Easier with Tri-Recs

28 February 2015

I’m a bit of a ruler fanatic. Can’t help it – just love rulers wink

Thinking about my last “Right Angle, Left Angle” project, where I made a cardboard template to cut out the rectangles accurately, I suddenly realised I might have a ruler which could make it even easier.

  Sure enough, I did. It’s called the Tri-Recs tool (aka Peaky and Spike!).

The original three-triangle quilt units were nicknamed “Peaky and Spike” by quilter Doreen Speckmann, who used them a lot in her quilts.

The larger, central triangle is “Spike,” and the smaller, side triangle is “Peaky.”


To use this tool in my "Right Angle, Left Angle" project, cut fabric strips 6½” wide and use “Peaky” to cut the triangles, rotating the ruler as you move along the strip, so you have no waste.

If you cut with fabrics right sides or wrong sides together, you automatically get the left and right diagonals.


Trim exactly to the ruler and you'll find corners are easily aligned for sewing.

When sewn up, the rectangle sizing is perfect at 6½” x 3½” (6" x 3" finished).

How easy is that! Making a quilt with this block doesn't seem quite as daunting as it did before laugh


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triangle rulers angle Tri-Recs peaky spike

Right Angle, Left Angle

14 February 2015

I needed some new cushion covers for my lounge sofa, so thought I’d design a new block and make something a little different. I love to display different cushions – none of my cushions are the same design and it gives me a chance to try out new blocks and techniques on a small scale.

Here are the blocks I designed. I called them Right Angle and Left Angle but there may very well be a block like it already out there with a different name - I’d love to know.

Left Angle block
Left Angle
Right Angle block
Right Angle


I liked the idea that the square in the middle of the block could be “fussy cut”, embroidered or made special in some way. Needing an 18” square cushion cover, I designed the blocks to be 9” finished so I could work with a 2x2 arrangement.

Block layout for cushion


Cutting Instructions

Centre square can be fussy cut Cut the centre square 3½” x 3½”. (Finished size will be 3” x 3”)
Cut rectangles then cut on diagonal Cut rectangles 8” x 4” (oversized) then cut on the diagonal. After matching and sewing diagonals together, trim to 6½” x 3½”. (Finished size will be 6” x 3”)


When cutting the diagonals on the rectangles, make sure all the fabric is right side up. Depending on whether you want a right or left tilting square in the block, the direction of the diagonal is important.

Ask me how I know that !frown

Rectangle to be cut on diagonal Rectangle to be cut on reverse diagonal


Constructing the block

To help with cutting the sewn rectangles to size, I made a cardboard template:

 Cut a 6½” x 3½” rectangle and mark a ¼” seam line inside the edge, giving a 6” x 3” rectangle. Draw a diagonal line both ways across the 6” x 3” rectangle.

(Note that the diagonals don’t end at the corners of the cardboard. This is OK and how it should be.)

Card template for diagonals

Place the template on top of your sewn rectangles with the diagonal line on the cardboard aligning with your sewn diagonal. Mark the fabric at the corners of the cardboard and rotary cut to the correct measurements, using the marks for guidance.

Laying out the block before I sewed it together made it easier to see which seams needed to be joined first:

Block before sewing together

After joining the triangles together to make the rectangles and cutting them to size, the rectangles had to be sewn to the square in the middle. To do this, I had to partially sew one of the seams, sew 3 full seams then finally complete the partial seam . See below for the sewing diagram:

Sewing guide for the block

This is the first block:

Completed block

Here’s the reverse showing seams:

Reverse side of completed block

Here’s the completed top of the cushion cover:

Completed cushion top

The centre looked a little bland, so I improvised a bit with the turquoise diamond!

I really like this block and I think I'll play around designing some quilts with it later this week. smiley

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cushion fussy cut angle

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