It’s easy to make a triangle on the corner of a block, no math involved. I first heard of this technique from an amazing quilt teacher, Mary Ellen Hopkins, who wrote groundbreaking quilting books like “It’s OK if You Sit on My Quilt”, and “Connecting Triangles” among others. Mary Ellen was probably best known for creating the connector and perfect piecing triangles concepts. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to see her at her lecture in Milwaukee just a few years before she passed away (in 2013). Not only did she make quilting fun, her sense of humor and showmanship shined during what I would call her “performance” instead of her lecture.
Here’s how to do this technique. In this example, I’ll add a triangle to the top of a rectangle. I cut a square the same width as the rectangle. On the wrong side of the square, I drew a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Since I’ll be sewing on this line, I like to use a very fine point sharpie or a mechanical pencil with a light hand—just dark enough to see.
Place the rectangle right side up and the marked square right side down on top of it (right sides together) paying attention to the orientation of the angle.
Then sew on the drawn line.
If I’m making more than one I like to sew one after the other (chain piecing) without having to cut the threads in-between until I’m finished.
Then I take it to the ironing board (love my wool pressing surface by the way) and I give it a good press as is to set the seam.
Then I gently open the seam by folding the edge of the square to meet the opposite corner.
This video might make it easier to understand…just hit the play button below.
These corner triangles (made with marked squares) are sometimes referred to as “snowball” corners, or “snowballed”. You can use them to make all sorts of blocks: snowball, flying geese, or star points. Let me show you a few examples.
By adding a second triangle (same angle orientation) to the bottom, I’ve made a simple parallelogram.
Or by adding them to four corners of a square, I can make a snowball block. Here’s one of my baby quilts featuring the snowball. I’ve added color triangles to the white squares & white triangles to the color blocks.
But look what happens when
So give this technique a try. And play with different sizes and shapes. The sky’s the limit! Have fun.
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING