ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To: Avoid Chopping Off Patchwork Triangle Points

Updated on March 13, 2016
JanTUB profile image

Quilter, author, tutor, and columnist, Jan T Urquhart Baillie has been sharing her passion for quilting for more than 30 years.

Jacob's Ladder Traditional patchwork block
Jacob's Ladder Traditional patchwork block | Source

Troubleshooting patchwork triangles

Many new quilters (and some not-so-new) find that the points are chopped off their triangle patches when they sew their quilts together.

Here are some simple tricks to avoid chopping off the heads of your triangles.

The picture shows a sample Jacob's Ladder block made by a beginner student. Her points are not perfect, but they are pretty good for a new patchworker.

Triangles have pointy points

not 'nubbed' or chopped off ones

It is important to master the sewing of triangular patches into blocks as soon as you can so that you are not disappointed when your quilt top is all finished.

When you sew them, sometimes you are not sewing exactly through what I call the 'X'.

This where all the seams meet, forming an X.

This how the triangle patches should look - when joined together well

Good triangle join
Good triangle join

This is NOT how the triangle patches should look - when they are joined

Bad triangle join
Bad triangle join

When you machine sew patches together

using quarter inch seams

You need to be very careful how you pin the fabrics together.

Below is a video showing the basics of the 'three pin method' of pinning.


Different step to be taken when joining patches with triangles

Where you see me putting in the positioning pin 1/4 inch down, you put the pin in the X instead.

The 3 pin method for joining patches - in patchwork quilts

Diagram showing triangle square patch - joined to a square patch

wrong side of patches
wrong side of patches

Diagram showing a quarter square triangle - with half square triangles joined to it

Wrong side of quarter square triangle
Wrong side of quarter square triangle

Easy does it!

Sew the right way up

In order to see the X, you must place the patches together, with the triangle on top.

You then position the paired patches under the sewing machine and sew with a quarter inch seam, making sure to sew EXACTLY through the X on the top patches.

Diagram showing the sewing line - crossing the X when joined to the next patches

Sew through the X
Sew through the X

Diagram with the sewing line on a 1/4 square triangle - crossing the X in the centre when attaching another patch

Sew across the X
Sew across the X

Get a quarter inch sewing machine foot

Makes piecing seams perfectly, so very easy.

When you are sewing template free patchwork, the key is to get the seam allowance exactly right. Specialty patchwork feet, with or without a guide flange, help you to keep the patches you are joining together right at the edge of the foot on the right, so the needle is exactly 1/4 inch wide.

If your sewing machine did not come with special quilting/patchwork feet, you need to buy the ones for your machine brand and model.

Otherwise, you may find some generic feet that will work for your sewing machine.

#57N Bernina Foot 1/4" with Guide - 0315777000
#57N Bernina Foot 1/4" with Guide - 0315777000
This one is my favourite for my own machine. Your brand may have one to suit your machine.

© 2012 Jan T Urquhart Baillie


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)