My recent posts have been about triangles, mostly about how I’ve managed to avoid creating leftover triangles.
A month ago I posted:
“It’s happening again. Just when I thought I was free of leftover triangles, they’re back. They’re taunting me. They stare at me from the far edges of the rotary mat. They are leftover from trimming blocks or just plain mistakes. The most recent were cutaways from a new block design.”
This summer I’ve had leftover triangles on my mind. I can’t live with them and I can’t live without them.
My idea was to corral leftover triangles by sewing them, not too haphazardly, to a background.
I’d create cookie-cutter cuts of half-square triangles (HSTs) as if they were biscuits or doughnuts or… cookies. The result seems to work for me and may be of use to you. As this is relatively new to me, please keep an eye on the comments section below. I may post an update.
For background I starched a 10” fabric square and halved it diagonally.
Despite my intention to corral leftover triangles, I cut new triangles (I halved 3” squares) to illustrate the process. They in turn yielded 2½” unfinished HSTs.
I positioned and sewed triangles one-at-a time along the bias edge of the background fabric, filling the background with as many triangles as possible. My Elna sewing machine’s flanged patchwork foot rode along the triangle for a ¼” seam allowance.
The background was filled and sewn, one-at-a time, with same size triangles. In the future I may sort leftover triangles by size to best fill the background. I might vary the background fabric too. I cut the unit apart into strips to easily ‘extricate’ the HSTs.
Strips 1- 4 from left-to-right:
1. The brown triangle pressed open.
2. All triangles pressed open. The seam allowance is automatically underneath them and not underneath the background fabric because the triangles are on top of the background fabric.
3. A 2½”square ruler placed over the pressed open brown triangle shows the HST to be cut out.
4. All of the triangles are pressed open. The ruler was placed over each and pencil lines drawn to show the eventual HST cutting lines.
For every pot there is a lid. If you can fit a leftover triangle on the background you are good to go. Would I sew leftover triangles to a straight of grain edge, such as a rectangular precut? I’d avoid that as it would result in bias edged background for the HSTs.
On the right are four uncut HSTs. Apparently I can get eighteen 2½” unfinished HSTs from one 10” background square with leftover triangles.
An option would be to trim future HSTs to 2½” square or any size, depending upon the size of leftovers. I hope to be sewing leftover triangles for a long time to come. Busywork that became of my first summer sabbatical.