Ask Jo: Bonus Triangle and MORE

Every now and then blog readers send me a email or leave a comment in the comment section that I need to answer.  When I think other readers might be interested too, I answer them here on the blog. Today is one of those days….

After I wrote this post about a quilt I was working on, hoping to submit for publication, this question came from Helen M:
“…. what are bonus triangles?”

Whenever I make Flying Geese, put snowball corners blocks or make diamonds in a square I make the “Bonus Triangle”.  Here are example.
(About this quilt…American Patchwork and Quilting picked it up.  It will be in a future issue.  I’ll let you know which one once I know.  More on the quilt HERE)

I am adding a “corner” or snowball to this block.  I first sewed on the diagonal…Then I sewed another line close to it.

Like this….
Now I trim between the two seams.  I use a scissor but you can use a rotary cutter..whichever is handy.

Now I have two pieces.  When ironed, they look like this…

The half square triangle on the right is a bonus triangle.  Many people don’t sew that extra line and simply snip the triangle off and throw it away.  I ALWAYS keep the fabric.  I don’t always make the bonus triangle but I do save the fabric even if I don’t.

The “extra” bonus triangle can be used for many projects….Here’s a free pattern we have on the site, Pinkie Swear.


The star points are the “bonus triangles”.  These came from Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt Grand Illusion.

I saved the bonus triangles from this quilt… Bonnie Hunter’s Nine in the Middle.

…and I made this….a Country Threads pattern.  (Not sure of the name)

This was awesome.  I used fabric to make this that otherwise would have been thrown away…and got a great quilt from it!

Recently I made Bonnie Hunter’s Hunter Star quilt….
For this there were LOTS of bonus triangles left over.

Not to long ago on Bonnie Hunter’s blog she showed blocks she was making with the bonus triangles from this..( read whole post HERE)

Imagine sitting down to do a big project and having the triangle part already sewn.  SCORE.  I didn’t know a thing about bonus triangles until I read Bonnie’s blog.  I adore the idea of building two quilts at the same time.  Now that I know that Bonnie does this, I stalk projects and study the quilts so I sew one quilt first and have the bonus triangles for the next.  For example:  I made Stars Over Shallotte (from her Scraps and Shirttails II book)……


I saved the bonus from to make it!  The quilt below is “Hand me Downs” from Scraps and Shirttails I and that’s where the triangles came from.

Bonnie Hunter has a nice longer explanation of Bonus Triangles that you can find HERE.

The next question comes from Carol:  “What is a tag blankie?”

She asked that after I showed this fabric that I recently bought saying the yellow was for a tag blankie.

Tag blankies are little lovies for babies.  They have ribbons or rick rack on the edges as shown.  Babies often love sucking on the ribbons.
Image result for tag blanket
Often time minky or a cuddly fabric is on side.  I would say they are 12″ x 12″ at the largest.

Marie found an old post I did on mending my braided rugs.  I still mend them and use the same technique.

In the comments Marie asked, “Where can I buy warp thread?”.  This the thread I use for mending.  Sadly, I don’t know the answer.  I’m guessing online at a rug weaving supply house.  I have several spools of rug warp thread that I have picked up from thrift stores.  The same thread works great if you are playing “cat’s cradle” and other string games with your hands.

Find the full post on rug mending HERE.

I think I got the bulk of the Ask Jo questions answered.  If you have a question and I missed it, please drop me an email at

5 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Bonus Triangle and MORE”

  1. Barb Inglish from Florida

    Jo, I just did a google search for warp thread and JoAnn’s and Amazon were at the top of the list.
    Now I’ve got a question for you. How small do the bonus triangles have to be before you throw them away? I am making a top and it uses 2.5 squares in the corners. So the “leftover” triangles are Small! Do you want them too?

    1. Oh Barb…I have a new wonderful appreciation for bonus triangles. I keep them from sewing 2″ square on and up. 2 1/2″ ones are my favorite. They make 2″ square and those are so versatile. YES…I’ll take any. THANKS.

  2. Pingback: Quilt Finish: Hawk’s Nest | Jo's Country Junction

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