Anything but pointless: how to keep triangle points pointy 🔺🔻🔺

If you struggle with keeping the points of your triangles pointy when sewing them into your quilt blocks, Pat Sloan has a simple solution for you—and it works for any type of triangle piecing.

Union Square quilt
Union Square quilt from
Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Sew Triangles

All you need are two pins and Pat’s triangle tips below to get pointy points that won’t get lost in your seams. Follow along and you’ll never be pointless again!


Pat SloanPreserving the Points
Excerpt from Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Sew Triangles

After taking the time to sew crisp and consistent triangles, it would be a shame to lose your points in the seams of your blocks. By following a few helpful hints, you can easily maintain sharp points when sewing the units together.

1. Begin with units that have been sewn and trimmed to the correct dimensions. If one or more of the units is not the correct size from the start, the problem will only multiply when you sew them together. Using a clear gridded ruler (not the grid on the cutting mat), measure each unit to be sure it’s the correct size.

2. Place the two units to be joined right sides together. Whenever possible, arrange the units with the intersection facing up so you can see it as you stitch. After lining up the units, place a pin directly before and after the intersection rather than directly at the intersection. This secures the layers and makes it easy to remove the pins without disturbing the precise alignment point.

Triangle quilt tips

3. Begin stitching the units, but note that an exact 1/4″ seam-allowance width will actually guide the needle directly into the triangle point. To keep a sharp triangle point, it’s important to account for the bulk of the fabric fold along the seamline, also known as “turn of cloth.”

Triangle quilt tips

If the seam allowance is too wide, the point will be chopped off when you press open the units. Save the point by sewing slightly outside of the intersection, just a thread or two into the ¼" seam allowance.

Triangle quilt tips

4. Press the units flat before unfolding them to warm the fabric and set the stitches. Open the units and press the seam allowances away from the triangle point to reduce the bulk underneath it. Notice how the point lines up with the seamline without getting lost within it.

Triangle quilt tips


Get tons more triangle tips from Pat in her book Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Sew Triangles—13 triangle techniques and 12 terrific triangle quilt patterns await you! Get Pat’s trio of “Teach Me” books and expand your quilting skills, which will also (we promise!) expand your quilting fun.

Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Sew Triangles Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Applique

Do you insist on pointy points, or are you a “done is better than perfect” kind of quilter who can live will flat-top triangles here and there? Tell us in the comments!

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