MP Mystery QAL – Week 9 – the EZ Angle Method

Happy Friday friends!  Week 10’s Moonlit Paths clue is on its way, but first I wanted to provide a little bit of extra help with last week’s clue, since it seems like a few people have been struggling with putting the block together … and you’ll need it for this week!

First of all – this isn’t a sales pitch.  I am quite the minimalist when it comes to gadgets and notions.  None of my patterns require specialty rulers of any kind, and I use very few in my own studio.

EZ Quilting’s EZ Angle ruler, however, is one specialty item that has been in my studio almost as long as I’ve been quilting, and I use it on almost every single one of my quilts.

You can read more about my serious love for this ruler and the math behind it here in this blog post from last year’s mystery qal, but here’s the cliff notes version:

  • When you’re making a block like a half-square-triangle unit, the traditional method has you start with a square (cut in half diagonally)  that is larger than the finished size of the unit you’ll need by 7/8″
    • (1/4″ side seams times two, plus a diagonal 3/8″ seam = 7/8″ )
  • If you were to mark you seam lines out on the triangle, as pictured below, you can see that you’ll have this weird little 3/8″ triangle at the top that you’ll end up clipping off as a dog ear.
  • This cut-off 3/8″ triangle (that you’ll just end up cutting off anyways) is built right into the EZ angle ruler, which does two things:
    • It makes it really, super easy to line up these blocks with their mates … I’ll show you how it works with last week’s block in a minute.
    • You can use this ruler with anyone’s patterns … you just have to adjust your math a little bit … but it even makes cutting your strip sets even easier, because you can eliminate all those 1/8″ measurements.
      • Take our V triangles we used in week 9 of our Moonlit Paths QAL, for instance.  We need 2″ finished triangles for the pattern, so we cut 2+7/8″ squares and cut them in half diagonally.  With the EZ Angle ruler, the spacing for that 3/8″ diagonal triangle tip is built in  (see the little black triangle on the ruler below?).  So 2+7/8 minus 3/8″ equals 2.5″.  Much easier!!  So we can cut 2.5″ strips instead, and use the EZ Angle to cut our triangles.
      • For any pattern, you just take the size of your square that will be halved, subtract 3/8″, and cut double the number of triangles using the ruler.

         

  • One more big hint: when using this ruler, always cut from a strip set folded in half (either right sides together or wrong sides together), and cut your triangles two at a time so that you have triangles that are essentially mirror images of each other.  In essence, if you put the lopped off corner at the top, you’d have a left facing and right face triangle

So, where does all this fit in with last week’s block?  Well, you can use those little lopped off tips  to help you line up the triangles.  The first triangle is lined up so the lopped tip is exactly lined up with the left and right sides of the block.

When you go to add the send side side, the lopped edge lines up with the top of the first triangle, as shown in the middle picture below.   When you press the second triangle up, you’re left with a seam allowance that is pretty darn perfect!

So if you have the ruler, but you didn’t use it to cut your pieces, you can still use the ruler to go back and trim off your little corners.  Yes, it is pain to go back and do it, but it makes the blocks a million times easier to put together.

If you’re interested in the ruler, we do have several in stock, and can very easily order more.


Hope that helps with last week’s block!  This week’s clue is on its way!