How I Made a Triangle Quilt

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A few months ago, a good friend of mine found out she was expecting baby number 4. Both of us being sewers, we immediately talked about what to make for baby. I asked her if there was anything I could make and she said a quilt.

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A few weeks later when she found out she was having a boy and she sent a few pics my way of what kind of quilt she wanted. A triangle quilt it was! They are quite the rage at the moment :) We discussed colors, to use batting or not, and size. She decided on the above colors with a stripey binding; no batting (since she lives in Florida which is a rather warm state); big enough to cover the crib mattress for when it transitions into a toddler bed.

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I went to the store and bought some fabric and made a quilt. I had done some measurements wrong and it wasn’t quite wide enough and I just wasn’t digging that color scheme, so I went back and bought more fabric and adjusted the size. This is what came of it. I’m going to share how I made it in case anyone is interested. I’m not a super quilter or anything and there might be better ways to do some of these things, but I like to live and learn with my sewing :) and this is how I did it.

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Supplies to create a crib sized quilt ( measures roughly 42″ x 60″)
I can say for sure, you will need 2 yards for the backing (with no extra, I just added that extra triangle line for interest) and .5 yards for the binding. The rest just depends. Here is a breakdown of what I used and I had some leftover, but it’s good to have a bit extra just in case you need it.
Gray (2 yards used for backing and .5 for front) 2.5 yards
White 3/4 yard
Khaki 3/4 yard
Yellow .5 yard
Peach .5 yard
Green  .5 yard
Blue 3/4 yard
Orange .5 yard
Striped Fabric for binding .5 yard
I didn’t use any batting, but I’m sure there is a crib sized one that would work, or you just buy one that is bigger and cut it down to size.
The triangles will be 6.5″ high and 6″ wide at the bottom. There will be 11 rows of 17 whole triangles, where as the two on the edge will be cut in half during the trimming process. 
The binding needs to be 180″ long and 2.5″ wide (or width of your preference). I will not share a tutorial on how to make this as there are tons out there already. Simple search “how to make quilt binding” and you will find many ways to determine which one fits you. I will show how I cut mine though, as I did not do it on the bias which might require more fabric.

Other supplies I used:
-Starch
-Iron
-Pins
-Dark gray thread
-Rotary cutter
-Scissors
-Cutting board
-Ruler 

Cutting the fabric:
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To cut the triangles, I started with my fabric piece and starched it. This helps keep its shape a lot. Trust me. I didn’t do it on the first and noticed a big difference.

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I folded it in half (this is where is was folded on the bolt).

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Then I folded it again in the same direction.

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And then one more time.

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Next, it was time to get rid of the terrible unmatched ends.

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Using the equipment you have, trim off the uneven edges so it’s even.

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Then go down the folded piece of fabric and cut in 6.5″ pieces all the way down.

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Get as many pieces cut out of it as you can.

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Stack them and put them to the side and do this with all the fabric pieces you are using for your triangles.

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Once that is all done, open up one piece so that it is folded in half only.

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I placed the folded side on the edge of my cutting board and angled the ruler from one bottom corner to 3 inches over on the top. Then I cut along the edge with rotary cutter to get my first triangle. (note: it will be folded in half ;)

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Then I continued cutting triangles, but now the fabric isn’t folded, so it needs to be the whole triangle size. I made the angle so that there were six inches across at the bottom and it hit 3 inches over at the top.

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Continue cutting triangle like this until the end.

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When you get to the end, you will have some extra usually. So you might just want to cut half triangles to use on a different project. Maybe make a matching pillow or use on the backing.

Triangle Placement:

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Now lay them all out on the floor for how you want them to go. I just randomly placed them pleasing to the eye. This pic above was from the first quilt I did. You will need to have 11 rows of 17 WHOLE triangles in each. We will do the trimming at the end instead. I just forgot to take pics of this part on the 2nd quilt.

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Once they are all laid out, I stacked them in order and then put a sticky note for which row it was. I made sure to start with the same end on each row so it all matched up how I wanted it to.

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Then stack them however you like and take them to sew.

Sewing Quilt Top:

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Sew the triangles in a row together, about 1/4″ seam allowance. I did mine a tad smaller though. Make sure to keep them in order. Once done, press open the seams with iron. Do not actually slide iron along. Just hold it down and pick it up to press. This helps it keep its shape better for matching up the rows later.

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I kept the note with which row it was on each one so I didn’t misplace one. Keep in order while sewing the rows together.

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Now start to sew the rows together.

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Start by pinning rows 1 and 2 together, making sure the triangle ends meet each other.

