So this is my very 1st quilt! I made it about 10 years ago. It is funny to look at it now, because I never would pair these fabrics together today, but I love the look of them. I literally just grabbed fabrics and threw them together in about ten minutes. Jeanette taught me to quilt, and the very first lesson I learned was how to use Thangles. Once I knew how they worked, I whipped up quilt after quilt, without needing another lesson for a while. Once you can use Thangles there are a lot of quilt patterns that seem easy to you. Jeanette used Thangles in the Perfect Pinwheels quilt shown on the blog a few weeks ago. So I am going to give you a quick how-to Demo on using Thangles, and I am sure you will love them as much as I do.
Thangles are used to make half square triangles which can be used in quilt patterns a number of different ways. I am going to show you how to make them into a Pinwheel. When you make a half square triangle without Thangles, they seem to never turn out perfect, no matter how careful you are. The reason is because you are working on bias, and bias stretches, so you usually get a finished product that is stretched out of whack. Thangles are a a paper that is attached to your work until you are all done with the block, the paper prevents your fabric from stretching! Also you don’t have to do any math with Thangles ( no more dealing in 7/8th’s) it is done for you. Just purchase the Thangle that is marked the size that you would like your finished block to be. So if you need a 3.5″ block that is 3″ finished in the quilt, you use a 3″ Thangle. Simple! I am making pinwheels that need to be 6″ finished so I am using the 3″ Thangles in this demo. So Lets Go!
You will need your 2 different fabrics that make up your half square triangle.
1. Cut a strip of fabric in both colors that is as long and as wide as the Thangle. I always cut mine about 1/8″ larger on both sides of the Thangle, but you can cut it the exact size, either way is fine. I am a fast messy quilter and having that extra fabric allows me to be a little less careful, and I just cut if off later.
#2 Line your 2 strips up, right sides together and place your Thangle sheet on top. Place one pin across each set of lines.
#3 Now take it to the machine and sew directly across all of the dotted lines.
#5 you will have little triangles that look just like the photo above. Each size Thangle has a different amount per sheet, so you may have more than four. Do not take the paper off yet!
#6 Press your square open with the fabric attached. Now you can tear the paper off the back, as shown below.
#7 Yay! You now have a finished Thangle. This is all I used to make my first quilt shown above! But I am needing pinwheels for my current project, so just a few more steps and we have a perfect pinwheel!
#8 You will need 4 Thangles to make 1 Pinwheel. Sew 2 pairs together (1/4″ seams of course) in the format shown below. Make sure to press both open towards the light fabric. This way your seams will butt for a perfect center to the block when all you put your 2 pairs together.
#9 Now sew your 2 pairs together as shown below. Make sure your seams butt up to one another and feel like they fit perfectly. Press Open. You now have an absolutely perfect pinwheel that was made with ease! If you have someone in your life that want to learn quilting, just teach them how to use some Thangles! They are especially fun for younger ones wanting to get in on the action.