When I started my Dear Jane quilt, I decided that I wouldn’t leave the triangles till last, so each week I made the Triangle of the Week (which comes out in the Dear Jane mailing list or can be found here) and then once I was more confident I made two or three a week.
I also printed off the tips on the Dear Jane website, Tilde who wrote the triangle tips list has written some directions for all of the triangles, I found them to be very, very useful. The other place that I found useful is the That Quilt blog which has many photos and written instructions for nearly all the triangles and blocks.
I foundation paper pieced the majority of my triangles, I even foundation pieced some of the diamonds just to avoid having to applique them, as applique is not my favourite technique.
I usually started my triangle by having a good look at the block diagram and picture, and then tried to work out how I would do it first, then I looked at Tilde’s triangle tips to see if I was on the right track. As well as numbering each piece, (number the diagram exactly the same as your pattern pieces, so that you have something to refer to when you start putting it together), I even coloured in some of the triangles to work out the order in which I would construct them. Once I have decided how I’m going to construct the triangle I print off the block, or templates or foundation paper pattern and start.
If I’m foundation piecing, I like to have all my fabric cut to the approximate size that I will be needing, I found the following sizes to be the most useful;
- squares (2”, 3” and 3 1/2”),
- triangles (or rough triangle shapes)
- 1 1/4” and 1 1/2 '” strips and 2” strips
As per the triangle tips I have the foundation paper pattern all cut and laid out in order from the top to bottom, then I sew each section and put it back in position, (it makes it less confusing and you can see where you are up to) before finally sewing the triangle together.
It is also helpful to extend the sides of the triangle (so you have larger pieces of fabric) and then trim back once the triangle is completed. Some triangles may need a mixture of hand piecing, applique and foundation piecing, but it really depends on what you prefer.
I agree with Tilde, the triangles are not too horrible to do, some of the blocks are much more difficult, it is just a matter of taking your time and thinking it through.