Thursday, January 3, 2013

Piecing triangles in quilts

Hi everybody! I hope you had a blissful holiday :) I can say that mine was a blast... I had family coming over from Buenos Aires to spend the New Year with us! Imagine, traveling 4000 miles just to be with us... Not only did I have to prepare for their arrival by practically cleaning the entire house (you know how this is... dust everywhere), but I was also cooking so much that I lost track of how many we were. Let me tell you that there was enough food to feed an army :) So much fun! Having friends is the best thing in the world...
A lot has happened these few weeks, so forgive my lack of posting... In my studio I got one of my dream boards entirely renovated with gorgeous picturesque photos (pictures coming soon! I promise!) and it was my birthday!

If there is one thing that my mother loves very much, is a quilt. She can never have enough of them and you can usually find her redecorating her room, just to accommodate a new quilt that I've made for her. For Christmas, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to make her one that has her favorite colors. There is one quilt that I enjoyed designing. It is "Floral Envelopes", that I made featuring the Paradise collection. In the instructions, there are diagrams that show you, in detail, how to piece it together, but I know, that for some of us, piecing triangles together can be a little scary. So I decided to create a tutorial with step by step pictures, this way you can see in detail how to overcome the fear of piecing triangles to create a gorgeous quilt!

Please note that this is a tutorial on how to piece triangles together. If you want the complete fabric requirements and instructions for the "Floral Envelopes" quilt, please click here.

When sewing triangles together, you need to take into account that at each tip there has to be a ¼" seam allowance so that when you sew, you can see all the triangle tips perfectly. In the quilting slang, they are called "dog ears"

Start by grabbing the two triangles, placing the fabrics right side together, but when you align them, make sure that the top and bottom pieces meet exactly at ¼" from the edge. You will have to slide down one of them for the tip of the other to show up.

Grab the fabrics and put them on the machine, putting the needle down exactly at the intersection where the fabrics match at ¼". Sew the pieces together, making sure you don't pull the fabrics as you sew because they can stretch (triangles are always cut on the bias) and distortion can occur.

To press, open the triangles from the unsewn tips. Press well following in ONE smooth outward direction. NOTE: Pressing can stretch the fabric as well, so be careful when pressing triangles.

Now you are ready to attach the next triangle, following the same steps as the first one, making sure to put the needle down at the exact ¼" intersection of the fabrics. Sew all the way to the end, maintaining the fabrics aligned, but making sure not to pull the fabric.

Press well again, paying attention to the direction. Start at the center of the seam and press in an outward motion.

When you're done attaching the three triangles together, the distance between the edge and the tip top of the middle triangle should be ¼" for the seam allowance when you add another block, strip or border.

This is the method that gave me the best results. It is fast, and once you get used to it, it's a no brainer because all triangles (no matter what type) are sewn the same way.

By the way... my mom loved it!

Much love, Pat

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  1. Thanks for that!! This is one technique that trips me up regularly!!

  2. Great instructions. It's a wonderful gift, I'm glad she loved it.

  3. Oh, that is such a lovely quilt and thank you for such clear instructions!! Lucky Mama!! :)

  4. Such a wonderful quilt, she sure is a lucky mama!!!!:)

  5. YEARs (in the 90's) ago, when I was one of the volunteers keeping the AOL quilt area running and doing swaps, I was known as the Queen of triangles as it seemed all my blocks had them! LOL