After working with Jennifer on her challenges with the beautiful tree skirt she featured in a recent post, I discussed the issues of angles with my measuring guru, Richard Quint of Quint Measuring Systems. I learned that he has easy-to- use tools called the True Angle® and Wedge-It! which take all the math and guesswork out of marking and cutting any angle, “truly!” Using them is as easy as dialing a number and securing a wingnut.
Have you ever wanted to draw a large circle–one that is larger than a dinner plate or large bowl? Well, I have tried many times using a push pin, piece of string, and pencil. The result is a usually a bit disappointing as the circle never seems as accurate as I would like. Dividing the circle into equal slices or wedges can be even more challenging. In Jennifer’s case, she wanted to feature a pieced block within each wedge, and accuracy was important for all the pieces to fit together perfectly.
A circle can be divided into as many wedges as you like. The only thing you need to remember from your days of geometry is that a circle is 360°. With that number in mind, you simply decide on the number of wedges/slices you want within your circle.
Note: while I was traveling this past week, I saw this great design hanging above a storefront. I immediately thought how perfect it would be for my tutorial. Although it is not a complete circle, it works well. Note that there are 12 wedges in the design. To determine the angle of each wedge, simply divide 360º degrees by 12 and the answer is 30º. EASY!
If you want to mark a full-size pattern then you will need paper large enough for the entire design. Another option would be to have the pattern enlarged after it is drafted.
Please note that I have marked over my original pencil lines with a wide-line pen for visibility’s sake and the resulting lines are a bit wobbly. The measuring tools + a sharp pencil will yield thin and perfectly curved lines.
- Mark a centerpoint of the circle with a crossbar, as shown.
2. Decide the length of the radius of your circle. Starting at the centerpoint, use the True Angle tool to mark a line this measurement. My circle has an 11″ radius.
3. Insert your pencil into the crossbar that comes with the tool to mark the circle.
4. Next, dial the True Angle to 30º and secure the wingnut. Also, attach the Wedge-It! to the bottom edge of the tool to lock in the angle.
5. Now that the angle is set, use the edges of the True Angle to mark the outlines of the wedges from the circle’s center point.
6. Travel around the circle to mark the remaining lines of the wedges.
7. Now the design fun can begin. Your choice: cut fabric wedges or subdivide each wedge into smaller shapes, as shown. The possibilities are endless.
8. The added bonus of these tools is that they are also perfect for cutting the fabric shapes. Note that the Wedge-It! provides a lip at the bottom edge to secure it to the cutting mat and prevent slipping.
These tools provide many useful applications for designers, sewers, and quilters. Many of the difficult-to-piece angles can easily be paper pieced. All you need to do is mark all of your shapes and then photo copy them to make your paper patterns.
To read more about these tools, visit the Quint Measuring System’s website. They are available at quilt and sewing stores, but if you shop online visit Compound Miter and click the Quilting Rulers and Templates icon for the product line. (Your significant other might do some equal opportunity shopping at the website as well.) Note: the True Angle comes in a variety of lengths up to 96″ long, perfect for larger project.
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts on my wedding quilt dilemma. You’ve given me so much wonderful advice and so many helpful ideas. To answer a few questions: the girls will not be having a double wedding and neither of them quilt. I believe I will be asking my girls for suggestions on color and design. I will definitely keep you posted as I begin working on the quilts, and I will be sending some of my favorite appliqué supplies to giveaway winner, Sharon Kisel.
Hope you are all enjoying the end of summer. Until next time, happy creating everyone!