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Using Triangles On A Roll to Speed Piecing

Half Square Triangles created with Triangles On A Roll paper

I am currently working on a semi-secret project, one that is requiring me to really stretch… Okay, I will actually confess that instead of a stretch this is a real JUMP out of my comfort zone!

I’m working with a size larger than 24" x 24", and I’m doing quilt piecework beyond my beloved log cabin strip construction! The crib quilt project that I am designing uses a handpainted batik panel by Mahyar as a focal point, and it has a very cool border design, similar to that pictured below, that I wanted to echo.

Batik detail on Mahyar batik panel

My first thought was using pieced Half Square Triangles (HST). I had heard good things about the Triangles On A Roll for piecing HSTs, and thought I would experiment with them. I began by purchasing sample rolls in couple different sizes and testing them with fabrics. There’s a free Craftsy Tutorial that is nicely illustrated with clear photos on how to use Triangles on a Roll to sew HSTs: so simple to use!

Spoiler Alert: I love this product so much I’ve added it to the Artistic Artifacts store! Shop all Triangles On A Roll products »

2½" finished block, using Triangles On A Roll ; each square tells you how wide to cut your fabric squares, as seen in this photograph.

Above, 2½" finished block, using two different fabrics. A great feature of the Triangles On A Roll papers
is that each one tells you how wide to cut your fabric squares, as you can see in this photograph.

The Triangles On A Roll blog had a post about how quick using these products can be. Nedra Sorensen of Triangles On a Roll decided to time herself in making 44 HSTs for a project. Her sewing time was 13 minutes; her cutting time 5 minutes; paper removal time 5 minutes; pressing time 5 minutes, and trimming off the bunny ears 2 minutes. A total of 30 minutes! Now, of course quilting’s not a race, but even for a beginner using this product, the time savings from cutting and piecing a HST the old-fashioned way is incredible. Plus, you are getting consistently precise, accurate results.

Woodstock batik by Batik Tambal sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, a fun result using Woodstock, 1969, an ombre batiks that is one of the dessigns created exclusively for us by Indonesian artisans. We just released a new Ferns pattern in six beautiful colorwayas!

Then, thinking of structure like the log cabin construction (see, I didn’t get too far away from my default mode!), I wanted to experiment with the contrast of light and dark fabrics:

HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

The top HST in the above photo has had its “bunny ears” trimmed. Look at the accuracy of the piecing and the even seam allowances. Each of these rolls are 50 feet long, and the number of finished HSTs will vary with the size. For instance, the 3½" roll will make 540 HSTs!

Key points to remember when sewing HSTs with Triangles On A Roll:

  • Pin the paper to the top of two (2) pieces of fabric that are facing right sides together.
  • Shorten your stitch length on your sewing machine to make it easier to remove the paper after piecing. Triangles On A Roll recommends a 1.5 setting.
  • Sew on the dotted lines.
  • Cut on the solid lines.

So, once I had warmed up with several piecing sessions using different sizes and fabrics, my next step was to use HSTs in a project.

HSTs from two different Australian fabrics, sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, River Dreaming Red by Barbara Egan and Bush Coconut Dreaming Red by Audrey Martin, two Aborigine Designed Fabric that look great together.

Pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed and HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

I used an Ahmed batik panel and cut it in half horizontally to make two coordinating pillows. After framing the panel in narrow strips, I enlarged the surface using my red and black HSTs on just two sides for an asymmetrical look.

Pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed and HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, the second pillow top (both are still in progress with the binding and the backing). One hint for you, watch the orientation of the triangles when you use them to wrap around a block (as I did here), rather than in a straight line.

Detail, free motion quilting, of pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed

A detail of my free motion quilting of the panel. Abstracts are fun, because anything goes!

So with my pillows essentially finished, I’m back to my original idea using the Mayhar Batik Art Panel…

Piecing with Triangles On A Roll paper

Half Square Triangles (HSTs) created with Triangles On A Roll paper

Triangles On A Roll products are definitely going to help me create a wonderful Mahyar crib quilt design!

Batik panel  by Mahyar, a focal point of an upcoming quilt project

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