Sunday, July 25, 2010

Triangle border for pinwheel quilt

I'm working on a quilt for my almost three-year-old daughter. I've been taking precut triangles with me as I travel for work and sewing away on airplanes and during meetings. I'm finishing putting it together with my machine.

I wanted to create a border, and as I was going I thought of a quick way to put it together which I will share right here!

Using a white Bella solid I cut 6 inch strips which I then cut into 6 inch squares. I sliced each square in half to create the triangles I needed. We'll call this the "background fabric."

I chose how I wanted the patterned fabrics to come together and laid them out in order as seen here:

Now choose your first patterned triangle and grab one background piece and put them together so you know which way to sew like this:

Put your right sides together (if you have them - the white one doesn't) and sew along the edge shown next to the scissors:

Like this:

OK - Here comes the tricky bit so get ready! Once you get to the corner don't pick up your presser foot.

Now slip another patterned piece under the top triangle right side up. Lift your presser foot up and try to match the bottom corner first and then ease it up to match at the top corner. You might have to lift your needle to get it just right. That's no problem, you're a renegade quilter after all!

This little tip is worth noting - when you turn the corner anchor your stitch by sewing forward two stitches and then back two stitches. If you don't anchor then you end up with corners like this:

Then go ahead and start sewing down the side like this:

Now when you get to the corner grab another background triangle from your stack and match it to the corner to make a square, anchor your corner, and sew on down the side.

As you go it will look like this:

And spread out a bit:

Once you have sewn your row you can start on the next one or head over to the iron. We're going to go ahead and iron so you can peek at how it goes.

First set your seams by pressing the hot iron on them for just a second. I laid mine out like this:

Then go ahead and trim those pointy corners now - it's going to make ironing them much easier!

Now I typically iron my seams to the dark side (join me in the dark side...) ahem. These are much less bulky and come together nicely ironing the seams each back to their own side.

Once you've finished go ahead and put them on your quilt (I'll post another tutorial on that later).


  1. Wow that looks amazing! Well done.
    I'm not game enough to try triangles.. actually, I don't have much patience for quilting most times!

  2. Oh I highly recommend the precuts! Makes it all so much quicker!

  3. I am always amazed at how you troubleshoot problems on your own. In the case of the corner stitching on this quilt I spot something based on my years of sewing. It appears that the top thread tension is too loose. That is where the loops come from on your corner. To tighten it you just turn to a larger number or to the right. Remember this by lefty loosey and righty tighty. You should be able to pivot a corner by stopping with your needle in the fabric but on the way up from its lowest point, turn the corner and keep stitching. Your back stitch technique made your corners strong which in the end is most important --but extra work.