The Tri Recs triangle ruler combo is a quilting ruler made especially for piecing triangle in a square quilt blocks. (aka 'Peaky and Spike' blocks, a term coined by Doreen Speckman.)
It comes as a set of 2 rulers. One for the center triangle angle—the 'Tri'; one for the side triangles—the 'Recs'.
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.
Some of the blocks that use the Tri Recs 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
Eight Pointed Star
Notice that they are all stars and that, with the exception of Star Puzzle, they are all drawn on a 3x3 grid. (Triangle Puzzle is a 5x5 grid.)
...click here to go to our Triangle in a Square Technique #1 page. There you'll find paper piecing instructions, cutting charts, and the free paper piecing patterns to download.
Cut a strip the size of your unfinished block from each of two contrasting fabrics. Our strips are 3-1/2" wide.
To cut the Center patch, start 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.
To cut the other side, flip the 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.
In this example, I'm cutting 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 cutting two at a time.
Now lay out the strip for the side triangles, Side and Side.R.
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. Then, you will automatically get the two patches you require.
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 Recs ruler at the top.
Trim along this edge, too. You'll use it for aligning patches for stitching. Think of it as your 'secret weapon' for the easy piecing of this patchwork design.
These are the patches created with your Tri Recs triangle ruler.
With right sides together, layer the center triangle patch with one of the skinny triangles.
Remember that little cut you made with your Tri Recs in the last step?
Align it with the top of the center triangle—it's flat, too! The angle of the skinny triangle matches the bottom edge of the center. This whole edge should match up perfectly.
Sew this line with a 1/4" seam allowance.
See how your stitching goes right through the point of the short edge.
With the skinny triangle on top, press the unit flat to set the seam.
Now pull back the skinny triangle and press the seam towards it.
Align the edges of the remaining skinny triangle with the other edge of the center triangle, just like we did in Step 3.
Stitch with a 1/4" seam. Your stitching line will again bisect the point of the short edge.
Press again, first flat to set the seam and then open with the seam allowance towards the side.
Now trim the dog ears with a scissor. Measure to confirm that unit it the right size.
Take a look at the bottom corners in the photo above.
Note that the seams do not intersect the corner. This is correct.
Now look at the seams a quarter inch in from the left or right edge at the bottom. The seam line goes straight through this point, exactly as it should!
And all done simply with your Tri Recs ruler.
Your Triangle in a Square or 'Peaky and Spike' unit made with the Tri Recs Triangle ruler is ready for your block or quilt.
If you're still undecided about whether or not this ruler is perfect for the way you quilt, check out the reviews for it on Amazon.com.