Man Sewing: 60 Degree Ruler Quilt Tutorial

Rob Appell

Man Sewing: 60 Degree Ruler Quilt Tutorial

Rob whips up a cool 60 Degree Ruler Quilt using fabric yardage of Artisan Batiks Elementals by Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman and a sixty degree triangle ruler template in this free quilting tutorial.

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video transcript

Folks are always asking me, Hey Rob, where do you get your inspiration for the quilts you design. And of course it comes from all over the place. A lot of times I’m just out hunting for fabric. There is nothing more satisfying than finding one single piece of fabric that says, Hey baby, I’m all that you need.

And this is it! That’s right, Robert Kaufman’s Elemental Batik was all I needed for this fantastic, really crisp and clean stripe but it’s on a batik. It comes in, I think, six or eight different fantastic color families. And it creates this incredible quilt simply using 2 ½ yards of the batik fabric. And then I’m also using today the creative grids 8 ½ inch tall but it’s a 60 degree triangle. So you’re going to need this and some fabric. If you need your fabric and your supplies, they are always available in the description below over at MSQC. Let me show you how we are going to build this quilt. We’re going to have two different series of cuts so let’s get started.

Also in the description below today’s video we have a fun free printable as we often do. This is going to show you how I want you to cut your fabric so you get triangles with your stripes facing both parallel and perpendicular to your ruler. Don’t worry those are big words, watch this. Ok, the first thing is is we’re going to take our batik, the 2 ½ yards and we’re going to start by cutting it standard. Here’s my fold down here and my two selvedges right over here, right? And you’re going to make 8 ½ inch strips so they fit that triangle ruler nicely. And you’re going to need five of them. So we have five that are running parallel to the stripe. I’ve prepared those already. But the next step gets just a little bit more tricky. So what I want to do is I’m going to take this and I’m going to open it up and I’m going to prepare to refold it in this direction. And to keep everything nice and crisp. I’m going to take a moment and just look at my selvedges here to make sure they’re lining up nice. And a lot of times when I’m cutting we’re at that challenge between too much fabric, too short a board. Right now I’m just about perfect. Because what I want to do is not cut too many folds if at all possible. So right now as I’m looking at this I’m going to set up using the numbers on my mat today. And I’m going to now lay my ruler so I’m coming right down here. And  I want these to be really nice clean cuts. I’m just going to slow down for a second. Don’t worry I’ve had plenty of coffee today. I’m just making sure I get the cut right. And it looks nice and clean. I’m looking at this edge down here. 8 ½ inches right there and now you’re going to notice that the stripes are running perpendicular to the ruler. So you’re going to need also five of these strips. So here’s one. Let me just slide that out of the way. So here I’m cutting that second strip and remember you’re going to want five of each direction of the strips but I just need a few of them to show you what we’re going to do next. So I can start teaching you how to do those triangles, right?

Now when you’re looking at the batiks, one of the ways we get these fantastic print or these nice tight lines in batiks is we do lots of dyeing throughout different processes. So sometimes what that will do is it means one side is not as intense as the other. And for this particular Elementals run that I’ve been working with, I noticed that. So what I want to say is first thing you want to do is take all of your strips you’re creating and make sure that you have your most intense colors facing up because we’re going to make a stack of triangles. And making that stack of triangles you want to be able to just keep them all in sewing order. Or that way you know exactly where the right sides are. I’m being very cautious as I work through making sure that my lines are nice and clean here. Nice and straight and tidy. Because I’m cutting multiple layers and these are going to be our sewing lines so we want to make sure it makes good sense.

Now one of the first things you’re going to do and you’re going to need these little half wedges as well as you’re going to need the full triangles. Is you take your ruler, and I like to go ahead and line it up on this straight line here which includes that seam allowance for us, ok? And then I’m going to go ahead and just take a cut and a slice. Make sure I get through all of those layers. Slide this over. A little nibble there. Line myself back up. And then from this point I can just spin my ruler basically 180 degrees. Now on the tip there is a blunt tip that helps allow for the seam allowance. So make sure as you’re spinning your ruler that that blunt tip is always going over to one of the edges as you’re working. And you can see I’m stacking my triangles up and that’s why I wanted to keep those fabrics so that all of the pretty side was in the right direction. And I’ll just quickly go through here and get a bunch. Once we have all of your triangles made, it really becomes a fun layout process so our next step, if you want to start ironing out or smoothing out your design wall, is going to be all play, all fun. And then one of the things I’ve done as I was mapping this out, I know this seems kind of crazy here, let me see if I can figure out how I, remember how I did this. I found my angle I want my straight line so I actually used the seam allowance markings here to get my other half triangle. And it actually works pretty good. So I just rotated that using that dotted line at the center that you see right there, ok?

