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It's Easy to Make Prairie Points for Quilts
What Are Prairie Points?
Prairie points are folded triangles are used to embellish quilts. They're most often sewn to a quilt's outer edges, as shown in the photo, but prairie points can be used anywhere you would like to add a bit of extra decor to a quilt or other sewing project.
As you read quilt patterns you'll discover that Prairie Points can be constructed in different ways. We'll cover two different traditional methods in this tutorial.
Each of the points begins with a square... of fabric, and the length of the base of a prairie point's triangle is half of its finished height.
Use this formula to decide which square size will work best for the prairie points you plan to use in a quilt. The formula works for both construction methods.
Continue to 2 of 4 below.
- Multiply the desired height at the point X 2
- cut squares 1/2" taller and wider than the calculated dimension
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Variation 1: Prairie Points with Open Folds at their Centers
Make Prairie Points with Open Center Folds
- Fold a square straight across along its midpoint, wrong sides together.
- Place the folded square in front of you, with its folded side up. Fold the folded edge down equally along each side to create a triangle with an open fold at its center.
- Press lightly to keep the folds in place.
This type of prairie point is typically sewn to the quilt so that its decorative opening is visible when the triangle is displayed right side up.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Variation 2: Prairie Point with Open Folds Along their Sides
Make Prairie Points with Open Sides
- Fold a square diagonally from corner to corner, placing wrong sides together.
- Fold the square again along its longest edge, taking care to align the very sharp, angled edges with each other.
- Press lightly to keep the folds intact.
This type of prairie point produces a finished triangle with an open edge along one side. Tuck triangles into the openings side by side as you distribute them along the quilt.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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How to Sew Prairie Points to the Edges of a Quilt
Decorate a Quilt's Edges with Prairie Points
Sew prairie points to the quilt after it's been quilted. Leave about an inch and a half of unquilted space around the edges of the quilt. See the backing option at the bottom of the page before you begin.
- Trim the quilt batting and backing to match the quilt top. Square up the edges if necessary. Fold the backing and batting out of the way.
- Beginning at a corner, arrange the prairie points along one edge of the quilt, right sides together.... Adjust positions as needed to balance the prairie points. Pin in place with straight pins.
- Sew the prairie points to the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance.
- Sew prairie points to the remaining sides.
- Trim corners to reduce bulk if necessary.
- Flip prairie points right side up, taking the seam allowance to the back of the quilt. Press to help fold the backing under by 1/4", pinning it in place to cover the line of stitching.
- Blind stitch the backing in place.
- Add additional machine or hand quilting if necessary to fill in gaps around the outer edges of the quilt.
When you trim layers, leave the backing 1/4" larger on all sides than the quilt top and batting, and then turn under 1/2" before stitching the backing in place.
More Ways to Use Prairie Points
You can place prairie points anywhere, not just around the edges of a quilt. Try them between blocks or use small prairie points to surround applique shapes.