Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Pin Trick for Perfect Points and Intersections

So after sharing Jessica's Cube Sampler post back here, I have had several people email to ask what is the "Pin Trick" I mentioned teaching her.  I have explained this little trick in a few past quilt along's, but unless you participated in them, it can be cumbersome to find.   So I figured it was probably time to just make a little post for it ;)

So here it goes . . .The Pin Trick ;)

The idea of the Pin Trick is aligning the points in two seams to ensure that they create perfect points or intersections.    You can use this whenever you are trying to align your seams and often you will have little guides (thread X or fabric V) to aid, but as shown, even when you don't have those little guides,  it will still work by estimating a 1/4" seam allowance.   So here's a few examples from past posts :) 

Example 1 - Basic Point (Pinwheel) 

Here's how to do it.  With right sides together, place the pin through the bottom of the Print Fabric V in the top seam, and then through the top of the HST Point in the bottom seam as shown below.

Then move the pin so it is standing straight up and the two points you pinned through are aligned.  Now actually pin a second pin to the side of the seam allowance to hold the points in place. You can now remove the standing pin.    This Pin trick can be used whenever you are matching two points.

And now, you points are perfectly aligned.  So to finish the perfect point, when sewing the 1/4" seam be sure to sew directly along the bottom of the little V that the print fabrics make as shown below, even if that means you need to move in or out of a perfect 1/4" a bit.   Stitching right at the bottom of the V will ensure that the point you just aligned perfectly is also stitched perfectly.

And you end up with beautiful perfect points!!!

Example 2 - Adding Curves

The Pin trick will also work with aligning curves to points.   So to do this, Stick a pin through the bottom point of the little fabric V in your center seam allowance of the pointed fabric.

Now stick that same pin through the edge of the Curve Point, where the Pie and Crust meet at the seam.

Then, stand the pin up straight and tall so that the 2 points it is sticking through are aligned perfectly.  Now use a second pin to pin the two pieces in place.  Another helpful hint is to pin  in one side of the seam and come out the other, on a slight diagonal, that way I know my perfectly aligned seam won't shift.

And while stitching,  ensure that your perfectly aligned points come out perfect by being sure your seam crosses directly over the bottom of the little fabric V that is created in the seam.  Just like before, it is okay if you move up or down a bit, just catch that point ;)

And you get a perfect intersection of curve and points.   So fun!!!   (and sorry this is a little blurry, I had to blow it up from the completed block picture ;)  

Example 3 -  Only 1 Fabric Marker - Estimating 1/4"

So in some cases, you won't have a point to align to, in that case, you can just estimate the 1/4" seam.   Here's how to do it.   Stick a pin directly through the bottom of the background fabric "V:" that is created in the seam allowance of a Flying Geese Unit.  (If you pressed to one side, you can use the threads as a V guide).

Now, stick the same pin through the seam allowance of your Print Goose 1/4" in from the edge of your unit.  You don't have to measure this perfectly, just eyeball 1/4".  We are pretty good at being able to tell where that is after sewing a million 1/4" seams right ;)

And then stand the pin up straight so the points you just went through are aligned perfectly and use a second pin to pin the units in place.  Then you can remove the pin that is standing up straight.

Now just stitch a 1/4" seam along the pined edges.  When stitching, be sure and stitch right along the bottom of the V (fabric or thread) that you used as a pinning guide.  This will ensure that the point you just lined up perfectly will be stitched perfectly as well and you will get a nice clean point.

And it gives you a beautifully intersected point.   (again, sorry it's a bit blurry)

So ya, the Pin Trick can be used any time you want to line up points or intersections!!!  It just takes a second and will leave you with wonderful results.  I hope you found this little tutorial helpful :)  

  Happy Pinning and Quilting!!!!
Pin It!


  1. I'm hoping for a tablet to use in digitizing instead of using a mouse.

  2. I wish you would have done a video

  3. I'm hoping to find a wool pressing mat and a carrying case for my travel machine.

  4. Thank you - the series of photos have been very useful. :D

  5. I learned this pin trick in a class - but she had us put two pins -one on either side of the standing pin.
    (and I am confused as to why people are posting what they wish for - did I miss something?)

  6. I have been doing this for awhile with mixed results. What I see on your tutorial that is VERY helpful, is to stitch along the BOTTOM of the V. I have been going straight through the pin point. After opening the seam, my points are dull because some of the fabric is taken up in the seam.
    THANK YOU for the great instructions!!! This is a game-changer!

  7. This is a neat trick! I usually pin diagonally but the next time I have a difficult point to match I'm going to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for this great tutorial, I learned something new!

  9. These are very good instructions and easy to follow.
    I hope you have a very happy Christmas Melissa


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)