When using the Tri-Recs Tool you will work primarily with strips – 1.5” to 6.5” wide by width of fabric (WOF). As seen in yesterday tutorial of my Scrappy Trees block – you can easily use this tool with scraps as well.
The Tri-Recs Tool comes with 2 acrylic triangles and 2 pamphlets full of instructions and block diagrams. The thing I love best about the tool is that it has notches in multiple spots for easy alignment of your fabrics.
When used correctly you will have 2 separate notches in your “rectangle” pieces.
It is these notches that allow for perfect alignment every time – which in turn helps to avoid unnecessary and tiresome trimming of your blocks.
I started out with 2 strips of Imperial Pheasant measuring 3.5” by WOF and I started cutting and sewing, absolutely no plan in mind. I simply wanted to work with the ruler and see what it could do. I then proceeded to create a block that I had a hard time looking at without going cross-eyed (it would be better with different fabric placement choices!), but in creating it I realized that I didn’t trim a single piece and my block measure exactly 12.5”x12.5”! Now I ask you, how often does that ACTUALLY happen?!?
As you can see I incorporated both tools creating triangles in squares and rectangles in the block. The fact that I didn’t have to trim just astounds me.
Next up, I wanted to create something that I dearly loved. Again, I had no real plan, but knew that whatever I made needed to be wall hanging size (Imperial Pheasant reminds me of my mom – especially these colors and Mother’s Day is coming…).
This time I cut 1 strip of the blue – 5.5” by WOF, 1 strip of cream 5.5” by WOF and I still had my 3.5” strips of blue and purple from the first block. I also cut 1 purple 5.5” square. I created this:
Using the 60⁰ Triangle Tool on the blue – I cut four 5.5” triangles. Using the Rectangle Tool and the cream, I cut 4 sets of 5.5” rectangle sections (8 total). I sewed those together and then pieced my block.
To make the borders I used the 60⁰ Triangle Tool only and cut alternating blue and purple 3.5” triangles. I pieced those together and added the borders. The border corners were 3.5” squares of the cream.
For more inspiration, my friend Michele from Quilting Gallery has made a gorgeous quilt using the Tri-Recs Tool. You can see her progress pictures here and you can see her finished quilt here. The versatility of the Tri-Recs Tool is beautifully demonstrated in Michele’s Quilt.
Things I like about the Tri-Recs Tool:
- The notches make it exceptionally easy to sew your sections accurately – when sewing with a consistent ¼” seam, no trimming is required. There is ZERO guess work!
- There is virtually no learning curve. The two pamphlets and the included diagrams are easy to use and follow – one quick perusal and I was off and creating.
- You can create finished blocks measuring 6.5” square. Guiding star before borders was 15.5” square – lots of flexibility with size.
- This is a great ruler to make borders with – I have never done a triangle or rectangle border now (would never have considered it – too hard!) – now I think they will become a more regular design feature in my quilting projects.
Area’s For Improvement:
- I really don’t have any…believe it or not. For both projects I created, I didn’t have any plan, I just started cutting and sewing and the projects went together beautifully, seamlessly and QUICKLY.
If you are ready to conquer triangles and create some wonderful border details then it is time to purchase the Tri-Recs Tool. I didn’t realize just how much I needed this ruler until I had it! I know I will be using it often in future projects.