In my last post, I wrote about how to cut shapes with 45 degree angles. Continuing the 45 degree theme, let's look at how to join these shapes side by side.
Bonus for me: In working out the best way to explain I've found better ways to do things. Yay!
What not to do
The first time I tried to join two parallelograms side by side was a complete failure. It turns out you can't just match the corners to the points and sew. Take a look at how that turns out.
|Lay out shapes|
|Match points to corners, sew 1/4" seam|
|End up with offset pieces|
What to do instead
What actually needs to line up are the spots on the sides of the shape where the seam allowance crosses the side. You'll end up with something that looks like this, with the pieces offset a little and the points sticking out past the sides.
The tricky part is figuring out exactly how much to offset the pieces. You can do this by marking or by trimming points.
Method 1: Mark the seam allowance.
Mark a 1/4" seam allowance on the wrong side of the top piece, then shift the top piece until the seam allowance meets the sides of the bottom piece.
Method 2: Trim the points with an acrylic corner trimming template
I use this corner trimming tool to trim the points on each piece to match the angles they need to meet on the other piece. Mine came as an insert in a magazine many years ago, but they are are not exclusive anymore. I know my local quilt shop, Quilting Connection sells them. Your favourite quilt shop might also, or may be able to order one for you.
To use it, you simply place the tool over the point, matching the edges of the tool with the sides of the fabric, them use your rotary cutter to trim away the point, using the template as a guide.
I did my best with the photos below, but it still looks like the acrylic template has rounded tips. It doesn't. It actually has two straight edges, and that's what you'll cut on your fabric as well.
|Line up template edges with sides of fabric|
|First cut along one edge of the template tip|
|Second cut along the second edge of the template tip|
|Match fabric edges|
If you trim 45 degree point on the purple piece as well, it will match the wide angle on the grey piece in the same way.
|Purple trimmed tip matching grey wide angle|
Here's a full front view of the two pieces lined up with corners and points matched.
|Pieces joined into a unit with straight, smooth sides|
|Paper point trimming template|