't want your germs, but I'll for sure give you mine).

Anyway, so I decided to do the swap (not the gum, the mini quilt). Along with, I think, like 600 other people. So far, so fun. My swap partner- that is, the person I am giving to- likes Denyse Schmidt and hexagons (that's all I'll tell you in case I give my partner away). Um, I have never bought any material from that designer before and I'm kind of a lazy quilter, so hexes are not my sort of party.

So I got some Denyse Schmidt (ha, always a reason to buy fabric) and then decided I'd do hexes via triangles. That way no y-seams, no applique, no English paper piecing (I have strong thoughts on English paper piecing... and so do you, so we will just leave it at that).

I've done a triangle quilt before (see here, it's still sitting waiting to be basted and then quilted...still). I always just make my own triangle templates. That way I can control the measurements and type of triangle (I tend to go isosceles, not equilateral. And let's be blunt, scalene is just absurd- poor thing will never make it into a quilt).

I used Adobe Illustrator to make my template this time, although I have used good ol' paper and pencil and they still seem to work just fine. Illustrator can measure your object for you, so as I draw a triangle I can see how big it is. Then it is just a matter of printing it actual size, cutting it out, and pasting it to a cereal box for some stability and thickness. I leave a quarter inch around the template to account for seam allowance. I guess I could do this in Illustrator, but it's just as easy to do it on the cutting table. While I'm making my triangle, I also fill it with smaller triangles. This gives me the template for a smaller triangle that I can use in my design also.

I was going to try and create an isometric grid so that I could design the little quilt in Illustrator, but then I found this website which tells you how to create an isometric grid yourself. It also provides you with a PDF that you can import into your photoshop/illustrating programs, or print out and use good ol' pencil crayons to colour in your design.

I just printed it out and drew in the design. I had planned to make some of the hexagons smaller, but, well, I'm lazy (told you), and I wanted the hexagons to fill the space. I felt like making them smaller would leave me with more negative space (white background) than I wanted.

I also cut my triangles off a quarter inch from the top. This makes its easier to sew for me. All I have to do is place the top of the triangle so that the two top points meet the bottom triangle's edges. That way I don't have to do the regular "place the triangle tips 1/4" apart", (or whatever you're suppose to do) thing. In fact, it's probably better to cut all the corners off your triangles- less bulk in the seams and easier to piece- but I'm always so impatient to sew that I usually settle for only one corner.

I'm in the midst of sewing it right now. I might even get it done this week (there's a little part of me that laughed at this). If you want to check out some of mini quilts being made you can check out the Flickr group or on Instagram at #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap.

Oh, and look one template has already been goobed by the boys (it was encased in playdough, don't ask why...)

Linking up: 

Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. Well, I'm impressed. Really a cool quilt. I think its going to be beautiful.

  2. What a fun post! Yes, that template does look like it has been had. Hope you were done with that one! Nice to see I am not the only one working with triangles again. They are kinda addicting!

  3. I keep meaning to start on a triangle quilt. I missed the quilt-along that seemed to go by in a flash. Love your color choices.

  4. This entire post had me cracking up. I am so with you on not swapping gum. And hexagons. Ugh. Bless you, I loved your nerdy triangle math talk (I can hear my husband saying, talk isosceles to me!) and the isogrid paper - swoon! I took a hand drafting class for engineering in college (back in the dark ages when drafting was done on paper and not a computer) and we had to have iso paper for sketching assignments. Love. It looks great! The playdough colors even oddly coordinate... they were trying to help, right? :)

  5. I think that this looks super cool. I also think that it is fun to get or try new things that I never would have tried before (my partner likes things outside of my comfort zone...but I have had a blast with the mini - so far). And I always draw my stuff out with colored pencils first. lol
    Great looking mini!

  6. Thanks for the link to that website - I love all sorts of graph paper (minor addiction) ... love that your boys playdoughed your work, that happens to me too, but I have girls!

  7. I love it! It is going to be beautiful!

  8. oh i love the progress of your swap mini quilt, your partner is so lucky
    thanks for the link, have to check it out

  9. I'm part of that swap too, but I'm pretty sure you're not making for me. Too bad. Yours is looking beautiful so far.

  10. I'm into triangles and hexagons as well but drawing my own template? Oh please, that is way too much work! I have a ruler for that :-) No swapping gums on my side either. The colors and pattern are looking good!

  11. very cool! Way to make it work. Should be awesome! :)

  12. Your swap mini is looking pretty sweet! I will pass on the gum,but I do love sewing swaps.

  13. I am sure the boys thought they were being helpful...beautiful colours, it will be a fantastic finish!

  14. these fabrics look beautiful!! and love the evidence of little ones :)

  15. I use Illustrator too for all my own templates. It is handy having it for work as I get to use it to 'play'. I do draw the extra quarter inch in Illustrator.
    Handy grid tutorial!


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