Triangle Quiltalong – Piecing

Triangle Quiltalong Piecing tutorial
I’ve been busy sewing lots of triangles together to bring you the second installment in the Triangle Quiltalong series. In the last post I covered Cutting & Planning, this post I’ll be showing you how I pieced the quilt top together.
Sometimes people confuse patchwork with quilting and use the terms interchangeably, but they are actually different stages of making a quilt. Patchwork is when you join all the pieces of fabric together to make a quilt top, that’s what I’ll show you in this post. Quilting is the technique of stitching the top, batting and backing layers together, I’ll be showing you that in the next post of the series.
Read on for full instructions…

The key to having patchwork that pieces together with nice matching corners and joins comes down to two things.
1. Accurate cutting
2. Consistent seam allowance when sewing together.

I’ve used a 1/4″ seam allowance (which is sort of standard) but you can choose to use whatever you are comfortable with as long as you keep it consistent. Just remember the wider the seam allowance the smaller the patchwork piece/quilt top will end up (unless you’ve factored the larger allowance in of course. Clever you!).
Conveniently my machine came with a 1/4″ hemming foot which has a special guide on the side making sure the seam widths are perfectly accurate.
Use a hemming foot with a 1/4 inch seam allowance
The easiest way to join everything together is to work in rows. Join all the triangles in each row together and then join the long rows to each other.

To keep your pattern in order, stack each row up in a neat little pile in the order that you will piece together.
With the right sides of each triangle facing each other, and ensuring the edges are matched as accurately as possible, sew along dotted line.
It’s a good idea to press (iron) after each seam. Press the seams to the side rather than open (it puts less pressure on the seam).
sewing together triangle for a triangle quilt
Tips on pressing:
-If the fabric is all the same weight it’s best to press all the seams in one row in one direction and the next row in the opposite direction.
-Exceptions are if one of the fabrics is very transparent, press away from that piece, or if you have a very heavy fabric (in my case denim and velvet) it’s best to keep that piece flat and press seams outwards.
Because I’ve used quite a mix of fabric weights, the back of my top looks a little all over the place in regards to seam direction.
Trangle quilt in progress tutorial instructions
You can see in the picture above how the size of the top shrinks once you start sewing the seams.
Triangle quilt instructions sewing
Once you’ve sewn all the triangles into rows, you can start sewing them together. This is the tricky bit and will show if you’ve done a good job in the steps until now.
Working from the center rows out, carefully match (right sides facing) the points of the triangles and edges together, don’t be tempted to stretch the fabric to fit as you will get puckering.
Ideally you want the seam to intersect perfectly with the other two side seams (see arrow). When you open and press the points of the triangles should be touching.
I found the seams a little hard to press at this stage because six pieces of fabric meeting in one spot can get a little bulky, so some seams I pressed to the side but others I pressed open. Would love some advice about what to do in this situation.

Don’t stress too much if all your points aren’t perfect, it’s really a skill that takes lots of practice. Most of mine matched up ok, some better than others!
Sewing instructions triangle quilt
Here’s the back, it looks so pretty with the light shining through like a stained glass window.
Back of quilt top DIY instructions
So we are half way there, now I’m off to buy some batting to prepare for the next stage – Quilting.
Triangle patchwork quilt top rainbow colours
Do you feel like joining in? I’d love you to leave a comment with links to any pictures of your progress, or just hashtag #TriangleQuiltalong on Instagram.

The next installment (due in a couple of weeks to give you all time to get started) is all about quilting. Till then, I’ll be in my sewing room.
Have fun!

Triangle Quiltalong series:
Post 1 – Planning & Cutting
Post 2 – Piecing
Post 3 – Quilting
Post 4 – Binding

19 Comments

  • Pippa says:

    Beautiful quilt Cinti, so pleased to see the quilt making process demystified! :)

  • marysza says:

    woo!! it looks great! so colorful and spingy! I started making a triangle quilt few weeks ago, but I got out of fabric and I can’t finish it :( I got ill and I can’t go shopping!!! :(

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Most of this fabric I’ve used is from old clothes and scraps. Have a look in your wardrobe for unwanted garments :)

  • It’s very pretty. I enjoy the graduation of colours! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a triangular quilt pattern before but I like it, it’s unusual.

  • Fay says:

    This quilt is just gorgeous I really want to make one of my own. Where did you get your fabrics from?

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Just an assortment of remnants from old projects and pieces of old business shirts. The is a bit of a denim skirt in there and some old cushion covers too.

  • Beckie says:

    So lovely! I love all those scrap fabric you used. The colours are fun and attractive! Great job Cintia!

  • Michelle says:

    I saw you were doing this on your facebook page – here is my first post about my quilt – I had just started it before I found your post – what uncanny timing!!!

    http://www.rockmyroll.com/2013/03/beginnings.html

  • jacq says:

    Absolutely love this!!
    Have been looking for a quilt idea for my almost 2 year old son and jus found it.
    Thanks so much!!

  • Joan Proud says:

    Just going to start this, hope the points look as good as yours.

  • Stacia says:

    I just finished a quilt top that was all triangles….

  • will says:

    Just what I was looking for, thank you – no good using my old shirts, I tried it but by the time I’ve finished wearing them, they look too worn out.. :)

  • Lydia says:

    Hi! Now you’ve got a loyal reader from Russia) your posts are great!
    Right now I am trying to do the triangle quilt according your instructions ( very clear ones by the way)! But suddenly I got stuck I read somewhere else that when piecing the triangle you have to leave some offset, so that the points won’t be chopped when sewn together. I still can’t figure out if I need them…

  • Krista says:

    Love the triangle quilt! I agree mixing in a velvet in a quilt where everything is cut on bias would dramatically increase the frustration level. In regards to ironing / matching the 6 point seams – you could experiment with some techniques that are designed for piecing lonestar quilts. Try pressing all the seams open and do NOT trim the points that stick out past the bottom edge. You can then use those points to help match the seams more accurately. After the rows are joined together trim the points and press the long seams open as well, using generous steam. I’m not a seam open pressor gal usually myself, but I have had better luck with this technique so it’s worth a try.

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