Kingfisher Stitch-Along: Cutting Diamonds

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This post is part of the Kingfisher Stitch-Along series.  This free, portable project combines English paper piecing, applique and traditional piecing.  Get all the details here.

Addicted to making hexie flowers yet?  Yes, that seems to be the way of things with Kingfisher, a summer stitch-along hosted by myself and Jodi at Tales of Cloth!  Once I settle in with needle in thread, I just don't want to stop.  Good thing we have a whole bunch of flowers to stitch!

Today I'm chiming in with a tutorial for cutting diamonds for the Kingfisher quilt.  The center of the quilt is composed of 60 degree diamonds. 

Since this is a common quilting shape, you might like to follow along even if you aren't making this particular quilt.  60 degree diamonds make a beautiful patchwork quilt, all on their own!  Or try arranging them in pairs, like this, for a chevron look.


Cutting Full Diamonds

I recommend you cut diamonds from yardage rather than fat quarters.  It's fabric and time efficient!   Cut 46 full diamonds for your Kingfisher quilt.

  • Cut a 6.5" width of fabric strip.  Keep it neatly folded in half, at the bolt fold.  You will cut diamonds with fabric double-layered.
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  • Orient the strip on your cutting mat so that it is horizontal, with the selvedges at the left.  Align the lower cut edge with a horizontal cutting mat line.
  • Locate a quilting ruler with a 60 degree angle line.  Mine is marked with a white diagonal line labeled as 60 degrees.
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  • Align the 60 degree ruler line with the bottom cut edge of your fabric strip.  The ruler line will also align with the horizontal cutting mat line.  Matching both the cut edge and the cutting mat line, increases accuracy.
  • Shift the ruler until the entire cutting edge is on fabric.  Make sure the 60 degree angle line remains properly aligned.  Cut to release a small triangular scrap, and set scrap aside.  You have cut one diamond edge.
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  • Now shift the ruler to the right, until it measures 6.5" from the cutting edge to the just-cut diamond edge.  Keep the 60 degree ruler line matched with the bottom edge of your strip and the horizontal mat line.  Cut again, releasing two full diamonds.  
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  • Repeat the step above, sliding the ruler to the right and measuring at 6.5" to cut another pair of diamonds.  You can cut four diamonds total from a width-of-fabric strip.

If you wish to cut diamonds from small fabric pieces, you must have a piece at least 6.5" x 11.5".

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As you can see, cutting diamonds from smaller pieces of fabric will create more scrap triangles.

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Cutting Partial Diamonds

Besides the 46 full diamonds for flower applique backgrounds, the Kingfisher quilt requires partial diamonds.  These partial diamonds square out the edges of the quilt center.  There are three types of partial diamonds:

  • Fat Triangles:  These equilateral triangles belong at the top and bottom of the quilt center.  
  • Skinny Triangles:  These long, thin triangles belong at the sides of the quilt center.
  • Corner Triangles:  These small triangles belong at each corner of the quilt center.

Fat Triangles

Cut (2) 7" width of fabric strips.  Segment as 60 degree full diamonds, following the tutorial above.  This time you will measure your diamonds 7" wide, since you are cutting them from a 7" strip.  Cut 6 full diamonds from your 7" strips.

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Cut all 6 diamonds in half to yield equilateral triangles.  12 Fat Triangles total.

Skinny Triangles

Now cut a 7.5" width of fabric strip.  Again, segment as 60 degree full diamonds.  This time you will measure your diamonds 7.5" wide, since you are cutting them from a 7.5" strip.  Cut 4 full diamonds from your 7.5" strip.  Set one of these diamonds aside for making corner triangles.

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Stack 3 of the diamonds.  Cut in half longways, yielding skinny triangles.  6 Skinny Triangles total.

Corner Triangles

You will make 4 corner triangles from your remaining 7.5" diamond.  Cut the diamond in half both ways (vertically and horizontally), yielding 4 small, corner triangles.

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If you have a design wall, arrange your partial diamonds around the full diamonds to square out the edges of the quilt center.  It's coming along nicely!