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Easy Ways to Make Prairie Points
Prairie points are folded triangles that are used to embellish quilts. They are most often sewn onto a quilt's outer edges (pictured), but prairie points can be used anywhere you would like to add a bit of extra decor to a quilt or other sewing project. They are also used between blocks and surrounding applique shapes.
As you read quilt patterns you will discover that prairie points can be constructed in different ways. Take a look at two different traditional methods.
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. This formula works for both construction methods:
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- Multiply the desired height at the point by two
- Cut squares 1/2-inch taller and wider than the calculated dimension
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Method 1: Prairie Points With Open Folds at Their Centers
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.
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- 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.
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Variation 2: Prairie Point With Open Folds Along Their Sides
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 length of the quilt.
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- 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.
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How to Sew Prairie Points to the Edges of a Quilt
Sew prairie points to the quilt after it has been quilted. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of unquilted space around the edges of the quilt for backing (read below).
- 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 inch 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 inch, 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 a 1/4 inch larger on all sides than the quilt top and batting and then turn under 1/2 inch before stitching the backing in place.