What to Do with Leftover Triangles

Toby Lischko
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Duration:   5  mins

Triangle patchwork is a staple in the quilt world. As quilters, we are constantly making shapes that require us to trim away a portion of the fabric – creating a stack of triangles that we don’t have the heart to discard. Toby Lischko has the answers as she inspires us to use those half square triangles for a new quilt project.

Leftover Triangle Fabric Scraps

Organizing our scraps leads to a desire to use them. Many of the techniques we use while constructing patchwork blocks have us trimming corners from blocks, which results in those bags of triangles. Whether you are collecting trimmed triangles from flying geese units, discarded from snowball units, or flippy corner unit triangles, you may have accumulated hundreds of half square triangles. Triangle squares can be sewn and sorted by color or mixed with those from a variety of projects to make a scrappy project.

Half Square Triangles

The leftover half square triangles can be stitched into pairs as leaders and enders while you are working on another project. This system has you slowly pairing triangles into squares over a longer period of time. Another approach is to simply join triangles as you focus on building triangle quilt blocks. This can leave us with half square triangles in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Toby has great tips for pressing and trimming those units for use in either scrappy half square triangle quilt patterns or an original design of your choosing. There are hundreds of ways to assemble those units to make miniature quilts, potholders, placemats, or doll quilts.

Making half square triangles a usable size takes trimming and is vital to perfect fitting triangle patchwork. See her demonstration for sizing blocks and trimming in a two-step method for a perfect fitting unit. Toby shares a variety of inspiring examples of miniature quilts made from scraps using triangle quilt blocks. For further information on triangles, check out this PDF guide for using triangles in quilting.

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2 Responses to “What to Do with Leftover Triangles”

  1. Carolyn

    You could also border the HSTs to make them come up to a particular size, then they would float within the block. I am thinking of doing this for a sampler quilt, also including other units such as hourglass or four patch, and all with block borders. Borders could be uneven within each block too for an improv effect.

  2. Patricia palmieri

    Excellent book with 15 patterns by Edyta Sitar called Friendship Triangles

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