Quiltmaking Basics: What’s Your Angle?

Do you ever feel intimidated by the many angle markings that appear on our cutting mats and rulers?

30-45-60! What's my angle?

30-45-60! What’s my angle?

I truly do enjoy each step along the path to making a quilt–even cutting! I can’t say the same for dressmaking. I believe I would have paid big bucks for someone else to do all that cutting. I was always anxious to get on with sewing.

Along with lines marking inches and their fractions, many of the mats and rulers that we use for quick cutting are marked with angles, such as those for 30˚, 45˚ and 60˚. Sometimes I find myself turning a ruler round-and-round until I get it positioned correctly onto my fabric. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.

Strippy Spools blocks from Craftsy 2013 BOM class.

Strippy Spools blocks from Craftsy 2013 BOM class.

My Craftsy Block of the Month for May is called Strippy Spools. I named it that because I chose to strip fabrics together in pairs, and some of the fabric combinations create a block that resembles a spool. This block uses a 45˚-angle cut. Sure, I could have purchased a ruler specifically designed for cutting right-angle triangles, but I am just stubborn enough to work with the rulers I already own. Besides, they include the necessary marking…right?

The photos below show you a few ways to use the lines on either your cutting mat or your ruler (or both) to determine and cut the angles you need. The examples demonstrate cutting a 45˚ angle. I hope you’ll give this a try. As the placement of ruler markings can vary from brand to brand, be patient in finding what works for you. There always seems to be a way to make it work.

This works if your board has a 45˚ angle marking. Make a cut along the right-hand edge of the ruler.

This works if your board has a 45˚ angle marking. Make a cut along the right-hand edge of the ruler.

Place the 45˚ angle marking on the bottom edge of the fabric. (right-hand cutting)

Place the 45˚ angle marking on the bottom edge of the fabric. (right-hand cutting)

45˚ angle marking on bottom edge for left-hand cutting.

45˚ angle marking on bottom edge for left-hand cutting.

A simple notes helps me with the correct placement and eliminates frustration.

A simple notes helps me with the correct placement and eliminates frustration.

If you’re interested in making the Strippy Spools block, be sure to check out my free lesson on Craftsy . You can access this lesson, as well as the previous lessons, at any time. They are yours to enjoy forever.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to post comments and express interest in my new line of rulers. Richard was so impressed with the response that he has offered to add another four rulers to our giveaway. The winner of the two rulers plus Grrip-it is Susan Dietrich. Four additional rulers will be sent to: Anna K, Sobana Sundar, Bev Aguilar and Jennifer Willard. Thank you all for participating and to Richard Quint for his generous donation.

Happy Cutting Everyone!

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2 Responses to Quiltmaking Basics: What’s Your Angle?

  1. Thank you Laura and Richard for the generous giveaway.

  2. elaine says:

    it’s nice to see all the different ways to cut angles. some times one way will work and other times it’s easier to use the other method. depends on how our mind is functioning at the time! thanks for putting the information in one spot.

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