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Those pesky stripes!

techniques and tips Mar 01, 2016

Hi all

This week I have been dealing a lot with striped fabrics. I thought I would write a post about cutting stripes when you have to deal with triangles.

Often people shy away from striped fabrics, apart from using them in borders and bindings (which they are great for). One of the reasons is that they behave very oddly when you are cutting them into triangles.

Take a half square triangle, for example. The way the stripes go will depend on how you place your ruler.

If you put your ruler like this, you will get stripes leaning to the right (I call them 'righties')

  Cutting HSTs
Cutting HSTs 2

However, put your fabric the other way under your ruler and this is what you will get - 'lefties'

Lefties Lefties1

Making quarter square triangles is even more confusing! If you cut a square and then cross cut into four, here is what you will end up with

QST Template 5 QST Template 6 QST Template 7

Hm - two of the triangles have the stripes going horizontally, and two are vertical. How can we get around that without wasting fabric?

Make a Template

If you cut a template to the size of your triangles, you can cut all of them with the stripes going the way you want.

Here's a 7 1/4" quarter square template I cut:

QST Template 1 QST Template 2 QST Template 3

Using this template, you can now cut strips of your fabric so that you can orientate the stripes the way you want them. For my 7 1/4" QST's, I have cut a 4" strip.

QST Template 4  QST Template 7

Now all of my triangles have the stripes going vertically, and they will look really smart in my block!

I hope you are now feeling less afraid of stripes!



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