Disclosure: Needlepointers.com was gifted the Trim-Lock tool set used in this tutorial from Sew Be It Quilts. All opinions are our own and not influenced by the manufacturer. This post also contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you purchase after clicking on these links.
Best Tool for Trimming Half-Square Triangle Blocks!
Have you heard of the Trim-Lock quilt block trimming tool? Until recently, I had not!
But, after trying it out on my latest quilt, I think this is the best tool for trimming quilt blocks. I used it to trim both half-square triangle and on-point blocks. The Trim-Lock tool makes trimming quilt blocks fast and easy.
Throw out all of those other half-square triangle rulers. Once you try this Trim-Lock tool, you won't go back!
What is a Trim-Lock tool?
The Trim-Lock quilt block trimming tool is the best tool for trimming half-square triangle, on-point or fussy cut blocks! Why? The grippy material on the bottom of the Trim-Lock tool holds the fabric as you turn the tool to cut each side.
There is no need to realign the Trim-Lock tool after making the cuts! Line the Trim-Lock tool up once, trim one side, turn and continue trimming each side as you spin the block and trimmer.
Each Trim-Lock has a T-handle on the top to hold it. The tool also has lines from corner to corner to line up your half-square triangle seam. The bottom has a grippy material that holds the fabric while you trim and spin the block. No more slipping rulers!
This is a new product from Sew It Be Quilts. They sell the Quilter’s Slidelock tool Annette showed in a video a couple of months ago.
If you want to see a demonstration on how to use and more about the Trim-Lock tool, click the link below to watch to our YouTube video. Keep reading this page for more information such as the Trim-Lock pros and cons, where to purchase it along with a full written photo tutorial on how to use it.
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Why is the Trim-lock tool the best for trimming half-square triangle blocks?
Do you hate to line up and trim half-square triangle blocks with a traditional square ruler? With this type of ruler, you must line up and trim one-half of the block. Then turn the fabric and ruler, line up the ruler again, and trim the other half of the block. This can be very time-consuming!
Sew it Be Quilts introduced us to these new Trim-Lock tools and sent us a set for free to try out.
I’ve been using two of the Trim-Locks for a new quilt I’m working on and found that they significantly speed up the process of trimming blocks. I've used them to trim both half-square triangle and on-point blocks to size.
There is no need to line up the ruler on each side separately, these trimmers allow you to rotate the block around and trim the other sides.
What Sizes do the Trim-Lock tools come in?
The Trim-Locks come in seven popular quilt block sizes ranging from 2.5 inches to 6.5 inches.
The cutting sizes available to purchase are 2", 2.5”, 3", 3.5”, 4", 4.5”, 5" and 6.5". So they are available for every 1/2" between 2" and 5".
Remember, this is the cutting size of the block, not the finished block size. Be sure to purchase the size you need considering the 1/4" seam allowance. The finished block size is how big the block is once it's been sewn into the quilt.
Where can I get the Trim-Lock tools?
Trim-Lock quilt block trimming tools can be purchased from Sew Be It Quilts.
Advantages of the trim-lock tools (Pros)
- Fast, easy, and efficient cuts
- Trim-Lock will hold the fabric in place and not slip.
- As the Trim-Lock is rotated the block will rotate also without the tool slipping out of place.
- No need to line up the tool for every cut
- Use for trimming Half-Square Triangles, Fussy Cutting and On-point blocks
Disadvantages of the Trim-Lock Tools (Cons)
- No measurements on the acrylic
- Trim-Locks must be purchased in each block size.
My Quilt Blocks and trimming with the trim-lock
I'm making a quilt with flower blocks and half-square triangle blocks. The instructions for the flower block say to trim the corner sections of the block to 4.5” square on point.
I first purchased the 4.5” square ruler shown below and trimmed a few blocks. This ruler worked for trimming but I had to carefully align and then trim each side separately. I also had to hold it carefully because the ruler would shift out of place easily.
Keep reading and see how I used the Trim-Lock to trim both the on-point and half-square triangle blocks for this quilt.
To see a video demonstration, please scroll up and click the link to our YouTube video for this tool!
How to use a trim-lock on half-square triangle blocks
For the half-square triangle block, align the line etched on the bottom of the Trim-Lock with the seam on the block. Press down gently to hold the fabric in place in the same way you would for a ruler.
Trim the first two sides of the block. Then release the pressure and spin the block around. The fabric will spin under the Trim-Lock tool and stay in place.
No need to realign the ruler before cutting the next sides! Just spin, press down, and trim!
Continue and cut the last two sides of the half-square triangle block. You can also spin the block 90 degrees after cutting each side to cut the next side of the block.
How to use a trim-lock on On-Point blocks
To trim the on-point blocks, line up the first block to be trimmed. Then, put a couple of pieces of tape along a seam to help align the blocks.
For my on-point block, I added two pieces of tape along the two seams of the point. I use these pieces of tape and the corners of the tool to center and align the Trim-Lock before trimming the sides of the block.
Align the tool once and press down to hold it in place.
Using the rotary cutter, trim the first two sides of the block while pressing down on the t-handle. Note that the photo does not show me holding the handle and pressing down.
Release and then spin the block around and trim the other two sides of the block.
The on-point block is trimmed!
It’s that easy!
We hope you enjoyed learning about these Trim-Lock tools. I am looking forward to using these tools for many quilt projects to come! If you would like to purchase Trim-Lock tools, scroll down for links to purchase!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
If you have other quilting rulers you would like to make non-slip, check out this tutorial, How to Stop Quilt Rulers from Slipping.