Sunday, September 28, 2014

I love cutting these house shapes in one piece.

 The 'quick & easy' way is to piece it out of 2.5" rectangles and squares, or squares and HSTs, but I really love that shape without a centre seam.
(I had to do it with this fabric, only had a jellyroll strip of it, but I wouldn't do it from choice.)  I find it's a lot more accurate without extra seams, easier to press, less bulky to assemble, and cutting it in one piece is about as quick as it gets.

Of course, there's the method of using 4.5"squares, and adding 2.5"squares to both top corners with the flippy method.

This is super easy, and quick, apart from the drawing of lines and the trimming etc. Much better than a seam up the centre, but I don't get enough accuracy for my liking.  Some people hate triangles, so they love this method; personally, I love the triangles.

I prefer to cut the house shape with my Easy Angle ruler, either the 6" or the 4" one, because they are always on the cutting table anyway.  The numbers aren't relevant for this sort of cutting, so to find the line I want, I use a strip that is the size of that corner triangle; 2.5" triangle, so a 2.5"strip.
 I stick a post-it note to the back of the ruler, close to the line but not too close.  I don't want to obscure that line, just highlight it.
Then I trim off the bits of paper that show around the edge, so they don't get in the way.

I start with a 4.5"square, and trim off the top corners to make my house shape.  I'll cut the one on the right, then flip the squares over to cut the other side.  I can flip the ruler, but then the markings are on the top of the ruler, and that drives me nuts because it's not accurate; I ALWAYS cut with the markings on the bottom, right next to the fabric, not floating an eighth of an inch above it.

There are other rulers that you can use to cut this shape; an oldie but a goodie is by Trudie Hughes;
the Rotary Mate has these Speedy shapes along the edge, and they are for trimming off corners, very useful for making house shapes, or octagons.  The ruler is so easy to use; if you have this in the cupboard it's really worth dusting it off.
The marked sizes are finished sizes; my 2.5"triangles finish to 2", so that's the size speedy I use.

Then there's this ruler, from Creative Grids.  It works fine too, but it's more expensive than the other two rulers.
I don't understand the markings on this one, and rather than work it out, I'll just use it the way I want to.  I know my piece is coming from a 4.5" square, so I just line up the top and make sure the ruler is centred and away I go.  I cut all the lozenges for my Elongated Hexagon with this ruler.  (This is the same quilt that Bonnie is doing as a Leader Ender;  my measurements are here.)

Of course, once I have my house shape, I need 2.5"triangles to add to the corners.  I cut mine with the Go Cutter, but if you don't have one,  cut them with the Easy Angle.  (Not from jellyrolls, those pinked edges drive me insane.)

If you want to get rid of the dogears, stack the triangles and put the 2.5" line of the ruler against the edge, then nip off the dogears.

I add the right-hand triangle first, lining up the flat tips with the top of the house shape and the side, and pressing the seam towards the triangle.

Then add the left triangle, lining up the flat tips with the triangle that's just been attached, and the side.

The finished unit should measure 4.5" square,
and the point of the house should be right at the junction of the quarter inch line and the 2.25" line.
I might have to trim a skerrick of the triangles away sometimes, my piecing is never completely accurate, but I'm getting pretty good at it.

If you want to make other sizes, it's easy to figure out.  The triangles will measure half the square; for a 3" finished house block you would need 1.5" triangles; the cut sizes would be 3.5" squares and 2" strips for the Easy Angle.  For a 6" house unit,  6.5" squares and 3.5"strips, and so on.

I might just go through Blockbase and see what patterns I can find with this shape;  I'm not sick of making them yet, and it's a nice shape to use charm squares.  Heaven knows I have enough of those hanging around.


Sue SA 7:08 AM  

Thank you, looks like I might be able to get over my fear of triangles now!

Anonymous,  9:38 AM  

Thank you so post!I hat flipping and trimming also and have been thinking hard lately of how to start with a square and cut the corner off so this could be done. I even had the easy angle ruler in my drawer! Just tried it out and it worked perfectly.Love your blog and this post in particular was very helpful to me!

Dolly 8:42 AM  

I found you by looking up "Rotary Mate" ruler. I lost the paperwork for mine (I've probably had the ruler for 30 years or more), and I couldn't remember what size triangles I had to cut to replace the ones that I cut off. So, if I understand you, when I use the 2 inch triangle , I cut 2 1/2 inch squares in half to replace that? Or does it need to be 2 7/8-3inch?
I also owned the easy angle ruler, but can't find it. I guess I put it in a garage sale along with my big 45 degree triangle ruler (which I SO regret !)

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