Half Hexagon and Triangle Templates

Adapting Rulers For Trapezoid And Triangle Templates

If a pattern comes with printable isosceles trapezoid / triangle templates that have trimmed corners, you might wonder if it’s possible to cut them using a ruler…as we all know that cutting with rulers is faster,
more accurate & efficient. The answer is YES, there are a few options to use different cutting rulers instead of paper templates or combine rulers & template. I will be using 60° templates in my examples below, but the same concept can be used for any other angles.

Special Rulers With Trimmed Corner(s)

There are many special rulers with trimmed corner(s) on the market. I happened to purchase this Hex N More Ruler by Jaybird Quilts (affiliate link) & I absolutely love it! Unlike other 60° triangle rulers (which you can also use), this ruler has an additional half hexagon attachment on the opposite side of triangle for cutting trapezoids. It helps to maintain the bottom corners of trapezoids trimmed and you do not need to rotate the ruler when cutting. To find the correct marks on the ruler, simply use your paper template by placing it under the ruler. You can also tape the template to the back side of the ruler so you can see the marks more clearly.

If you have a triangle ruler with trimmed corner(s), use your paper template (triangle or trapezoid) to find the correct horizontal marks on the ruler or tape it to the back of the ruler to see the marks more clearly.

When cutting, line up the top & bottom marks on the ruler with your pre-cut fabric strips & cut along the side edge. You will need to rotate the ruler 180° after every cut in order to cut the next shape.

After cutting, you will have 1 trimmed corner on the top of the triangles and 2 sharp corners on the bottom of the triangles & trapezoids (dog ears). You can keep them as is & trim the dog ears after piecing, or go ahead and trim them now using the edge of the trimmed corner on your special ruler (that’s what I prefer to do).


Special Rulers With Pointy Corners

What if your special ruler does not have a trimmed corner or horizontal marks? That’s not a problem, you can still use it. Just like in the previous example, tape your paper template on the back of the ruler to indicate the top & bottom edges, then cut along the side edges.

IMPORTANT: Make sure to line up the top edge of the template (not the ruler) with the top edge of the fabric. Do not use the pointy corner of the ruler for cutting without a template as you will lose your seam allowances.

After cutting, you will have 2 dog ears at the bottom edge, which you can trim off later while piecing…or use your paper template to trim the corners prior to sewing.


Regular Rulers With Or Without Angle Marks

No special rulers? No problem. You can still cut your shapes using a regular ruler, there are just a few little tricks:

  • For the best result, find a ruler that has mirrored (symmetrical) angle marks as it’s easier to line up the templates accurately along 2 edges. However, you can also use a ruler without marks, just take your time to line up the templates along the edge of the ruler.
  • A short ruler is more comfortable to use than a long one.
  • Print 2 templates of the same shape & tape them on the back side of the ruler as follows: Position templates so that they are facing in the opposite directions, the bottom edges are aligned with the angle marks, and the side edges are aligned with the edge of the ruler.

IMPORTANT:  Do not use angle marks on the ruler without templates as you will trim off the seam allowances.

To make your first cut, line up the top & bottom edges of first template with your pre-cut fabric strips & cut along the side edge of the ruler. Then rotate the ruler & use the edges of second template to make the next cut. Keep rotating & changing templates after every cut in order to cut the next shape.

NOTE: If your template is an equilateral triangle, then you can use the same template to cut all triangles (1 template on the back of the ruler).

Cut isosceles trapezoids in the same manner, rotating & changing templates after every cut in order to cut the next shape.

After cutting, you will have 2 dog ears at the bottom edge, which you can trim off later while piecing…or use your paper template to trim the corners prior to sewing.

About Author

IraRott

I am a fiber artist and a pattern designer from Southern Ontario, Canada. I love working with fabrics and yarns to express my ideas. Crocheting, sewing, knitting, quilting - is my happy place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.