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Missing The Point

Does this situation look familiar? "Oh points wherefore art thou?!" I know cutting off the points in your quilt blocks is one of the most frustrating experiences even for seasoned quilters. I thought I would reverse-engineer this problem so you could see how to avoid it.

All blocks with points involve at least three seams. I labeled the seams in order of assembly here. When the points get cut off, it is easy to assume that seam 3 is the culprit… but that is seldom the case!

It all starts with seam 1. Here I am sewing my triangle to my diamond, and as I get closer to the point my ¼” seam allowance starts to drift narrow. It’s not too far off, so I leave it alone and press the seam out flat anyway.

Then seam 2 happens, and this time I am a little more careful, but this seam drifts narrowly towards the pointed end too. Here you see the backside after I have pressed seam two out. Notice how close to the edge my crisscrossing seams are?

From the front side, it looks a little better, but that point is actually only ⅛” below the raw edge at this point.

Now for seam 3. You can see the slight bowing along the top edge of the pieced triangle due to those drifting seams, but I forge ahead thinking I’ll work it in ;). Well, that didn’t work out as planned. As soon as I sewed ¼” seam allowance to join the two triangles together, that point was gone! I was also trying to work in the bowing of the block a bit so the diamond wouldn’t have a bubble in the middle of it. The moral of the story is, seam 3 wasn’t the problem, seam 3 only revealed the problems from seams 1 & 2.

So, let’s do that all again! Here I am sewing the triangle to my diamond for seam 1. This time, I used my stiletto to hold those points together as they got closer to the needle. It can be hard to hold these smaller points in place, and they often shift right at the end of the seam. A stiletto or wooden skewer, or similar tool, will really help keep things in check. Now you can see the seam is the same ¼” all the way across.

Now for seam 2. I used the same technique with my stiletto to hold the triangle in place as I sewed it to the diamond/triangle unit. From the back, you can see a nice X where the two seams cross each other ¼” from the raw edge.

Ready for seam 3! Things are looking good, there is no bowing along the top edge of the pieced triangle. I lay the pieced triangle on top of the solid one and start sewing my ¼” seam allowance to join the two. Here, you see my stiletto pointing to that X where my ¼” seam allowance will cross right at that point. Press it out and would you look at that?! No missing point!

Here you see my whole block finished. When this block joins to the next ones on either side, there will be opportunities for missing points, but I was careful with this process to make sure I have ¼” of background on those outside points with seams 1 & 2.

I really hope this helps!

Happy Sunday everyone,


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