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All you need to know about triangle points by Guidelines4Quilting The smaller the triangles, the more that built-in error matters. Using our Seam Allowance Additions and Prep-Tool eliminates the built-in error completely. The Prep-Tool is also a scant ¼" tool. Trim triangle points accurately with the Prep-Tool. Most point trimmers have a built-in error What is just the right spot to trim triangles? The Ultimate Stashbuster: A fun way to turn your fabric stash into finished blocks. Trim triangle points before or after sewing pieces: That is the question. Download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet by Guidelines4Quilting


Trim Triangle Points Before or After Sewing Pieces:
That is the Question.

dog earsIf you've worked with Triangles at all, you have definitely trimmed off a few Dog Ears, Bunny Ears or Triangle Points which all do mean the same thing.

But most often you've probably trimmed them after you've pressed two Half Square Triangles open into a Triangle Square and there are the Triangle Points poking out just waiting to be trimmed off.


But there are times when pre-trimming the points is the way to go:

A good example is if you are sewing a triangle to a square.

Square and Triangle

You can try folding the Square in half to find the center, but a much better way is to use a Point Trimmer like our Prep-Tool that will trim the points at just the right spot.



And What is Just the Right Spot?

You can look at it this way. These Triangles and Square are the same Finished Size and if you sew them together it will be the same seam line joining them.

If you look at the seam line on the Square, it is a Scant ¼" from each edge. So if you were to measure a Scant ¼" from the end of the seam line on the Triangle, that is where you would want to trim off the point.

Square & Triangle


Trimmed Triangles and Squares


The bottom line to all this is, the edges of Squares and Triangles that are the same Finished Size, should match exactly after you accurately trim the Triangle Points.

Align triangle with square


Most Point Trimmers have a Built-In Error:

Patterns add rounded up seam allowance amounts for triangles because quilt rulers only have lines every 1/8":

Seam Allowance Story by Guidelines4Quilting

Because those measurements are rounded up, so are the measurements used by most point trimmers. Most Point Trimmers use a width of .375" which is 3/8". But, if you do the math, the exact width you should trim at is .354".


The smaller the triangles,
the more that built-in error matters:

If you are cutting 3" or larger triangles, the built in error is a pretty small part of the total measurement and can be eased in fairly easily. But if they are 2" or less, it's a much bigger part of the total length.

So, when following a pattern precisely, unfortunately, Triangles will end up being slightly bigger than Squares of the same size no matter how accurately you cut them:

Using a quilt ruler alone,


Now, there is a lot more that goes into accurate piecing beyond just cutting the pieces as accurately as possible, but who would want a built-in error if it can be avoided?



If you are following a pattern and something doesn't fit together right,
you may have no idea at what point it started going wrong.

Using Our Seam Allowance Additions and Prep-Tool
Eliminates the Built-in Error Completely:

Because the Seam Allowance Additions add the exact seam allowance amounts and the Prep-Tool trims the points at the exact spot, you can cut Squares and Triangles the exact same Finished Sizes and then see if the edges match.

Seam Allownace Additions by Guidelines4Quilting

Cut sizes - Guidelines4Quilting

Before and After Trimming Triangle Points



Click here to download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet

Trim Triangle Points Accurately with the Prep-Tool:


Click here to download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet

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Click here to download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet

The Prep-Tool is also a Scant ¼" Tool:

Not only can you see how accurately you are cutting, but the Prep-Tool makes it easy to set a Seam Guide on your sewing machine at a Scant ¼". It also makes it easy to check how accurate your sewing is.

Click here to download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet.



If you haven't seen our Ultimate Stashbuster:

It's not only a great way to turn your stash into finished blocks, it's also a great way to practice your cutting skills.

Ultimate Stashbuster by Guidelines4Quilting



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Quilt Ruler Connector by Guidelines4Quilting Finished Size Quilting by Guideliens4Quilting The Ultimate Stashbuster by Guidelines4Quilting Quilt Ruler Additions' 8-Page Booklet Prep-Tool by Guidelines4Quilting Click here to download Prep-Tool's 8-Page Booklet.