Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quick Corner Triangle Piecing Method (Photo and Video Tutorials)

Today I want to share one more of my favorite quick tips with you.  You can use this method whenever a pattern instructs you to mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of a square from corner to corner.  

I first learned this method a few years ago while working at the fabric store and it's changed my life!  Seriously.  No more marking squares for me.  And that's awesome.  Especially when you have 444 little squares to sew on (like I did on my upcoming "Marbles" quilt pattern - made in the king size version). I think it's become quite a popular technique but I thought I'd share a tutorial with you today, just in case you're new to the quilting scene or haven't been introduced to it yet.

All you need is a piece of colored tape (about 3" long) and your squares - cut to the size instructed in your pattern.  I love to use Washi Tape whenever I use this method - because - A) it's cute B) it comes off super easy and C) it doesn't leave any sticky residue.  I just happened to have this perfect Washi measuring tape on hand but really, any colored tape will do.

So first, you'll need to place the piece of tape onto the slide on table of your sewing machine.  Place it carefully, so that the right-hand edge of the tape lines up with your center needle position and comes straight out towards you.  Make sure it doesn't cover up your feed dogs.

    Place your small square on top of your large square with right sides together.  Line up the corners and place the two squares under your presser foot.

Lower your needle so that it comes down in the first (top) corner of the white square.  Make sure the second (bottom) corner is lined up on the right hand edge of the tape.

Sew towards the second corner - keeping it aligned along the right hand edge of the tape the entire time.

When you're done you should have a straight, diagonal line, from corner to corner.  Trim a quarter inch from the stitching line and press according to your patterns instructions.  

And P.S. - If you have 444 corners to piece (like I did) you can save even MORE time by chain piecing them.  Then trim them all.  Then press them all.  Super big time saver.  You can thank me later :)

So if you want to see this tutorial in video form or just see me laughing because of my "sticky residue" comment (which my son didn't think sounded like me because I guess he's never heard me say "sticky residue") then you can check out this video (below).  And please don't judge.  It was my first go at making a YouTube video and I had to bribe my 11 year old to shoot it once again after a gazillion takes.  He's a sweet boy.

Happy quilting!
~ Amber


deshacrafts said...

Very nice tutorial. Your video is very good too!

Dolly said...

Very nice !

I just read, on a post from Amy's Creative Side, that Baby Lock now has a machine out that projects a red laser line in front of your presser foot that serves the same purpose as this tape ! Oh how awesome that will be, huh ? If only it were included on the new Melody that I won from the festival !

Robin said...

Amber, that was a great tutorial as always but I really liked your video tutorial. Good job and great camera work. Keep 'em coming.

Sharon Joyner Griffith said...

Thanks for the helpful hint and the video...

WAZOO! Quilting said...

I have a line made with permanent marker on all my machine extension tables. I started with the tape method years ago, but was brave one day and marked them permanently. Thanks for the reminder to new quilters. It makes the piecing so much quicker and more fun.

Angela Smith said...

Thanks for this tutorial, i will definitely do this when chain piecing, so much faster than drawing all those corner to corner lines. Your video was great too, thanks again.

Jantine said...

I have never ever heard or thought of that, even though I hate drawing lines and have been quilting for years. So thank you soooo very very much....

Amber Johnson said...


Oh that's awesome! I had not heard of that. Very cool!

Thanks for sharing!


Thank you! Anything to put back a little more time in our schedules, right?

Thanks for stopping by!


I had been quilting for years too when someone showed me that tip. It's amazing the things people come up with!

Have a great day!



Thank you! And you can thank my son for the great camera work :) He was a trooper!


WAZOO! Quilting

That's awesome. Not a bad idea to mark it permanently.

Happy quilting!

Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers said...

That *is* a very quick and efficient way to make those diagonal seams. I learned two variations that you may already know about.

1. if you sew another seam, 1/2" away (towards the excess fabric) then cut between the 2 seam lines (leaving each at 1/4"), you will have created a bonus half-square triangle with the excess fabric, instead of "wasting" it.

2. Before you trim away the excess fabric (or make the bonus half-square triangles), press the top-most triangle on top of it, so that the fabric underneath acts as a square-up pressing guide. I can't tell you how many times I have cut away the excess fabric then pressed the topmost triangle only to find that I was skewing that triangle. Once I started using the fabric underneath as a square-up guide, I haven't had any more problems with the block coming out to the correct measurements.

Amber Johnson said...


Good ideas! Thanks for sharing!


Jean said...

I love this idea. Got to get me some washi tape. ;)

Iva Steiner said...

Thank you for this great tip :-)

Anita said...

Great idea, thanks!

Caroline Maynor said...

Thanks so much! I have hundreds to do, this will help save time!