Tips for Cutting Diamonds

This is a post I have been meaning to do for a while now.  Over the years I have gotten lots of questions on my patterns that use diamonds – usually via email and it is so hard to communicate certain things via email.  I thought it would be so much easier if I just took the time to take a few pictures and do a photo tutorial.   A photo tutorial with big pictures always says it better than the small diagrams that patterns usually have 😉


For my demonstration, I am going to cut a 4″ 60-degree diamond.

You start with a 4″ strip.  Cut the end at a 60-degree angle.  This can be done many ways, depending on what ruler you have.

The first photo shows how I have aligned the 60-degree line along the bottom of the 4″ strip.  I have made a small blue arch denoting where the 60-degree angle is.  Now just cut along the left side of the strip as shown

048 2


This photo shows that same step, this time using a different brand of ruler.



And the easiest way to do the angle – Just use a 60-degree Triangle ruler to establish the angle.  Any angle on the ruler is 60-degrees, so you can’t mess it up!  (The Creative Grids 8″ tall 60-degree ruler is my favorite).



Now measure over from the left cut edge of the strip 4″ as shown.  Notice how the ruler is tipped to match the angle that you just cut and then you measure over 4″ from the cut edge.

049 2


Now cut along the right side of the ruler.  That’s how easy it is to cut a diamond.



The part that I think causes the most problems is that some people use the lines of their mat to measure and cut, rather than the lines of the ruler.  (I was taught that this is the wrong way to do your cutting, for various reason.)

Just to demonstrate – if you use the mat to measure 4″ over from the left edge and make your cut, as shown in the two photos below

056 2


You end up getting a diamond that is a totally different size.  In the photo below, the one on the left was cut correctly and the one on the right was cut as shown in the two photos above.


Where you will see a really big difference in the two, is when you tip them the other direction – Again the one of the left was cut correctly and the one of the right was cut incorrectly.  In fact, the one of the right isn’t even really a diamond.


If you were to draw a line from corner to corner on these two diamonds, you will see that the right and left tips don’t even line up.  If you were to try to sew the diamond on the right together with another diamond, they would never line up!

054 200


I hope that helps eliminate any confusion.  The patterns of mine that use this technique are:


Diamond Diva

DSC_1308-600 DSC_8568


A Bling Thing




Awesome Blossom

DSC_0050 adj bluest 600

Good Night Owl

DSC_4973 adj


Happy Dance

DSC_0446 adj no background copy

Happy Dance Topper

DSC_0384 adj 600


Starlit Evening

DSC_9484 adj


Vintage Diamonds

vintage diamonds_adj


About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
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9 Responses to Tips for Cutting Diamonds

  1. treadlemusic says:

    Great explanation!!!! Showing both the correct AND incorrect cutting, and the results of each, really brought the point home!!!!!!

  2. Jane Wimmer says:

    Great instructions Heather! Thanks, it was good to see the correct and incorrect ways.

  3. Marsha Nelson says:

    I have avoided diamond quilts. Thanks for clearing this up for me.

  4. Diane says:

    These quilts are amazing! Although challenging! (For me anyway). Where can I get the patterns for them? Thank you.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Great tutorial. Thanks!

  6. Jean says:

    Very helpful. I have not done diamonds, but now I would like to try.

  7. lepowell says:

    I’m going to have revisit those books!! I have them but was skeeeeeered to cut!! Great photos and explanation. thank you!

  8. Pingback: Woven Squares – Part 1 | Trends and Traditions

  9. Valerie says:

    Great tutorial on cutting the diamonds. Do you have to add a 1/4″ to sew them together?

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