December 9, 2015

Chart 22: Setting Triangles and Cat, block #22 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

Looking Ahead

Pick from Three Tools for Cutting the Setting Triangles!

You may even already own one of them!

Click photo for a larger view.

If you are using the quilt layout in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book, this is a good time to decide on the setting triangles for the blocks. Cut 12 or 15 and put them up on your design wall to make sure you like your fabric selection. Then you can start sewing the triangles in place as you finish each block. You'll be ready to arrange the blocks into a pleasing layout when you want to.

1. Back in August 2015 when I wrote the first list of potential tools, I recommended the Small No-flip Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler #8105 for cutting the setting triangles. It was the obvious tool to recommend — it is designed specifically for cutting setting triangles for blocks from 2-1/2  to 10 inches square.  (Click the diagrams for larger views.)

2. Later, I realized the Flying Geese Ruler also has a line that is perfect for the triangle. The line to align with the fabric is actually the seam line of the largest triangle. It has nothing to do with setting triangles, it just happens to be the right size triangle needed for setting this quilt.

3. Just recently I discovered that the outside dimension of one of our newest tools, the Multi-size Half-Square Triangle Ruler, is also the exact size needed for the setting triangle. Ignore the printed lines and place the hypotenuse on the straight edge of the strip to cut full size triangles.

No matter how you cut the triangles, remember to cut the strips on the lengthwise grain parallel to the selvage. The strips should be 4-3/4 inches wide when you cut the triangles with any of these tools. The engineered corners create a “dog-ear free zone” and make lining setting triangles up with 6-1/2 inch squares so easy.

The Next 3 Months

January's template conversion charts will still feature Template Sets B. D and N.

In February, we'll work with blocks designed on a 5 x 5 grid. The Set S templates were actually developed to cut 6 inch blocks designed on a 5 x 5 grid! Remember, the cut size for squares in these blocks are 6 inches divided by 5 + 1/2 inch. Set M (the big sister of Set S) was developed to cut 12-inch blocks on a 5 x 5 grid, and a few pieces from Set M are used in these blocks. We have always offered a special price when you buy Sets M and S together because of their special relationship.

In March, we will make a group of blocks that uses the 3/4 inch and 1-1/2 inch Log Cabin Ruler #8037. I’ll show you how to use it to advantage with strip techniques for the 3/4 inch checkerboard sections of several blocks. You can also use it to make a great 6-inch Log Cabin block, not to mention larger blocks for wonderful Log quilts.

And Now, Today's Block: Cat

Flying Geese, Nine Patch, and Pinwheel are among the sub-unit names that are almost universally recognized by quilters. The sub-unit featured in Cat is not as frequently used, so the name may not be as universally used, but I call this pieced triangle unit Bird in the Air When there are more than four triangles in the pieced triangle, I call it a Birds in the Air unit.

This has nothing to do with making the block, but I chuckled when I saw that Cat was the name given to this block full of Birds in the Air!

If you made Alta (Chart 13, 11/9/16 blog post), my template-friendly substitute for Aimee, the four corner units were bird-in-the-air sub-units. The only difference is that these triangles are smaller than those in the Alta block.
Here's a photo of my Cat block. Click on the image below for a larger view. Click the link to download the Template Conversion Chart for Cat:

In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W


  1. LOL on the cat reference in a Birds in the air type block. I'm happy to get to use more of my B & D template sets. I lost my smallest A piece. Is there a way to just buy it?

    1. Mary, contact customer service through the "contact us" button on our website. We don't often have extras but if we do, they will be able to help you. :)

  2. Is the product number for the log cabin ruler correct? The number for the 3/4 and 1 1/2 inch inch ruler isn't 8058. I'd like to put it on my Christmas list but want to get the right one. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for letting us know! It's been corrected to 8037. :) Merry Christmas!

  3. O yes I do read all your posts and love the esplanations on how to use the templates. I still own set A and B and the rest will come in time, so for the templates that are not in these sets I will have to do it old way! Print the block on freezer paper and use the corner trimmer deluxe to cut off any corners. It works although the right templates would work nicer. But you have to do what you have to do with the things you have! At least for now LOL! So I love the sale, but won't be using it!

    1. Hi Marianna! We're glad you're using your Set A and B templates again. :) Also happy you have found the corner trimmer useful for this quilt. Enjoy making your blocks!

  4. I certainly do read your blog. I have learned so much from you. Thank you! I am fairly new to quilting and I am really in love with your template sets. I have quite a few of them, and am enjoying the Farmers Wife 1930s SAL because of them. I have recently done some piecing not using them in another SAL and it sure took longer to cut the blocks!

    Thank you also for this surprise sale. I just purchased the Set M&S Combined. :)

    1. We're so glad to know that the templates help make your piecing experiences more fun and that you're enjoying the SAL -- we are, too, it's really fun to see what everyone is doing. :)