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Once sewn, press open the seam.
Next sew rows 3 and 4 together.
Then 5 and 6.
Then 7 and 8.
Then 9 and 10.
Then sew 11 onto 10.
Then sew the first group (1&2) to (3&4). Sew (5&6) to (7&8).
Sew (5,6,7,8) to (9, 10, 11).
Then finally sew (1,2,3,4) to (5,6,7,8,9,10,11).
This helps keep the rows straighter as opposed to just sewing them all together starting from 1 and working on down.

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The top is almost done :)

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Now trim the edges. Just even them out two at a time.

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Looking good :)

Making a Quilt Sandwich:

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Next place the backing down on the floor, wrong side facing up. You only need the 2 yard piece. If using batting, add that next. Then place the triangle top on top of that, right side facing up. Pin the three layers (or 2 in my case) together as you prefer.

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Next, I sewed above and below each rows seam only (width wise). You could do more, but this was good enough I felt.

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Then to keep it in place, I also sewed down the top and bottom edge to the backing. Then I finished by trimming the backing that was poking out on the sides.

Cutting the Binding:

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I then cut my strips for the binding by folding my 1/2 yard in half. I cut 2.5″ strips and sewed them together. Again, find a good tutorial you like on how to do this part as there are many methods. I hand sewed it to the back though. I just can’t quite do that part with machine sewing yet :)
When it’s all done, I like to throw it in the washer to help it get started with that crinkly comfy look. That is one of my favorite parts about quilts.

So there you have it! It was fun to make and a great learning experience for me. I can’t wait to get this to baby Jude :)
-Jess

Comments

  1. Annabelle says

    I love the colors! I finished a chevron quilt in March! It was similar to how you made this one! Thanks for working so hard at putting a post together for it!

  2. Amy Gay says

    That looks great! I still can’t imagine a quilt with no batting, even IF I live here in SWLA. LOL But it looks amazing. And the stripe binding is perfect for a baby. It will dazzle his eyes!

    • Happy Together says

      You should do it sometime :) It makes it more cost effective too! lol. I have made all of our quilts this way so far. They don’t get as crinkly looking, but it’s great for these hotter climates. I had a friend in FL who quilted, and while they were stationed in Hawaii, she said none of the quilters there used batting at all. But when they were stationed in Alaska, everyone did.

  3. Anonymous says

    This is just beautiful!!!! You should sale them…I can tell it took a lot of time but what a perfect gift!!

  4. Erin A says

    Holy smokes. This is a beautiful quilt!! It seems elaborate, but doable. Is it strange that it seems both? :) I made a puff quilt for my baby girl, so I’m sure I could pull something like this off. Thanks for an awesome tutorial!!

  5. tennille says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! My Grandmother was a quilter, and I had the chance to help her when I was younger with the hand quilting side of things, so I feel comfortable with that, but… after her passing over a year ago my mom gave me a bag of fabric from Grandmother’s items. I just went to look through it last night to find fabric for the “Fabric Letters” I’m going to make for my son’s first birthday present. Anyway… I found a 5 piece strip of triangles sewn together. I cried. I want to use her scraps and make a triangle quilt just like she did. I have a quilt she made specifically for me, but was not able to get a utility quilt, we have a BIG family. … She called her triangle quilts “UTILITY QUILTS” … made mostly of fabric scraps (you could look thru her quilt and pick out your sunday dress or your christmas pi’s, or bedroom curtain) Her utility quilts were printed fabric triangles going one way and solid white going the other. They make me smile! Again, thank you… this will help me make one to mimic hers!!

    • Happy Together says

      You are so very welcome :) How special that you will be able to carry on her legacy through sewing. I know that the quilt you make, and whatever else you make from that fabric, will be the sweetest ever.

  6. Anonymous says

    I am very interested in making this quilt but I was wondering what type of fabric you used. Is it just 100% cotton? Also, where did you buy your fabric because I love the colors you used. Thank you!

    • Happy Together says

      Hi :) Yes, I just used regular cotton fabric. I went to the section in the fabric store with the solid quilting cottons and batistes and just sat pulling out colors until I found the color combo I liked. So, some fabric was thinner than others since it all wasn’t from the same line, but you can’t tell at all once it’s all together.

  7. Desiree says

    Thanks for the tutorial- looks straight forward and very helpful! I’ve never made a quilt before and I’m about to attempt a triangle quilt for my baby boy and this has given me the confidence.

    • Happy Together says

      I just went to Hancock fabrics, stood in the area with all the solid cotton quilting/batiste fabrics, and just pulled out what I liked :) It took me a while to get a good combination of colors I liked though.

  8. Candace says

    I Love it! My sister needs one for Christmas! What did you back the quilt with? It doesn’t look like regular cotton? Did you buy the stripy fabric at Hancocks too?

