OK, smackdown might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it sounds impressive, right?
I am working on the Bonnie Hunter En Provence Mystery Quilt, as you know. The second step, which I have partially finished, uses Peaky and Spike* blocks. Peaky and Spike sounds more fun than “weird triangle blocks”, right?
Peaky is the pink part and Spike is the black on white part. For En Provence, I needed to make 100 of these elements. Not rocket science, but not squares either. The bias could be problem. At Sew Day I cut all of the Spikes using the appropriate Tri Recs ruler. This piece has no notches except for the top, which is easy to deal with.
I bought the Peaky and Spike die with a gift card for Christmas, but by the time I was ready to start cutting, it was still on backorder and had not shown up. I began cutting the Peakies from the ruler at Craft Night. SIL told me that she had the Peaky and Spike die and I switched to that. I cut all of the 200 Peakies I needed in about an hour. Much easier than using a rotary cutter.
The interesting part of this is the sewing. The ruler has a notch at the bottom (photo right bottom) and the die (photo left top) has a notch at the top. In the directions for the quilt, Bonnie admonishes us to be sure and cut the notch at the bottom**. As a result, I placed the ruler on the die cut Peakies and also cut the bottom notch. This got old really fast and I stopped.
Once I started sewing, it didn’t matter. The bottom notch (from the ruler) was certainly helpful. You need either the top or bottom notch to sew the pieces together easily and in alignment, however either one will work. I really didn’t need both.
The ruler has the advantage of enabling the user to cut multiple sizes. The Peaky ruler has the notch on the bottom because of the different sizes.
The die only cuts pieces for one block size, and, thus, can have the notch more prominently on the top.
This was a interesting learning experience.
*Peaky and Spike is the name given to these blocks by Doreen Speckmann. Doreen was a fantastic teacher, funny, fun loving and a master at helping students understand the structure of block elements. If you don’t have her book, Pattern Play, start haunting used book stores. It is a classic.
**The mystery quilt directions focus on the Tri Recs ruler and not on the die, though the die is mentioned as being available.