Diamonds- Beyond the Sparkle

Diamonds- Beyond the Sparkle

We get a lot of questions about diamonds (excluding the ones on your fingers). English Paper Piecing with diamonds can be tricky! There are several angles and points to note, and where do you put those pesky dog ears? 


A basic geometry lesson is in order. It all starts with a circle. Every single circle in the world is 360 degrees. It just is- you can’t change it. So any combination of shapes that add up to 360 degrees will create a circle at their junction. See below: 

Degrees of a Daimond


There are six diamonds that come together to make a circle. A circle is 360 degrees. 360/6=60. This means that each of these diamonds are 60 degree diamonds. Now, since there are six of them, and together they make a six pointed star, we call them 6 point diamonds! You can refer to either the degree or the points when ordering from us, we know them both ways.


The math also works with an eight pointed star. 360/8= 45. Each diamond in an eight pointed star measures 45 degrees. This is more commonly called the Lemoyne star and it’s truly one of the most stunning, versatile blocks available.


We also offer a 12 pt diamond, also called a 30 degree diamond. We have a four point star as well that is a bit different than the others mathematically, but is still a really cool option.


As for stitching these lovelies- don’t get intimidated! The most helpful tip I have: when you’re basting diamonds, make all the corners point the same way. That way, when you’re fitting them all together, the seams nestle in with each other and look quite pleasing!


If you haven’t had enough coffee to deal with this much math, take a look at our Party Packs- sampler packs of either 60 degree or 45 degree shapes! Every intersection measures 360 degrees. Isn’t math amazing?! They’re a fun way to play with designs, and a must have if you’re teaching a class. You can show your students hundreds of different combinations for their projects!

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I also would like an answer to the dog ear question and how do you keep the center where everything meets on a diamond from being so thick.


So… What I still would like to know is: What do YOU do with those darn dog ears? Trimming them helps, but at the point where the stars are joined it is still lumpy. And sometimes those joining points are very lumpy. Then the papers and fabric come UNglued, and the papers fall out. There is probably a simple way to handle this problem that as experienced (professional) paper piecers you can share with the rest of us? Many thanks in advance because I’m currently having this problem with Moravian Stars.


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