So first up, on this wonderful fall Tools Tuesday, is the Companion Angle by Darlene Zimmerman for EZ Quilting.
I bought this tool at the same time I bought my Easy Angle and Tri Recs rulers, also by Darlene, because they were hanging beside each other in the store, and the packaging on this ruler says, "Companion to Easy Angle and Easy Eight". So I foolishly thought I needed this ruler to get my Easy Angle ruler to work. Ha ha, the joke's on me, you don't need the Companion Angle to use the Easy Angle ruler and vice versus. That being said, they are both good rulers and work well.
The purpose of this ruler is to cut triangles with the longest edge on the straight of grain, along with some other things. I don't ever get too worked up about the straight of grain, when you're dealing with rectangles not all the edges can be on the straight of grain. But it appears that's important, so there you go.
The thing I like about this ruler is that you can cut big triangle units, that would need to be cut from a very large square, from a narrow strip instead. For example, the strip I'm cutting above is from a 4 1/2 inch strip, if I was cutting a square diagonally twice to get this size triangle, the square would need to be 9".
The instructions that came with this ruler are fine, plus additional information is provided online. This tool runs between $10 and $12. I'm keeping it, and now that I understand its purpose will use it, probably the next time I have setting triangles. I prefer cutting strips to squares when I have yardage.
Since the Companion Angle was so easy I figured I would review another ruler, the Triangle Trimmers by Fons & Porter, they run $7.99. I bought these thinking you would use them to trim off triangles AFTER you pieced them, which you can, but really scissors or a rotary cut work just as well. These trimmers have a greater purpose, they are used for making accurate Square in a Square Units and Brave New World Units.
The instructions were great plus they have an online tutorial. (click here)
These are not templates but guides for cutting the tips of triangles, they can be used on any size fabric triangle.
This is how I normally connect my triangles to my squares when making square in a square units. See that folded line in the middle of the white triangle? I finger press that, by folding the corners together to get the center. I do the same on the square on the bottom, then line up the pressed lines and sew.
Usually the triangle units called for in a pattern are a weird size so I cut mine to the next biggest normal size, find the center of the two pieces, sew, then square it all up, giving myself the perfect 1/4"of fabric that you need above the points. I trim those dog ears off after the pieces are sewn.
This method removes the ears before you sew.
But you have to have the accurate triangle size for it all to work.
Since I did use the correct triangle size, once the ears were cut off it fit the square perfectly.
Here is the completed block.
With the perfect 1/4" of fabric above the points.
So the blue trimmer worked perfectly.
Next up, the New World Unit. Here's the completed unit, I had no idea that was the name of this block!
Same principal, use the trimmer to remove the dog ears before sewing.
I forgot to take a picture of the finished piece before attaching the other triangle, but it came out perfectly too.
These trimmers are a nice weight, pretty, and have a nice coating on the back that keeps them from slipping and sliding on the fabric.
These trimmers aren't something that suits me, or the way I like to do things, but they work exactly as advertised and I think worth the $8.00 if you're into making either of these blocks this way. I'll probably throw them back in my tools box, you never know, they work, so why not keep them?
That's it, can you believe it! I'm all done with all the tools in my box that I didn't know how to use. I think it's been fun and I learned a lot, mainly not to buy a tool unless I understand how it works or unless I have an immediate need for it. Those folks doing the demos at the quilt shows are going to be so surprised when I no longer buy their wares! I think the most valuable lesson here is that there are so many wonderful tools at our disposal, if you have trouble making a block, there's probably a tool to help you along, do a little research and give it a try. Don't be like me and avoid a block (triangle in square) just because it looks scary!
To celebrate the end of Tools Tuesday, and to thank you for following along and for the tips that you added to my posts to make for a better discussion, I'm having a giveaway. The winner can select any Open Gate ruler (my favorite of all rulers) or any ruler or template from the Fat Quarter Shop that is less than $25. If Open Gate Quilts or Fat Quarter Shop will mail to your address, you're eligible to enter.
To enter, please leave a comment (or send an email if you have trouble leaving a comment) telling us your favorite tool, ruler, or template, by end of day Thursday, October 4th. The winner will be announced on Friday.
And just so you know, my all time can't live without favorite ruler is the Fit to be Geese ruler.