Triangles in a Square are a dramatic unit with sharp angles and high contrast. They can be used for patchwork stars or even more striking shapes. Made with 60 or near 60 degree angles, it is most common to use a specialty ruler to make these “tri-recs” units, but there are a couple other methods to consider as well.
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I first fell in love with tri-recs units while piecing Bonnie Hunter’s En Provence. They are just so striking! They have a reputation, as triangle based units often have, of being fiddly. With tri-recs, though, it’s not an entirely unfounded reputation. They have to be precise or points get lost, edges uneven and general stretching happens easily. Thus, let’s look at a few ways you can make tri-recs and how to be most successful.
Without Specialty Rulers
I’m going to be straight up: I don’t recommend this as a go-to method. This is a good method if you need really big tri-recs or if you’re making some quilt that only needs a few but you don’t have the specialty ruler. But it wastes fabric and is a pain in the butt. Still, if you want to give it a go, I have a whole tutorial for you here.
With Specialty Rulers
This is the most common way to make triangle in a square blocks. You by a set of two rulers: 1 “tri” ruler that is nearly an equilateral triangle (but not quite!) and one “recs” ruler that is a right triangle. You cut your pieces out of strips of fabric the desired unfinished height of your block. Be sure to cut your “recs” two at a time with right sides together so they will be mirror images of each other!
With the AccuQuilt Go!
If you have a go-to tri-recs size, or just use this block allll the time, then investing in some special triangle in a square dies will be 100% worth it. To make these units with the AccuQuilt Triangle in a Square die, you’ll actually place two fabrics on the die, cutting both your tri units and your recs units at the same time— and without any funky ruler and rotary cutter angles like with the specialty ruler method. The other thing I loooove about using my AccuQuilt is how precise the cutting turns out. No little wobbles or missed bits here, just crisp, ready to sew tri-recs.