So now we have all of our triangles made. And I’m just going to say these have the stripes going up and down. The other ones are going to have the stripes going side to side. Here they come. So notice the difference. In my triangles just like that. Now we’re going to build the quilt in technically rows. Follow me to the quilt real quick. I want to show you what you’re looking for. So as I find my seam allowance these are the rows here that come across the quilt, right? So as I’m working through this process I’m building these big clusters of rows. But what I’m really looking for is the way that these come together and form these really cool rectangular boxes. So every other triangle is going to touch. So I’ve got one where the triangles go side to side. And then the next one is going to go up and down. Side to side, right? Up and down as we go. I laid out the entire quilt on my design wall first because I also wanted to make sure that I had heavier clusters and maybe even like lighter clusters down in here. So as I was playing with my layout I took the time to shift some of the triangles around. And I also of course will need to use a triangle to fit in over at the end here. So this one is up and down. This is up and down so I would want a triangle from the other fashion which would be the side to side. So I’m continuing that rectangular box all the way through, right?

Now joining these things is a snap. We’re simply going to go ahead and go tip to tip. We go over to the sewing machine with a quarter inch seam allowance . Now these are technically cut on the bias. Try not to tug or pull on your sewing as you’re going because you don’t want to distort the patchwork. So we’ll come through here and then I’m going to come back in and I’m going to press it open. Oops, caught that little thread right there as I’m goofing off. There we are, ok? So I’ve just got my iron and I’m going to come in to set the seam. Then I press it open. Then I came back over to my design area to make sure. So here’s my check. Now my stripes are going up and down together so that would be incorrect. So I just want to double check my allowance here. And then I’ll just piece on another piece, just like this, ok? And that is all you need to do to build your rows out. Make sure you fill in the end of the rows, as I said, with those half triangles at the end. When I was completely finished with the project I believe I had six total triangles left over. And with those six total triangles left over I have started building something that will probably become some sort of a pillow top or something like that. A nice little accent piece. Maybe this could go on the back as your ginormous label. I’m not sure. But let’s talk for a moment about how I quilted this.

I wanted to make a couple of little mini rows real quick so you can see how these rows are going to join. Now in the quilt behind me, I have eight of these full size triangles and then I have two half triangles on either end. What you’re going to be looking for, first of all, as you’re building your rows on your design wall, before any construction starts is the triangles themselves are going to be the same stripe direction as they touch. So these two are up and down. These two are side to side. These two are up and down. Once you have all of your rows joined together. Then we’re going to go ahead and just mount these right sides together like this. And with a quarter inch seam allowance come across and stitch to join all of the rows to build the entire quilt top. Now let me talk to you briefly about quilting.

And I wanted to quilt this in a very, very simple process as well. So when we’re quilting we always start our stitching from the middle of our quilt and work our way out. And of course I had this all basted and, and set up nicely. But what I did is I ran a row of stitching, and this was not free motion. What this was was my feed dogs were up. And I actually started up here and I went from the top all the way down to the bottom looking right at the union between those rectangles. From the bottom I came over to the other rectangle and I came all the way back up. And then I came down and I came back up on the other side. So I’m going opposite sewing. There we go opposite sewing directions. And of course I’m going to do the same across here. But I started in the middle, came across. Came up a rectangle section. I went across this way and then across this way. So after I finished all that row by row style stitching, what that did is two things. It finished the basting of the quilt, allowed me to get the safety pins out. But it also segmented the quilt up into these rectangles. So looking right here you can see this is kind of the rectangle I was focused on when I was setting those first series of stitches. Then I went into free motion mode. And you can see like in this square right here what I went ahead and did is I literally started on the outside and worked my way to the interior forming kind of a maze of just straight lines that spiraled in to form a rectangle. Then on these blocks on the other sides of the rectangular, then I was working on doing just some fun swirls and some other of my free motion machine quilting practice, different motifs. And I’m actually going to flip the quilt over to the back so you can see it. Check this out.

So here you can see it from the back. This will make much more sense because the beautiful batik on the front and the variegated thread I was using made it a little harder to see the stitching. So here are the rectangular pieces that kind of spiral into the center. And then on the opposite sides you see these really fun swirl practices and clamshell practices. And all kinds of different fun motifs for the free motion machine quilting .

Now I told you there is nothing more entertaining for me than finding that perfect piece of fabric that really speaks to me and says, Hey Rob, this is a simple quilt in a snap, let’s get started, right? I really enjoyed playing with that 60 degree triangle today. I hope you got the tip out of that as well. And remember this Elementals batik comes in like six or eight different fantastic flavors. So I want to see which one you’re going to use next. And I’m going back to the drawing board to start drafting fantastic other projects here at Man Sewing

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