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Learn How to Cut Patchwork Shapes for Quilts

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How to Rotary Cut Long Triangles for a Quilt
How to Rotary Cut Patchwork Shapes

Cutting long triangles from rectangles. Arrows indicate the fabric's straight grain.

© Janet Wickell

Scalene triangles have three unequal sides. The scalene triangle we use most often in quilting is the right scalene triangle -- commonly called a long triangle.

Cutting Long Triangles from Rectangles

A true rectangle is twice as wide as it is tall.

  1. Cut a strip of fabric 11/16" wider than the finished length of the long triangle's shortest side. Estimate as best you can if your rotary ruler isn't marked in 16th inch increments--it's better to cut a little wider than to cut a little smaller.
  2. Cut a rectangle from the strip that's 5/16" longer than the finished length of the long triangle.
  3. Cut the rectangle once diagonally to produce two triangles with the straight grain parallel to their straight edges.
  4. To make long triangles that are mirror images of the first pair, cut another rectangle diagonally, but this time cut along the opposite corners. See the illustration above.

Cut Long Triangles from Bars

  1. Draw a finished size long triangle on graph paper and add a 1/4" seam allowance to each side. Measure.
  2. Cut parent strips to match the measured height. Cut bars from the strip to match the measured length.
  3. Divide bars diagonally.
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