What if you don’t have a triangle die? You can cut equilateral triangles using only a strip die. Here’s how.
We started the cut along without triangle dies, so it seemed appropriate to end the cut along without triangle dies. Well technically this isn’t the “end”, but it’s the last cutting tutorial!
I talked in the previous post about dies that can do double- or triple-duty, but in the case of a strip die, we’re talking dozens of different cuts and techniques. I list a bunch of them in my book, The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips, and cutting equilateral triangles is one of them.
You can do this with any strip die you own, so the potential to cut equilaterals is really only limited by the largest strip die you have. Well, technically you’re only limited by the size of your acrylic ruler, but at a certain point I think these things just get unruly!
My largest strip die is 6-1/2″, so that’s the largest triangle I can get from my dies, and trust me, that’s plenty big enough!
Using a Strip Die for Cutting Equilateral Triangles
For this tutorial, I chose my 3-1/2″ Studio Strip Die. You can do this with any die cutter, and any strip die that has at least two strips. I’m doing a photo tutorial for this one, but I’ll post a video up later this spring so people can see it in action.
Have you marked your dies? It’s been almost a month since I showed you the video for it, but if you need to see this again, let me demonstrate. Grab one of your long acrylic rulers, and find the 60-degree line. It’s usually marked from the lower right hand corner.
Now that your die is marked, you’re ready to cut triangles. We can cut triangles using three passes of the strip die. Before you complain about this being too many cuts, you’re welcome to do this with your ruler & rotary cutter too, or just buy the triangle die already! 🙂 Besides, I guarantee you can cut more triangles at once on a die, even with three passes.
Pass #1: Cut Strips
Pass #2: Cut Diamonds
Once you have your strips cut, take all of the strips off the die. Take your first strip and align the long edge with the 60-degree line you marked. It doesn’t matter which side of the line you start with.
What does matter is where you place the end of the strip. You want to make sure the top edge of the strip clears the uppermost die blade. This is going to give you an angled scrap, but it guarantees you’ll get a complete piece at the top.
If your strips are too long, you can fold them back on each other, or cut off the excess. Because this is a Studio die, I can just let the excess fabric puddle in the tray next to the die. Lay your mat on top, and run the die through your cutter.
Pass #3: Cut Triangles
Now this is the fun part. Take those diamonds, and arrange them on the die so that the center of them is aligned over a blade. If you have enough blades, you can stagger them on the die; otherwise, just lay them side by side.
Again, lay your mat on top and run the die through your cutter. The result is a ton of equilateral triangles!
If I were going to do a large project with these, I would cut all the strips first, then cut all the diamonds, and THEN cut the triangles. That’s because you’ll really be able to load up the die with more triangles than you would have had room to cut strips and diamonds. That’s where this really gets faster than rotary; it’s not necessarily that the steps are different, but because you can cut more at once, and they are going to be a lot more accurate!
Making a Project
I don’t really have anything planned yet at this point for the triangles I just cut, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. Until I do, I’m going to pack these in a baggie and store them in my 3-1/2″ strip drawer. That way, I know where these came from and how to make more!
Who’s using a strip die to cut equilateral triangles? 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|