Boot Camp Sundays February - Flipping Triangles

February - Improv Piecing using Flipping Triangles

Have you ever been stressed out about matching your points while working with snowballing your blocks? You don't have to stress out any more, Flipping Triangles is going to ease out your anxieties by using modern way of snowballing your blocks.

As you know by now the theme for this month is Flipping Triangles. I came up with this theme after reading the cool modern improvisational piecing technique, "Stitch and Flip Triangle" from the Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts book by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. I am working on one of the quilts from this book and absolutely love this technique. Improvisation piecing(Improv piecing for short form ) is very liberating and fun way to design your quilt as you go.

A heart felt thank you to Jacquie and Katie for letting me do this tutorial on their Improv Piecing technique - "Stitch and Flip Triangles" from their book. They have 3 different quilts in this book using this technique "Supernova Quilt", "Blind Copilot" and "Swirling Medallion Quilt". Check out their book for more details on these patterns.

Lets get started with the improvisational piecing technique,  "Flipping Triangles".

Fabric selection:
This is a great one to use up your scraps any where from 2x2 inches to 6x6 inches sqaures or rectangles or any old looking piece of scrap fabric. If your scraps are light color then choose a darker fabric for you background. And if your scraps fabric or fabric choosen for snowballing your blocks is darker in value then choose a lighter neutral color for your background. I am using Michael Miller Cotton Couture - Charcoal for my background and Michael Miller's Madrona Road fabrics in straw/mustard prints for my triangles. You can choose to mix many different colors of fabric.

Focus Fabric:
5inch strip from 6 to 9 different fabrics. I used 3 sets of colors with 1 solid color to go in each set. Randomly cut these strips into  4inch to 5inch rectangles, triangles or squares.

Background Fabric:
  1. Cut 5.5 inch strips from the background fabric. Then sub cut these into 5.5 inch squares and 10.5 inch rectangles.
  2. Cut 10.5 inch strips from the background fabric. Then sub cut these into 10.5 inch squares
Improv Construction/Piecing:
  • Choose any one square or rectangle from your background fabric. Place your print fabric/scrap fabric to form the triangle to one corner of your background fabric.
  • Sew scant 1/4 inch from one corner to the other.
  •  Flip the triangle to make sure if it covers the corner completely. Its always preferable to have some extra fabric to trim rather than being short off in the corners. The below pictures show what not to do. You can see that its 1/16inch short of the corners.
  • If this happens rip the stitches with your seam ripper and reduce the size of the triangle by moving your fabric closer to the corner. To verify that it would work this time flip the triangle and make a crease. Now stitch scant 1/4 inch from one corner to the other of the triangle.
1.Rip the seams
2.Place the print fabric closer to the corner
4.Sew scant 1/4 inch seam from corner to corner
3.Make a crease
  •  Now flip the triangle to cover the corners and inspect to make sure it hangs over the corner of the background rectangle.

Flipping the triangle

  • Align the ruler along the stitch line to measure 1/4 inch and trim the excess fabric from the background.

  • Press the seam and flip the triangle and iron towards the dark side of the fabric. Now trim the excess fabric in all corners.

  • Alternate picture show a square being stitched to the corner of your background fabric.

  • For each square or rectangle randomly choose how many corners you are going to flip the triangles for. Now repeat the process for all your squares and rectangles and trim off the excess fabric.

Suggested arrangement for your blocks to form a bigger block or a small quilt.
Suggested Arrangement 1

Suggested Arrangement 2
Hope you like this technique as much as I did.
For more quilting inspiration checkout Jacquie Gering's blog and Katie Pedersen's blog. 

If you would like to share your progress from January, please join the Boot Camp Sundays Flickr Group.

Happy Quilting!
P.S. Meanwhile I will also work on getting the linky ready to share your January progress.


  1. Looks great! I have one I'm working on with Quiltcon colors that has rectangles. I love the look.

    1. Thank you, Katie! I'm really enjoying making these blocks. Can't wait to see your quilt in Quiltcon colors.


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