If you have ever been intimidated by the thought of sewing a 22.5 degree (think tall and skinny) triangle quilt, then I am here to tell you it is not as difficult as you might think.
Last Christmas I bought myself a 22.5 degree Creative Grids triangle ruler, thinking it would make for a quick and easy Christmas tree triangle quilt, and ever since I have been keen to take the ruler for a test drive.
I finally decided it would be a great way to use a Fat Eighth bundle of the new Tilda fabric that had been sent to me by Tilda Australia to promote the upcoming Plum Garden collection.
But once I had cut all the triangles – 34 patterned and 34 background triangles, I realised I wasn’t actually sure how to sew them together to achieve an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance, and maintain pretty points throughout the quilt.
So naturally, I Googled it!
And, I found NOTHING!! Well, at least nothing that was of any specific help to me!
There are a few people offering template patterns, and even some ‘tutorials’ that tell you to ‘sew the pieces together’ – but I didn’t come across any instruction that actually indicated how I should align my pieces when using a ruler. So trial and error became my new friends, and after a couple of unsuccessful attempts I realised what I was doing wrong!
What You Will Need to Make a Triangle Quilt:
The good news is, triangle quilts don’t need too many fancy notions – besides perhaps a 22.5 degree triangle ruler, you will most likely have all the basics in your general supply kit.
Here is a list of what I used:
- Sewing machine, thread, rotary cutter and cutting mat.
- Fat Eighth (9″ x 21″) pieces of fabric.
- Approx. 2.5yds (2m) background yardage.
- A 22.5 degree triangle ruler. I like the one from Creative Grids.
- A ruler with 1/4″ marks for measuring.
- Frixion heat erasable pen.
- Fine pins you can sew over, such as my favourite Karen Buckley Pins.
- And just a little bit of patience ;).
As a quilter, our natural tendency is to want to give ourselves a visual 1/4″ seam allowance – and this is what might trip you up.
By drawing a portion of the stitch line 1/4″ from the edge of your triangle with a Frixion pen, you are better able to gauge where your pieces need to line up – the tip of the line will intersect with the edge of the fabric.
As you can see from the image above and below, once you align the marked stitch line with the edge of the triangle below, you end up with the tiniest piece of overhang.
You do this for both the top and bottom, using pins to ease the triangle into place. The pins ARE necessary because triangles are cut on the fabric bias and have a tendency to stretch when they are handled – and we don’t want those edges to move!
The alignment may be clearer in the image below, where you can see the purple fabric peeking out from under the background triangle.
It is also important to press your seams open. If you don’t, you will find there is too much bulk at the top point of your triangle when it comes time to sew the next unit to the triangle side.
Here is what you will see once you have sewn two triangle units together and pressed the seam open…
And, once you have sewn the third triangle, your unit will look like this…
Assembling the Quilt
After I had pieced the units you see in the images above, and I had confidently worked out how to achieve the 1/4″ seam allowance required to make those perfect points, I focused on sewing together one background unit to one patterned unit, then sewing those units to each other to build slightly larger units, rather than trying to piece the triangles together side by side in rows.
This made the quilt easier to handle as it grew.
Here is an image of how you align the secondary units…
If you look closely at the image above you can see why alignment is not really intuitive! But as I said in the intro to this post – it is easier than you think. Drawing the seam allowance and pinning the pieces together is the secret – and one I am happy to share with you!
The ‘Perfect’ Triangle Quilt
I think I am going to call this triangle quilt, Standing Tall!
Jane Fonda once said, “I have a confidence about my life that comes from standing tall on my own two feet”. I like her sentiment!
Would you like to make your own Standing Tall quilt? Thanks to Ascot Lane Distributors, I am giving away 1 Creative Grids 22.5 degree triangle ruler to 1 lucky subscriber. All you need to do to enter is, share one of your own quilting secret (or not so secret) tips that makes your quilting life easier in the comments, AND be sure you are subscribed to my newsletter (sign up in the sidebar of this website).
Giveaway closes July 6, 2019. GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. The winner is comment #13 – Anorina, congratulations!!
I can’t wait to hear your tips :).
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