How Much Difference Can a Tiny Triangle Make?
I finished a hawg this week. That’s my new term for a quilt you love and hate as you make it.
It wasn’t the quilt’s fault. I think it was a difficult project because of the bias edges on hundreds of small pieces and on a bunch of big pieces, too.
I made the first row of Vintage Zigzag, but I wasn’t getting any seam allowance around the green triangles. The tips came right up to the edge so I knew they’d be cut off.
Then I remembered something we used to publish at Quiltmaker called the trimming template.
It was to help you trim away a tiny little triangle from certain shapes so they’d line up properly and you wouldn’t cut off your points.
And I also remembered that in my toolbox lived a couple of acrylic templates designed just for this purpose. One of mine is plain and clear, the other is ©1996 by Judy Martin and called the Ultimate Point Trimmer.
I got them out and trimmed a few green triangles. I trimmed the corners of the scrappy units with solid yellow, too.
The markings on Judy’s template are helpful while you’re learning. Once I understood the concept, the clear template worked just fine for me.
You can see when I put one template on top of the other that they’re shaped exactly the same way.
I matched up my newly-trimmed patches.
Voila! If I was going to make a hawg, at least I wanted to preserve the points.
And preserve the points I did! Here’s an intersection that came out nicely.
Of course for every pretty intersection, there are several ugly ones. But the wide variety of fabrics and the movement of the design will distract enough and it will be just fine.
The first rows I made seemed to take hours and I came close to scrapping the whole project. I wanted to banish it back into the UFO pile and never think of it again. But eventually it started coming together.
I liked what was happening enough to push myself through. Day by day, it grew. You can see in the photos that it’s not the flattest quilt I’ve ever made.
The bias edges on the yellow stretched like crazy even though I was careful and gentle. I often eased in up to half an inch on a 7″ seam, which is a lot.
After some auditions, I decided to add narrow side borders but nothing at the top and bottom. Do you see below how a border at the bottom cuts off the pattern of movement and ruins the effect of the zigzags?
It has been impossible for me to shoot it so the green on the screen matches reality. It’s a lovely 1930s hue and I really like it. The photos look like John Deere however, and that I decidedly do not like.
If you’ve made it this far, this video from Quilters Newsletter explains trimming the corners and how graphic artists figure it out. Next time you have angular patches, remember that what you might need is to trim the corners!
Quilt on, my friends!
This quilt goes into Round 2: More Extraordinary Scrap Quilts. I’d love to bring it to your quilt guild when the pandemic of 2020 is over! Drop me a line and Let’s Talk Quilts! > firstname.lastname@example.org