scrappy triangles – a quilt block tutorial

Ok, finally! Look what I have for you… a quick little tutorial on how to construct the scrappy triangle blocks I used in my Nautical quilt.

A few things before we start… this tutorial will show you my method for making a scrappy triangle block. I’m not providing fabric requirements, or instructions for fully completing this quilt, because well, I just don’t have time! and because I think there are many great tutorials already out there for finishing quilts. If you have questions about the block, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there. Feel free to use and share this tutorial, but please remember to give credit!

Block size: 6 1/2″ x 9″.

So, to start, you’ll want to make yourself a template for an isosceles triangle. You could really select any lengths you want, but here I’m going with a triangle that measures 6″ on the short side and 9″ on the two equal sides. (I marked lines on the left side to show the 6″ short side, then marked a vertical line 8.5″ away from the left side and a horizontal line at the halfway point of the short side. Use the point where those lines cross as the point of your triangle.)

Once you have your template cut out, you can start sewing together your scraps. I sewed most of mine together the following way because I think it results in less waste.

I find that 5-6 strips seem to work best for this size of triangle. You could use more if you wanted, but you should make sure that your first and last strips are wide enough so that you don’t lose the fabric in your seam allowance. Lay out your strips, overlapping them a bit to account for the seam allowance, to make a basic triangular shape.

Lay your template on top to make sure the scrap area is large enough.

Sew your strips together using a 1/4″ seam allowance and iron. I iron my seams open, but feel free to use your preferred method! Trim, using your template as a guide.

Cut a piece of your background fabric that measures approximately 6″ x 12″.

Align the long side of the background fabric with one of the long sides of the triangle. You’ll want to align it so that there is about 1.5″ of background fabric on either end of the long side of the triangle.

Sew along that edge and press. It’ll look something like this.

Align the short edge of the triangle with one of the vertical lines on your cutting mat and then make a horizontal cut through your background fabric approximately 1.25″ above the top of the short edge, as shown above (this doesn’t need to be exact, as we’ll be trimming it down later on).

You’ll have something that looks like this.

Take the background piece you just cut off and flip it around like so.

Flip it up so the right sides are together and sew along this long edge, again leaving about 1.5″ of the background fabric on either end of the triangle.

Trim off any excess beyond the seam

Press this seam. You’ll have something that looks like this.

Trim the top and bottom sides so the height measures 6.5″. I aim for about 1/2″ of background fabric above and below the short edge of the scrappy triangle. Trim the sides so the block measures 9″ in length.

And ta da! One scrappy triangle block! Make a whole bunch more, arrange them how you’d like, and sew them together into a lovely quilt top! As always, if you make any, I’d love to see them, so be sure to add them to the FITF Flickr group!

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