Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Magic Triangles

If you haven't yet  finished your shaded four patches for Easy Street, you might want to try my "easy" (well, easi-er) method.

I bought this tool years ago and used it to make a wedding quilt for my oldest nephew.  Being the "directions are for wimps" quilter that I am, I wound up with enough blocks also to make a quilt for My Little Sailor's high school band director!

Bonnie calls these shaded four patches, but the tool designer calls them Magic Triangles, so that's what I'll call them for this tutorial.  I'm sorry to report that I can't find a web presence for this company, but you may still find the tool at your LQS.

  1. First, cut strips of two different widths -- depending on the size of your finished blocks.  The dark fabric will form the corner square, the light forms the little triangles.  Mine are 2" and 3".  Sew them together along the long side and press toward the wider strip (in this case, the wider strip is the light fabric):

[The kitty cat Christmas mug is an important part of this project!]

2.  Layer two strip sets (strata) right sides together, dark side to light side and light side to dark side.  Cross-cut at 2" (again, depending on your finished block size).  Stitch all the sets together along the long side. 
3.  Next, snip into the seam but not past the stitching in the middle of the block:

Because of the snip in the seam, it's easy to press the seam toward the light fabric and make the block lie nice and flat:

I know, this doesn't look like it's going to come out square!  Trust me!

 4.  Next, mark the stitching line on the reverse of your blocks.  I used a pencil:

If you have a sandpaper board, the block won't wiggle around while your're marking.  See how the template is exactly in the corner of the purple square?

You can also use a Frixion pen if you want a really clear line:

5.  Repeat on opposite corner.  These will be your stitching lines.  Notice they go right through the seam intersection of the purple and background fabrics:

6.  Stitch on both lines, then cut between the lines (it is more than an 1/4" seam, don't worry, it will all work out!).  This results in TWO Magic Triangle blocks -- remember that when you're cutting your strata.

7.  Press toward the turquoise fabric and square up:

One episode of Downton Abbey, and voila!  64 Shaded Triangles.  Remember, each Magic Triangles block makes two shaded four patch blocks!

There we are, strolling along Easy Street!

Have you commented on my "Sugar Block Club" giveaway?  I have a little secret -- shhh, don't let Amy know I told.  I'm test-sewing for this project.  And I can tell you, you want to play along!  Go here and comment to win a free membership in the Sugar Block Club.

2013 Sugar Block Club

From the desk of your auntmartisignature


  1. Happy Tuesday! I love your tutorials. :)
    Have a great rest of the week!

  2. I've just found your blog, and I see that I will be spending a lot of time going through your archives.

    I have a question. I see that you use a Frixion pen. Is that a water soluble pen? I like the accuracy of the Sewline mechanical pencils, but I've had some trouble getting the black lead to wash out (even with pre-treating). It sounds like the Frixion pen would be a better choice if it washes out easily (I always wash my quilts before using/gifting them, so I am looking for a fine-point marking pen/pencil that will wash out easily). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

    1. Let me clarify, if I may - I use the pencils for marking my quilts for quilting. I hand quilt and need to be able to mark my tops for quilting. ;-) Thanks!

    2. The Frixion pen markings disappear with a hot IRON.

    3. I use children's washable fine-point Crayolas. Cheap, and lots of colors :)

  3. best scrap block ever! so versatile... just wish that little ruler was still available. I've made two quilts and a table runner with this method - love it!

  4. Love making the blocks this way - so easy!!!

  5. Just found this site - love it!

  6. Looks like it would be earlier this way.

  7. There is no mention of the turquoise rectangle or it's measurement and placement before the final sew and cut.

  8. Where did the tourquoise come from? I would like to know sizes etc. On it!

  9. Where did the tourquoise come from? I would like to know sizes etc. On it!

  10. Where did the tourquoise come from? I would like to know sizes etc. On it!


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