In Search of the Perfect Half-Square Triangle: Triangulations Review

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Yes, it’s every quilter’s dream — well, besides a 2,000 SF ocean-view studio with endless amounts of cutting tables and fabric storage! I’m talking about making perfect half-square triangles.

At a recent retreat, the other participants used triangulations for the first time. I was working on other projects, but was very intrigued and thought I’d give it a try. You purchase a disk that is easily installed in your computer. Next, you choose the size of half-square triangle you’d like to make. I chose 1 & 5/16th inches because I know that smaller triangles are the hardest.( I’m also not sure who came up with the idea of creating any kind of squares that involves more precision than 1/4″, so this was a good test.) Finally, you print the page on paper piecing paper.

For my test, I chose 2 fabrics — a solid white and a blue flower. Trim your two fabrics to the approximate size of the 8 1/2 by 11″ paper. Place right sides of the fabric together, and put the triangulations page on top. (I used a couple pins to hold the paper in place.) Then sew in  the direction of the arrows. You can start anywhere on the sheet. Keep sewing until you get back to the starting point.

Cut the page apart on the solid lines. You will end up with 24 perfectly formed 1 5/16″ triangles. Pretty cool!

I’m not sure if I’m a total sewing moron, but I had a hard time staying on the lines. I think this is just a matter of practice. You are essentially sewing a maze pattern and it is unfamiliar. I’ve had a lot more practice marking a diagonal block center and sewing 1/4″ seams on either side, or sewing with a 1/4″ foot. It’s seldom we sew anything on a line.

It also felt like it took a very long time to complete the sheet. However, it did yield 24 (theoretically) perfect 1 5/16″ triangles. That would take a very long time regardless of what method I used.

My final complaint is that it is tedious to peel off the paper.

For the test, I probably should have made 24 tiny half-square triangles the traditional way, and then 24 using Triangulations. I could have timed them and had a back-to-back comparison. However I am not a masochist! I’m guessing that the triangulations method would likely be faster than the traditional way. It would certainly be more accurate for smaller blocks.

If I was doing half-square triangles that were more than 3 inches, I probably would not use this method. However, it seems to be awesome for getting precise small triangles. It saves the time of marking squares, and no trimming is required. Another consideration is that triangulations is also only useful if you want a whole page of 2-color triangles.

Overall, I think this is a great product, especially for miniature half-square triangles. The program also includes Triangulations for quarter square triangles and tamed (flying) geese. It is available at the site below:

http://www.bearpawproductions.com/store.php?cat=1

Printed Page from Triangulations

Triangulations after sewing on the lines. Note that my sewing lines aren't completely straight.

Cut apart on solid lines

Cut triangles apart on solid lines

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