Hey Everyone, welcome back to Technique Tuesday.
Last week when Michael was proof reading my blog post for the Granny’s Choice block he wasn’t quite sure what it meant to cut on the diagonal twice. After explaining to him what it meant I thought I wonder how many other new quilters have no idea what this means.
Often times in the cutting instruction there will be instructions to cut a square and then cut on the diagonal once or twice. Once it is explained to you the first time the concept is very simple but until then one can be left wondering what the instructions mean.
Cut On the Diagonal Once
To start I have cut a 6 inch square. The square needs to be cut on the diagonal once. This means that it needs to be cut from one corner across to the other corner to create two triangles of equal proportions.
It is fine to draw a line across and then line up the ruler on the line and cut. Using a chaco liner works well and is my favourite marking tool.
The other option is to just line up the ruler from one corner to the other ensuring that the ruler is lined up exactly. Once the ruler is in place then cut. I like to use a wide ruler to hold down the square that is being cut so that it doesn’t accidentally move.
Cut On the Diagonal Twice
Once again I have started with a 6 inch square. This time the square needs to be cut on the diagonal twice. This means that the square is cut from one corner across to the other corner. That was the first cut. The second cut is made from the intact corner across to the other intact corner. These two cuts will result in 4 triangles of equal proportions.
It is very important that the square is not disturbed and no pieces out of alignment after the first cut otherwise the triangles will not be equal with the second cut. Turning the cutting mat around so the square is in position for cutting is the best way to make sure nothing is disturbed.
Drawing lines across is a good idea if you are not sure that the ruler or pieces will stay in place. This time draw two lines that make an ‘X’. Place the ruler on the line and cut, then, without disturbing the pieces, place the ruler on the other line and cut.
If just using the ruler make sure it is lined up evenly with the corners.
Remember that all these triangles have been cut on the bias so try not to handle too much as they will stretch out of shape very quickly.
And there you have it – the skinny on what cut on the diagonal twice means!
[Editor’s Note: I’m still not sure what “cut on the bias” and “sewing on the bias” means so I’ve asked Jen to write about that too, in an upcoming post.]