I would wager that this is probably the most popular die for cutting thousand pyramids, simply because it’s the largest triangle die that comes in a GO version, and the GO is a pretty popular machine.
What I think is really great about die cutting these days is how much more compatible the machines are now, thanks to the introduction of some great adapters. When AccuQuilt introduced the GO die adapter for the Studio, it not only enabled Studio owners to use GO dies with their machines, but it also made it easier for Sizzix owners to use GO dies as well.
Unfortunately, these dies are too big to use with the GO Baby or the Big Shot, but if you have any of the larger machines, either one or both of these dies will work. Just make sure you have the adapter if you want to use the GO die in the BSP or Studio.
Using the Isosceles Triangle Dies
The difference between the two dies is the number of shapes on the die and the number of layers you can cut. However, since the sizes of the shapes are the same, the instructions and tips for using the dies are also the same.
If you want to make a quilt using the kaleidoscope block instead of thousand pyramids, this die combines with the 3″ finished half square triangle (HST-3 if you’re using EDeN.) I’ve actually done a kaleidoscope quilt from a Benartex fabric line called Lilified. You’ll get to see this quilt in an upcoming pattern.
When you work from strips, it’s better to leave the strips unfolded, as fan-folding will waste more fabric than straight layers.
When you work from scraps, remember that you should count your layers based on where your fabrics overlap, not how many complete triangles you get. Take this GO! die example:
In the photo above, you can see that my fabrics on the left are only 3 layers, while the fabrics on the right are four layers. However, if you count the fabrics where they overlap, there are actually 5 layers of fabric. I can only lay one more piece of fabric down before I max out the number of layers on this die.
GO Die 55016
This die has two triangles, and you can cut between 4-6 layers on the die. That will yield approximately 8-12 triangles in each pass of the cutter.
Studio Die 50222
This die has three triangles, and you can cut up to 10 layers on the die. That will yield 30 triangles in each pass of the cutter, more than double what I can get on the GO die. This is why I love using Studio dies, especially for scrap-busting.
Video Tips for Using Dies 55016 and 50222
I am so excited to introduce these videos to you – they are the first ones I recorded using my new equipment. I’ve gotten a better camera, one which allows a microphone to be attached so I don’t have to yell across a 20 foot room, AND I got a wide-angle lens! It’s amazing the difference this lens makes; the camera is across the short end of my cutting table, is positioned straight on, and it’s able to get my head and the entire width of the cutting table at the same time. I also set up a second camera to do the close up shots; hopefully the transitions between shots is ok; it may take a few videos for me to get used to this setup!
Anyway, back to the dies. Both of these dies are fairly straightforward to cut on, but there are a few tips to get the most out of them. I recorded a couple of videos to help you get started. In the videos I talk about marking the dies, using strips cut from yardage, and selecting scraps to use on the dies. I’m using the Sizzix Big Shot Pro for this demonstration, because it fits nicely on the table and I can use both dies on it, so I didn’t need to change the setup.
Marking and Measuring the Isosceles Triangle Dies
Cutting Strips and Scraps on the Isosceles Triangle Dies
Drawing Up a Design
Do you have Electric Quilt?
So many people have asked questions about how to draw up triangles in EQ. I have Version 7, but I assume that this would work the same in other versions too.
Once you open EQ, navigate to the menu path: Quilt > New Quilt > One Patch Quilt.
Then click on the Layout tab. You’ll get a little box that opens called “One Patch Layout”. In the Patch style drop-down, choose “Thousand Pyramid.” Then it asks you to enter the finished width and height of your triangle. AccuQuilt says that this shape finishes at 4.25″ wide by 5.125″ tall. Enter those measurements and it will change the setting for you. Then, you can just increase or decrease the number of units.
Once the quilt is the size you want, click on the “Layer 1” tab and start coloring in the patches!
Try Isometric Graph Paper
If you’re more of a colored pencil and graph paper type, get hold of some isometric graph paper. This really works best for equilateral triangles, but it’s super cool to draw on!
Making a Project
Although I don’t have a specific project planned for this die, I have a funny story to tell you about it. One of my friends and guild members, Yolande, saw the announcement about the cut-along back in February. Well, she immediately started cutting pyramids because she was worried about falling behind! You should have seen the stack of pyramids she had cut by the time we got to the retreat last weekend, and she even started piecing them! She got pretty far along already, so I asked her for permission to photograph what she had done so far.
You can see that this is going to be an absolutely stunning quilt! She’s using African print fabrics and a yellow mottled print so that each fabric stands on its own. She’s lining up the triangles in rows, and it’s coming together beautifully.
At the ends of her rows, I don’t think she has decided yet how she will finish the project, so she’s just leaving the extra triangle pieces for now. If you were going to leave the triangles uneven like this, cut your binding on the bias so it will give a little.
See how beautifully her points match up? I think this can be attributed to both the accuracy of her cuts, and the way she is pressing the pairs. Yes, I flipped it over to inspect the back!
She presses the seams open on each pair of triangles, and then when she assembles the rows, she just presses the rows to one side. Pressing the seams open on the pairs really helps to match the points; I would pin every one!
Seeing Yolande’s quilt just makes me want to dive into my scrap bin, dig out all the batiks, and make a quilt like this. I wonder what color I should use for the background?
A Little Teaser…
I’ll bet you can guess what’s coming, but I won’t officially announce it until the end of the cut along. If you have a guess, keep it to yourself so you don’t ruin the surprise for everyone else! All I will tell you is that, if you have time and you’re actually going to start sewing your thousand pyramid project together, try to finish it by June 1. That will give everyone at least a month to finish a project after the cut along ends. That’s all I have to say about that.
Who’s using this die? Do you know what you’re making yet? Don’t forget to visit our Pinterest board and join the Facebook group!
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Carousel Quilt AlongBelow are links to all the posts for the Carousel UFO Quilt Along - so you can catch up on anything you've missed!
|Post Date||Post Name||Post Contents|
|April 22nd, 2015||Let’s Quilt Wednesday: Selecting Five UFOs and Deciding Their Fate||Announcing the Carousel Quilt Along|
|April 26th, 2015||Summary Sunday: Carousel Quilt Along and UFO Progress||Fabric requirements for the quilt, in five sizes|
|May 10th, 2015||Summary Sunday: A Bustle in the Studio, the Carousel Quilt Along||Cutting instructions, tutorials for strip piecing and making HSTs|
|May 24th, 2015||Summary Sunday: Working on Quilts, Carousel Continues||Making the two patch units|
|June 7th, 2015||Carousel Quilt Along – I Am Stuck, But You Should Keep Going!||Work on your HSTs|
|June 21st, 2015||Summary Sunday: Handi Quilter Retreat and Carousel Quilt Along||Making the pinwheel block|