Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Thing About Thangles

I was recently working on the latest BOMs for the Block of the Month over at Three Creative Studios and I pulled out my new package of Thangles to try out.

Here are some of the half-square triangles I made.

I will admit that I like Thangles and I don't like Thangles. Here's why! I like how easily you can chain piece with them. There is less fabric waste. It's quick to cut the pieces apart, and there is only paper to remove from half the block.

I found, though, that if I followed the directions and cut my fabric strips exactly the width of the paper strips, I had trouble keeping everything straight and aligned, therefore, resulting in some not-so-perfect half-square triangles. When I discovered I was having this problem, I then decided to try cutting my fabric strips slightly wider than the paper strip, oh about 1/8" to 1/4" wider. You can see my fabric is wider than the paper strip in the following photo.

I found that by using the wider fabric strip, I did have more trimming to do, but I did have better half-square triangles in the end. So all in all, I would give Thangles a thumbs-up rating, but I still plan to use the paper-piecing method I had used before, for certain projects, because I think it will work better for when I'm using up scraps of fabric.

Here are the newest blocks that are available for you to make. The first two are Block 7 in both of the color ways I'm creating.

And these next two are from a bonus block that Vicki created. She made a variation of Block 6 to create Block 6A.

You will find the block patterns here. And be sure to check out the Free Projects page, as we added some new things just today.


  1. Terri, I love these blocks and the yellow next to the black combined with those other colors is amazing!

    I took your advice and bought that 20" square ruler and I love it!
    I have used it several times already.
    Thank you for telling me I needed it and deserved it!

  2. I found the same issue with my HSTs ending up slightly small. That's when I learned the trick with Thangles is to sew ever so slightly to the inside of the dotted line (into the seam allowance). Perhaps this will work for you too and save you some trimming.

  3. I was using Thangles for a little while until I started the Star Crazy BOM from Sue Garman at The Quilt Show. Her technique to do HSTs is way faster than Thangles; in fact, when I need them for other projects in 1.5 or 2.5 inches, I run off some of her templates and use those.

    One thing that's better is that you don't use strips, you use bigger squares of fabric and cut a bunch at a time.

    Either method you use tho, the best thing to do is keep the paper on until after you've pressed them and trimmed the ears. That keeps it all squared up until the very last minute.


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