Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tools Tuesday - Tri-Mate

Are you up for another Tools Tuesday?  This week I'm blogging about the Tri-Mate by Joy Hoffman for EZ Quilting.

This tool is for cutting triangles that are four times as long as they are tall!  When I first read online the purpose of this tool I thought, "good grief, what would I do with a long skinny triangle".  So I asked around and found out there are several things you can do with a long skinny triangle. (Thanks Sinta & Carrie)

You can make these these blocks

or make a jazzed up sashing or border.   This tool works with the Tri-Recs ruler, which is why it is called the Tri-Mate.

I thought I would try adding a border to a simple star block.

Technically you're supposed to cut a strip 1/2" wider than the finished height of the desired triangle.  For example, a triangle with a 2" finished height is cut using a 2 1/2" strip.  Since I was just using scraps I didn't bother cutting strips.

Quick and Easy!

Slide the ruler down to the bottom edge of the strip to trim the corners to make alignment simple when joining the triangles.

So here's a simple 6 1/2 " star block, 

that I turned into a 9 1/2" star block with a fancy border.

The next time I'm wanting to make a block larger, instead of adding simple square sashing, I think I may give this a try.

I'm keeping this tool and I think I'll use it!  My only complaint is the poor job the EZ Quilting website does in providing examples of what you can do with this tool, it does however provide good directions on how to use the tool, for free.  (an improvement over the Starmaker 8 website)

If you have an experience using this tool, good or bad, be sure to share it with us!  Thanks so much!

My friend Sandy at Textile House has caught the Tools Tuesday bug and blogged about an interesting ruler she uses regularly, be sure to check it out!


  1. Going to put that one on my list of gotta get it. I have all the others to go with it already.

  2. Ok, now that makes sense. You can use it to make a block bigger. When I first saw it, my reaction was "meh". Still don't know if I will be buying one. Maybe I can just borrow yours?

  3. Look good Thelma!! Loving the change that cut gives the star block!!

  4. You should be a spokesperson for Tri-Mate--you've sold me seeing the unique way it can change a simple block. Can't wait to buy one. XOXO

  5. Oh, I like the jazzed up sashing around the star block that you did the best! What a difference it makes to the block.

  6. When I saw the ruler, I wondered what on earth you would make with it...but I love what you did! It would turn regular blocks into a cool design....now I see lots of potential!

  7. Well, you've sold me!

  8. I really look forward to your tools on Tuesdays. Thanks for a thorough and honest evaluation of each product. I have this one and love it.

  9. Interesting ruler. I have seen some different rulers lately and glad to see how to use them.

  10. Hi Thelma, coming a little late to the discussion having "seen you" at BOM Rehab! I have this ruler too! I bought it because it is meant to be a companion ruler to the popular Tri-Recs Set (what Doreen Speckmann used to call the "Peaky & Spike" units).

    It IS an odd shape that you don't see used often. It came in handy for me when I re-sized the "Montana" block in Eleanor Burns "Pioneer Sampler" -- it was the triangle around the center nine-patch. I also made note of Beth Ferrier's "Stasher's Delight" pattern (http://applewd.com/patterns/page15.html). I don't know how she makes hers but I think the block could be made with this ruler, the narrow Tri-Recs side triangle and a large center and small corner squares.

    I haven't tried using it this way yet but I'm hoping that placed on the fold it could make the wide diamond on the sides of "Storm At Sea" blocks, a future project for me. For now this one stays in my ruler stash!


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