How to Sew Triangular Quilt Pieces

Sew triangular quilt pieces perfectly with these simple steps.
qlt1119_3h

qlt1119_3h

Materials and Tools:

fabric
sewing notions
pattern
light box
paper
rotary cutter
cutting mat
template plastic (optional)
permanent marker (optional)
sewing machine
water-soluble stabilizer
iron

Square-in-a-Square Made Easy

As wacky as these triangles look, they'll fit that center square exactly¾no guesswork necessary.

Steps:

1. Carefully stack about eight triangles. It doesn't matter if they're right side up, wrong side up or mixed up.

2. Fold a center square in half and crease it. Gently lay it on one of the triangle stacks, with the fold aligned with the point of the triangles and the short edge even with the long edges of the triangles. Cut off the hanging points with a rotary cutter.

3. Carefully flip the folded square to the other side of the triangles. Realign the fold with the point and the short edge with the long edge of the triangles and cut off the other points.

4. Repeat the process as necessary to cut off all of the triangle points. 

5. Sew a triangle to the opposite sides. Press the seams toward the triangles.

6. Sew the triangles to the remaining sides. Again, press the seams toward the triangles. Repeat to make four square-in-a-square blocks.

7. If you have many of these blocks to make, cut a square of template plastic equal to the size of the middle square. Mark the center with a permanent pen. Use this template instead of the folded fabric square for cutting the corners off.

Assembling Skinny Triangles

A regular throat plate has an oval opening that allows the needle to swing from side to side for zigzag stitching. A disadvantage of sewing points with a regular throat plate is that the oval opening allows the needle to push skinny points of triangles into the bobbin area, nibbling all the way. Here are some tips for keeping skinny triangles intact:

  • Use a single-stitch throat plate. Instead of an oval shape, the needle hole has a circular shape that allows room only for the needle. Obtain the single-stitch throat plate at your local sewing-machine dealer. Note: If you attempt to zigzag stitch with this plate installed, it will result in a broken needle. Stitching with a single-stitch throat plate makes all the difference in the world.
  • Place a square of water-soluble stabilizer under the points. It supports the points as you sew, and because it's water-soluble, you don't have to tear it out. Just trim it when you trim the dog-ears and it will continue to support the points through the whole process.


Border Trick

Determining the precise length for border strips can be challenging, especially for large quilts, since most of us don't have large cutting tables for measuring accurately. Here's one way to pull it off:

Steps:

1. Carefully press the quilt top.

2. Lay the quilt top out on any flat surface large enough to support the entire piece (including a floor). Smooth the quilt top to square it gently into shape.

3. Stack the side border strips, right sides up, align one end and square the ends with a rotary cutter and ruler.

4. Pin the aligned edges flush with the top center edge of the quilt.

5. Smooth the border strips over the quilt top, being careful to avoid distorting it. Place a weight on the top end of the inner border strips so that the strips don't become repositioned in the process.

6. Trim the border strips flush with the bottom edge of the quilt.

7. Fold the side border strips in half lengthwise and mark this fold with a pin. Fold them in half again to mark the quarter points. Fold the quilt top to mark the center and quarter points with pins as well. Match up the pins. Sew the side borders in place, easing as necessary. Press the seams toward the borders.

8. Repeat the process with the top and bottom inner border strips. Press thoroughly before you repeat the process with the outer border fabric.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Chic, Outdoor Pillow Cover (No Sewing Required!)

Transform an old, faded pillow into an outdoor accessory with this quick, no-sew project.

How to Sew Lined Drapery Panels

Finding just the right curtains can be tough and having them custom-made is expensive — but with basic sewing skills, you can make these beautiful, lined and pleated drapes in any fabric and get the custom look for less.

How to Sew a Card Table Slipcover

Card tables are convenient to use when entertaining over the holidays, but they can be eyesores. A simple slipcover that is fitted and washable (not to mention pretty) is the perfect solution.

How to Sew a Bedroom Bolster Pillow

Instead of covering your bed with a pile of decorative pillows, try the simple, fuss-free look of a single bolster. This classic pillow is easy to whip up and provides comfy support when working in bed or just curling up with a good book.

How to Sew a Simple Outdoor Pillow

Stitching up an outdoor pillow to brighten up a porch or deck is a great project for a sewing novice. Select materials that are made to withstand bright sun and moisture to keep these custom pillows looking great year after year.

How to Sew Chair Covers

Sew fabric panels that imitate the shape of chair backs to minimize the amount of wood in a room or for special occasions. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

How to Upholster a No-Sew Headboard

Update your bedroom with an upholstered headboard without bringing out the sewing machine.

Easy-to-Sew Pillows

Add a splash of color and pattern to a room by sewing your own pillows.

How to Sew Patriotic Red, White and Blue Bunting

Forget plastic, store-bought Fourth of July decorations. This year, opt for traditional handmade patriotic bunting. These swags can be made in any size and customized further with applique stars.

Make an Easy-to-Sew Lined Tote Bag

Custom tote bags can add to a fun personal fashion statement. Learn how to make a lined fabric tote bag that's perfect for work and play in this straightforward home sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.