how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Quilt patterns with 1/2-square and 1/4-square triangles are found in many traditional quilt pattern designs. Yet those triangular shapes can be sticklers to piece! Here’s how to take the hassle out of creating triangles, in particular 1/4-square triangles. For more details watch the second episode of No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks online.

The Sampler Quilt

This 12-block quilt features both 1/2- and 1/4-square blocks. In a previous blog, I featured six of the 1/2-square triangle blocks. Now learn how to combine the two block styles to create amazing quilt designs. Note: The instructions to create this quilt are found in No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks.

How to make 1/2-square triangles the easy way by Nancy Zieman

1/4-Square Dance 

Some quilt block names have a long history; others are simply made up on the fly! I’ll let you decide the authenticity of this block named the 1/4-Square Dance! Regardless of what it’s called, it’s the perfect block to begin our no-hassle quilt block journey.


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Boy’s Nonsense (1898)

This quilt block named, Boy’s Nonsense, was officially recorded and appears in print in 1898. The block appears to include rectangular strips. Not so, the design is a combination of 1/2- and 1/4-square triangles plus a plain center square.


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Silent Star

It might be difficult to comprehend, but the next block, Silent Star, is almost identical to the last block, Boy’s Nonsense. The main difference in construction is the center block—all the other blocks are the same. This is the case where fabric choices totally change the design!


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Ohio Star

Simple in design, yet elegant, the Ohio Star quilt block has been in use since the early 1800s, with a spike in popularity in the 1930s. See how this 9-patch block can be made the ho-hassle way in the 21st century.


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Star of Hope (1980)

Now for your master’s degree in 1/4-square triangles! The Star of Hope combines a 1/2- and 1/4-square triangle; I call it a modified 1/4-square. Notice the three-color block of aqua, ivory and teal. Success comes by thinking this through and following the directions!


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Card Trick (1979)

The Card Trick Quilt Block, like most magic, seems impossible to reproduce. What appears as sleight of hand, is a very logical block to create once you see the elements. The Card Trick—I know you will not be fooled by the design!


how to sew 1/4-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



How to Make 1/4-Square Triangles

There are several ways to make triangles; my preference is to use the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge. Reference the left side of the gauge for 1/2-square triangles and the right side for 1/4-square triangles.

  • Depress and slide the guide to the size triangle you’d like to make. The guide will lock in place.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4178



  • Cut strips the size printed on the gauge. Then cut strips into squares. In this example, cut  6-1/4″ strips, then cut strips into 6-1/4″ squares.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4162




Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4164



  • Stitch a scant 1/4″ from each side of center.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4168



  • Cut along center; press.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4174




Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4175



  • Stack two 1/2-square triangles, meeting opposite colors.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4183



  • Slide the gauge to the 1/2-square triangle marking on the left side. Double check that the block fits within the gauge perimeters.
  • Mark center diagonal line through die cut openings.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4187



  • Cut along center marking; press.


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4215



  • This time, you’ll have two accurate 1/4-square triangles! Using the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge guarantees that the sizes of the 1/2-square and 1/4-square triangles are compatible in a quilt design!


Nancy Zieman No Hassle Triangles Gauge by Clover IMG_4217



Watch Sewing With Nancy Online






Just click and watch No-Hassle Triangle Quilts online! You’ll see all the details for creating these six precision-made quilt blocks.

Sewing With Nancy on the PBS App

Sewing With Nancy is on the PBS app and is available for Apple iphones and tablets, Xbox 360, Apple TV, and Roku! The app is free; all you need is an Internet connection/Wi-Fi to watch the latest episodes. (Coming soon, an app for Androids!)

Download Apple’s iOS app. Click here.

Make This Sampler Quilt at Home

The No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks book shows exactly how to make the 12-block sampler quilt. For best results, use the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge


How to make 1/2-square triangles by Nancy Zieman



Nancy Zieman's Giveaway

For a chance to win a No-Hassle Triangles Gauge from Clover, please leave a comment sharing which of these six 1/4-square triangle blocks is your favorite. The six quilt block titles are listed below and pictured above. A winner will be announced on October 23.

  • 1/4-Square Dance
  • Boy’s Nonsense (1898)
  • Silent Star
  • Ohio Star
  • Star of Hope (1980)
  • Card Trick (1979)

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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