FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use Thangles for any pattern? How do I do that?
Yes! With the most common method to make half square triangles, you take the finished size and add 7/8″ and then cut squares. Then you cut the squares on the diagonal to make 2 triangles. For example, if you want 2″ finished, you would cut 2 7/8″ squares and then cut on the diagonal. This is the method used by most pattern instructions. Usually you can see the 7/8″ number in the cutting directions.
To use Thangles with this method, you take the cutting size and subtract 7/8″. That gives you the finished size, which is also the same as the Thangle size. Here is an example: The pattern says, cut 3 7/8″ squares for the half square triangles. You take the cutting number and subtract 7/8″ to get the Thangles size. 3 7/8″ – 7/8″ = 3. You need 3″ Thangles.
Some designers like to make their half square triangles over sized and then they trim them all up. You have to read the directions carefully to detect this tedious method. Usually, they are cutting the squares 1″ larger than the finished size. As an example, they might say cut your squares 3″ and then square up all the half square triangles to 2 1/2″. This is a 2″ finished half square triangle, so you would use a 2″ Thangle.
2. What does “Finished Size” mean?
Thangles are sold by the finished size and that means the size AFTER the quilt is sewn together. For example, 3” Thangles will make a half square triangle that measures 3 ½” square before it is sewn into the quilt and 3” after. Another way to think of it is that the raw or unfinished size equals the finished size PLUS ½” for the seam allowances.
3. Why don’t you have to shorten up the stitch length?
Thangles are printed on a special easy tear paper that we get made for us. Unlike doing paper piecing with photocopy or office paper (which is made to be strong), you don’t have to shorten up the stitch length to make our paper tear off easily.
4. Why is the heatproof ink so important?
Thangles are printed with special heatproof ink. This allows you to press while the paper is still attached to your fabric and the ink will not come off on your fabric like photocopy or laser ink will. Both of those inks are heat sensitive, so they will transfer to your fabric. It’s important to leave the paper on for pressing so it can stabilize the bias seam while you press. This also sets the stitches so they will not be pulled out when you remove the paper. It’s the secret to why Thangles are so accurate; the bias seam can’t stretch when you press with the paper on!
5. Why are Thangles strip based?
Strip based quilting is simple and easy. Cutting strips is a very basic quilting skill. This also allows you to cut matching squares from the same strips you use to make the half square triangles. It also makes Thangles flat and easy to store.
6. What is so special about Thangles math?
Thangles gets rid of the awful 7/8″ math that is normally required for making half square triangles. Instead, Thangles works with straight grain strips that are 1/2″ wider than the finished size. This also means you can cut other matching elements like squares from the same strips; you save time and fabric. There is no waste!
7. Why the diagonal layout?
The layout allows you to chain sew by sewing off one Thangles strip and onto another. It’s much faster and easier than zig-zagging around one strip at a time. It also means there are no arrows to follow, you can sew them however you like.
8. How do Thangles make block construction faster, easier and save you fabric?
You can make all the pieces for many block patterns from one set of straight grain strips. These strips are cut 1/2 inch larger than the finished size. You never have to do 7/8″ calculations and you don’t have to make 7/8″ cuts. Click here to see an example. Your squares and half square triangles will match because they were made from the same strips. Because you just work your way down the fabric strips, making squares, or half square triangles, as you need them, there is virtually no wasted fabric. In addition, you never have to cut those odd 7/8” pieces!
9. Why are they called Thangles?
Thangles comes from Terrific Half square ANGLES.