Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy thru them, I receive a small commission—at no extra cost to you. This helps me provide all the free information on this site. To learn more, read my full Disclosure Policy.

Tri Recs Triangle Rulers
for making
Triangle in a Square Quilt Blocks

Technique #2 - Specialty Ruler

Learn to make a triangle in a square unit with the Tri Recs Ruler

The Tri Recs triangle ruler combo is a quilting ruler made especially for piecing triangle in a square quilt blocks. (aka 'Spikey and Peak' blocks, a term coined by Doreen Speckman.)

It comes as a set of 2 rulers. One for the center triangle angle; one for the side triangles.

Use just the 'Rec' portion of the ruler to make 'half rectangles' that are twice as tall as they are wide.

Use just the 'Tri' portion of the ruler to make quilts of nothing but triangles.

Pros:

  • No formulas to remember, just finished/unfinished block sizes
  • Very little fabric waste
  • Scrap quilt friendly
  • No paper to remove
  • A handy little 'magic angle' that helps makes matching up the patches for stitching easy as pie!
  • Patches are cut from the same width strips that you use for squares and rectangles—no funky widths to cut

Cons:

  • Unless you do a lot of these units, it's another two rulers to store and money to spend
  • Must have an accurate 1/4" seam

Some of the blocks that contain these units are below. If the names are in blue and underlined, that means we have the instructions to make the block on this website. Click the underlined name to get them.


Straight and Narrows


Spring Fancy


54-40 or Fight


Triangle Puzzle

Eight Pointed Star

Carnival

Notice that they are all star blocks and that, with the exception of Star Puzzle, they are all drawn on a 3x3 grid. (Star Puzzle is a 5x5 grid.)



If you only have a few to make, you may prefer paper piecing...

...click here to go to our Triangle in a Square Technique #1 page.



The Tri-Recs Triangle Ruler Set


With this set you can make triangle-in-a-square blocks from 1" to 6" finished.

And yes. Instructions are included with the rulers.

If you don't have the Tri Recs triangle ruler combo and would like to purchase a set, just click on the image to the right.

Now let's get started with our Triangle in a Square unit.




The Technique

Set up your sewing machine for a good quarter inch seam. If you haven't done it in awhile, take the Sewing Test to check your seam allowance.

The sides of both the 'Tri' and the 'Recs' triangles are bias edges. To tame and minimize the stretch I do use starch in my piecing. Click here to learn more about starching your fabric. Just remember that you will want to wash your quilt when it is finished to remove the starch.

This example is based on a 3" finished (3-1/2" unfinished) quilt block.

Step 1:

Cut a strip the size of your unfinished block from each of two contrasting fabrics. Our strips are cut 3-1/2" wide.


Cut two strips

These strips were cut from fat quarters and are approximately 21" long

Step 2:

Starting with the 'Tri' ruler of the Tri Recs triangle ruler combo, align the 3-1/2"  line (the unfinished size of the block) with the bottom edge of the strip, the top of the ruler with the top edge of the strip. Cut along one side.


Align the ruler lines


To cut the other side, flip the cut patch—if you're using a small mat or a rotary mat (my personal favorite) you can just turn the mat and not disturb the patches which is what I did here (that's why my ruler looks upside down in the photo below).

Make sure the edges of the ruler are even with the cut edges of the patch and cut along the second side.

For this example, I've cut with one layer of fabric, right side up. If you were making multiple triangle in a square quilt blocks, you'd fold your strip in half either right or wrong sides together to cut two at a time.


Line up the ruler edges with the fabric edges


Step 3:

Now lay out the strip for the side triangles.

You need both a left and a right fabric patch. To accomplish this with one cut, fold your strip so the EITHER right sides are together or wrong sides are together. You will automatically get the two patches you need.

Align the 3-1/2" line on the Tri Recs triangle ruler (the unfinished size of the block) with the bottom of the strip, the top of the ruler with the top of the strip and cut along the ruler.

Finally, there is a little angle at the skinny side of the Rec ruler. Cut along this edge, too. You'll use it for aligning patches for stitching. It's kind of like your 'secret weapon' for the easy piecing of this block.


Cut with the Rec ruler


These are the patches you have cut with your Tri Recs triangle ruler.


The cut shapes for the center and side triangles


Step 4:

With right sides together, layer the center triangle patch with one of the side patches.

Remember that little cut you made in the last step. Align it with the top of the center triangle—it's flat, too! The angle of the side triangle matches the bottom edge of the center. This whole side should match up perfectly.


Match the edges of the two triangle shapes


Step 5:

Sew this line with a 1/4" seam allowance.


Sew with a good 1/4

I always start my quilting on an anchor cloth to prevent my machine from eating that first edge. I also think my first stitches are better.

See how your stitching goes right through the point of the short edge.


The stitching line goes right through the point of the short edge


Step 6:

With the side triangle on top, press the unit flat to set the seam.


Press flat to set the seam


Now pull back the side triangle and press the seam towards that side triangle.

Step 7:

Align the edges of the remaining side triangle with the other side of the center triangle, just like we did in Step 3.


Match the edges of the second side triangle to the center triangle


Step 8:

Stitch with a 1/4" seam. Your stitching line will again bisect the point of the short edge.

Step 9:

Press again, first flat to set the seam and then open with the seam allowance towards the side.

Step 10:

Now trim the dog ears with a scissor. Measure to confirm that unit it the right size.


Measure the finished unit


Take a look at the bottom corners in the photo above. Note that the seam line does not intersect the corner. This is correct. Now look at the points a quarter inch in from the left or right edge and the bottom. The seam line goes straight through this point, exactly as it should!


The finished triangle in a square


Your triangle in a square or 'Spikey and Peak' unit made with the Tri Recs Triangle ruler is ready for your block or quilt.




Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library



Return to the top of Tri Recs Triangle Rulers

Go the the Generations Quilt Patterns Home Page

Click here to go to the Home Page

Share Your Comments, Tips and Ideas


Search This Site




Quilt patterns,
books and kits
to tempt you!

Click any of the images or links below for more info...

Fold-N-Stitch Wreath pattern
Fold-N-Stitch Wreath
by Poorhouse Quilt Design


Farm Girl Vintage
by Lori Holt


Gypsy Wife
by Jen Kingwell






Craftsy


Enhance your
Fabric Resource Center
aka 'Stash'

Click on the images to go to Amazon.com for more choices.


Click here for MORE
Kaffe fabrics



Click here for MORE
Batik fabrics



Subscribe...

...to STASH Talk,
our free newsletter.
Simply complete
the form below...

E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry...
Your e-mail address is
totally secure.

I promise to use it
only to send you
Stash Talk.