Trusty Triangles a Row-By-Row Quilt Sampler by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | No Hassle Triangle GaugeHere’s a rhetorical question: How do you create a quilt? Our guess is that your answer is “one block at a time”—a legitimate response. But there’s another answer, “one row at a time.” During this first episode of the two-part TV series, Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt, Nancy Zieman shows how to stitch three of the six rows from her book, Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt. Using only one type of quilt block, a trusty half-square triangle, plus a few squares of fabric, she’ll show you how to design, stitch, and enjoy a row by row quilt.

Watch the Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt online now. You’ll also find details on Nancy’s fun row-by-row method in her book and DVD, Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt, available at Nancy’s Notions.

Row by Row Sample Quilt Basics

You may be familiar with a traditional row-by-row quilt. Instead of creating blocks arranged in a grid, quilt blocks are arranged in rows, with each row having a common design element or theme. The theme for the Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row is, you guessed it, triangles. Half-square triangle blocks varying in sizes from 2″–6″ (finished size) and squares 3″ and 6″ create unifying rows. In this two-part series, Nancy breaks down each row and shares how easy it is to create.

Half-Square Triangles Tutorial

Many of our favorite quilt blocks are made by assembling half-square and quarter-square triangles. But what size do you cut all those triangles to end up with a square and a straight quilt block? What if we told you Nancy figured it out for you? Now you can create 2-1/2″, 3-1/2″, 4-1/2″, 5-1/2″ and 6-1/2″ half-square and quarter-square triangles from squares. That’s right, there’s no hassle and no need to cut a single triangle! The measurements are printed on the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge that Nancy designed for Clover.

Slide the gauge to the desired setting. The gauge locks into place to assure accuracy. Reference the left side of the gauge for half-squares and the right side of the gauge for quarter-squares.

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge makes easy half squares and quarter squares

The No-Hassle Triangles Gauge gives the block and the cutting sizes.Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge in Use by Clover

Reference the left side of theNo-Hassle Triangles Gauge to select a half-square block size. 

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover Left Side IMG_4158

Cut crosswise strips of two fabrics—the size is printed on the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge. Cut strips into squares.

Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4203

Lay No-Hassle Triangles Gauge onto squares to double-check block size.
Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4137

Mark a center diagonal line through No-Hassle Triangles Gauge die cut openings.  Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4142

Stitch a scant 1/4″ from each side of center. Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4144

Cut along the center diagonal line. Nancy Zieman No-Hassle Triangle Gauge from Clover IMG_4988

Presto, there are now two accurate half-square triangles!Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4152

Since the quilt has quite a few half-square triangle blocks, Team Nancy Zieman used the No Hassle Triangle Gauge to draw the necessary diagonal lines in record time.

Opposing Arrows

The first row design, entitled Opposing Arrows, is a great way to begin your row quilt journey. Your eye most likely will focus on the center design, then follow the opposing arrows to the left or to the right. Arranging half-square triangles that give the sense of movement adds to the pleasure of the creative process.

Teetering Triangles

What might appear as one large triangle teetering on top of a triangle half, it’s size is really an illusion. The Teetering Triangles block is created with 6-1/2″ half-square triangles and a 6-1/2″ square—simple as that! A few left over triangles come together to form the center medallion. It’s all a matter of placement and color—that’s the magic of quilting.


Twirling Triangles

The Twirling Triangles design is an ideal quilt block design for our sampler row quilt. The juxtaposition of half-square triangles gives the illusion of motion. Plus, the various combinations of colors in each block provide an opportunity to see how light, medium, and dark fabrics play together in a row.

The Book: Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt

  • Discover how easy it is to design, stitch, and enjoy a row-by-row sampler without cutting any triangles. Even the most complex-looking blocks are easy to construct with simple straight stitching—and no bias-cut edges to stretch out of shape.
  • Add on a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge to make short work of this classic method, ensuring even cuts and stitching that matches perfectly. Learn tricks for designs filled with movement and artistry, with the fully illustrated book.
  • Six beautiful row designs can be mixed and matched in any number of formations, for a quilt that’s uniquely your own.

Watch Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt (Part 1 and Part 2) on The Best of Sewing With Nancy online.

The Best of Sewing With Nancy TV Show hosted by Nancy Zieman

For a chance to win a copy of the book, Trusty Triangles—a Row-by-Row Sampler Quilt, from Nancy’s Notions, please leave a comment below sharing your favorite row from part one.

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The randomly selected winner of a copy of Nancy Zieman the Rest of the Story—A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Friends, published by Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC, from the March 26 Pillow Sewing Challenge-Winner’s Announced blog posting is Marie:

Marie’s comment is: Beautiful pillows It must have been a hard choice to pick a winner all are so pretty. Still tells me Nancy was always a inspiring person and still showing plus ALL HER GREAT FAMILY AND SPECIAL TEAM THAT WORKED WITH HER. I will always treasure all the teaching I learned from HER and her great TEAM. GOD BLESS ALL Marie

April is National Serger Month! Celebrate with Baby Lock!

April is National Serger Month! Celebrate with Baby Lock!


Happy Quilting,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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