Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tutorial: Draft your own diamonds, hexagons and triangles for English paper piecing

I like to draft my own master templates of diamonds, equilateral triangles and hexagons. A hexagon is made up of three diamonds and half a diamond makes an equilateral triangle. So if you can draft a sheet of diamonds all of the other shapes are at your disposal.

Why bother drafting master templates when there are free templates available? I find that they often have space between each shape so that means more cutting and wasted paper. I want my diamonds, triangles and hexagons butted up one next to the other because it makes the cutting faster and there is less scrap paper left over. Another reason is that I might want to customize the size of the diamond, hexagon or triangle.

Once I've created a master template I name the template and write it at the top in coloured ink. That way I know it is a master template and all copies are made from the master. The name of the master template could be the project, the size of the diamond or the date. I do whatever works best for me at that moment. I put each of my master templates in a sheet protector and then store them in a binder of hexagon templates and projects. When I need papers for English paper piecing I just pull out the master and make copies!

To draft your own templates you will need the following:
  • graph paper,
  • mechanical pencil (you need something that will make a thin, sharp line and
  • ruler with a 60 degree angle.
To start you will draw a horizontal line on the graph paper.

Decide on the distance "height" of the diamond. This is the distance between two parallel lines. I am using a height of 1 1/2". Draw a line at the 1 1/2" mark. I would now draw all of the horizontal lines however for demonstration purposes I'll work with two.
Line up the 60 degree mark on your ruler on a horizontal line on the graph paper. You can use any horizontal line on the graph paper.

Draw a diagonal line.

Line up the 1 1/2" mark on the ruler on the 60 degree line that was just drawn. Draw a line. Move the ruler over 1 1/2" and draw another line. Repeat this process until the sheet is full of the 60 degree lines.

And there you have it - a sheet of diamonds!

This sheet of diamonds can be used to create hexagons and equilateral triangles. You can combine all of these shapes to create a motif and they will fit together like a charm! I used this method to make Mom's Flower Bed.

To create a hexagon you will have to dissect two of the diamonds. The pink lines show how to draw the hexagon.

Notice how the dissected diamond now creates an equilateral triangle.

To create an entire sheet of hexagons I would draft the diamonds and then dissect the diamonds to create the hexagons and then erase all unnecessary lines. Alternatively you can dissect the diamonds using a different colour of pencil/pen.

Before I go I thought I would share the next five Lazy Punk blocks.


Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. I am such a cheat, I get my husband to print them off from the PC!

  2. you have made it so easy :0) I love making my own templates because I can then choose whatever size I want and with your tutorial it is so much easier! Thanks :0)