Lynn Roddy Brown


Making Triangle Units

Lynn Roddy Brown

Paired Squares

When I piece triangle units I like to make what I call "paired squares".  Using oversize squares of the two fabrics that will be sewn together, lay the first fabric, right side up, on the ironing board.  Spray evenly with spray starch.  Lay the second fabric, right side   down on top of the first, aligning the edges and press well until dry.  The fabrics should now be smooth, crisp, lightly stuck together, and ready to cut.

Half-Square Triangle Units

Cut two squares that contrast in value and are 1 1/4" larger than the finished size of the half-square triangle unit.   Refer to "Paired Squares" above.  Cut the paired squares in half once diagonally.  Using a 1/4" seam, sew the long edge of each triangle, press toward the dark and then trim to the exact size.

Three-in-a-Square Triangle Units

Illustrated above is the block I have chosen to call a Three-in-a-Square Triangle unit.  For 20 years, I avoided making this unit because all of the instructions used measurements ending in 7/8". Since sewing two bias edges together was necessary, I did not feel I could make these units and meet my standards for precise piecing.

After much thought I decided it was possible to use my accurate piecing methods for these units. 

For four identical Three-in-a-Square Triangle units that finish 4" you will need:

1 square cut 5 1/2" for one set of smaller triangles  (Fabric 1)

1 square cut 5 1/2" for a second set of smaller triangles (Fabric 2)

2 identical squares cut 5 1/2" for the large triangles (Fabric 3)

  1. 1. Spray the two identical squares with starch and press until dry.  Cut both in half diagonally.   Make four.

2.  Use the two remaining squares to make "paired squares" as described above. Cut into quarters diagonally to yield four pairs of quarter-square triangles.

  1. 3. Place the paired quarter-square triangles so that Fabric 2 is on top.  Stitch from the corner to the point on the right edge of each triangle pair.  Set the seams and carefully press open.

  1. 4. Place each quarter-square unit right side down on top of a large triangles (Fabric 3) aligning the long edge and centering the unit.  Pin.  Stitch along the long edge.

5.  The units are now ready to be trimmed to 4 1/2" square.  Which ruler you are using will determine when you press the seam toward the large triangle.  With the Quilt in a Day Triangle Spare Up Ruler (which I prefer) you trim and then press. With other rulers you press and then trim.

Shown below are two blocks using the Three-in-a-Square Triangle unit.  These units also make great borders.