    • Happy Together says

      How sweet of you to make your sister gifts :) The back was just regular quilting cotton fabric as well. It is just a dark grey so it might come off as it has a different look due to the low lighting I took the pics in. The stripey fabric actually came from Hobby Lobby, but they might have some at Hancocks too. It’s a pretty popular type print :) So if you can’t find it anywhere, I know that you can find it online. Have fun making a quilt :)

    • Happy Together says

      Hi all :) I just wanted to let you know that it’s okay! I actually do not mind people making things using my tutorials/patterns and selling them. I just don’t ask that people claim it’s their original idea ;) But, it happens I’m sure! lol. This quilt really is a compilation of a few that my friend showed me anyways (in the color department) because that is what she desired. I just wanted to share the measurements and all so someone could make one any way they wanted :) I do appreciate the loyalty!

    • Happy Together says

      You are welcome :) I just suggest taking your time and not stretching the fabric when ironing. Otherwise it could get really frustrating when piecing it together (this coming from my own experience ;)

  9. Y Mama says

    Loving this quilt and your tutorial! I’m not a quilter. I made one before years ago, just a block one that I totally guessed my way thru! Will let you know, once I get started! Thanks for your time putting this together for us!!

  10. Joi says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am in the process of trying it now. I start sewing tomorrow night. I do have a question though…do you have to back stitch each time you sew a triangle together? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Happy Together says

      You are welcome :) I did not because I wanted to go as fast as I could lol. But some people do. I would backstitch if I was doing really small pieces and wanted to make sure it didn’t come undone at the ends at all. I say do a few and see how you feel about it.

  11. Anonymous says

    This tutorial was so interesting. I bought some already cut out triangles and squares at our local MCC Relief sale in the quilting corner. I was wondering
    just what to do with them. So there it is! LOL
    Mia

    • Happy Together says

      Thank you :) I am lazy and did not! lol But, I would suggest always washing any fabric that you know or think might shrink. I knew this kind of fabric would be okay so I didn’t.

    • Happy Together says

      It sure is a lot of work, but not that difficult. I worked in shifts to make it go quick. One night I cut the fabric and laid it out. Next, I sewed half the rows….and so on. I’m not quite sure how long all together because I worked on it an hour here, an hour there kind of thing. But, I would say at least 5 hours all together. Maybe a little more.

  12. Jena says

    Love this! Found it on Pinterest and seriously adore it. I’m not a sewer or quilter but this makes me want to be! :) If you ever start selling quilts I will be first on the list for this bad boy. Thanks for sharing!

  13. my2cents says

    I’m new to quilting/sewing and am going to start a triangle quilt this week. Can you please explain what you used to starch the fabric and how you did it? Thanks!

    • Jessica Fediw says

      Yay for starting to quilt! I used Niagra spray starch that we picked up from Target. The type you buy will have directions, but you spray a little on, let it sit a minute or two, then iron. It’s really not necessary if you are using the good thicker quilting cottons, but a lot of my fabrics were on the flimsy side so it helped a lot!

    • Jessica says

      I so wish I could! I am very honored you would ask :) I do know for a fact that there are a ton of people who make and sell these on Etsy and would be more than happy to do a custom order for you if you like these colors :)

  14. Lori R says

    I am attempting to make my first triangle quilt. ,I think I have everything cut out correctly. But when I go to sew my rows together, the top points of my triangles are cut off. What didi do wrong when I was sewing the triangles in a row? I would appreciate anyone’s help. Thank you

    • Jessica says

      Hi :) Mine are cut off as well, but not so much that it is really noticeable once all together. If you really want more of the point, you will need to make the triangle a little taller (to keep this size) and when you sew the individual triangles together side by side, the pointed ends should not come all the way to the edge of the triangle its being sewn to. So, the triangles when sewn together, would not be even and would need to be trimmed before sewing the rows together. This gives you space in the seam allowance so the point is seem more.

  15. Lauren Thombleson says

    Hi Jess, I am a quilter in Florida and I absolutely love your quilt. I didn’t know it wasn’t batted from the photos. I made one once w/o batting and just tacked it together in random spots. After machine washing a few times, my seams started coming apart :(
    Do you know how your quilt has held up after washings? I am assuming it has been machine washed since it is for a child.
    Thanks sew much,
    Lauren

    • Jessica says

      Hi Lauren :) All the quilts I have ever made without batting have held up wonderfully! In fact, I just saw my friend whom I made this quilt for over spring break. She brought it to the beach and her hubby was telling me what a conversation starter it was and how they loved it still so much. I have made most of my own myself and have had them for years, with plenty of washings, and they are fine. Adding batting doesn’t hold them together, it’s the stitching that does. If the seams were coming apart, then I would look into what kind of thread you are using. It might not be a very good kind. Also, the seam allowance might not have been enough. When sewn to close to the fabric edge, it’s easier for the fabric to unravel and the thread to work its way out and come undone (if that makes sense lol). I hope that you are able to figure it out and solve the problem :)

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