The “Bonus” of Bonus Triangles

Last night I told you about the methods I use to make Flying Geese. You can find that blog post HERE if you missed it.

Today I’m talking to you about things you can do with the extras if you make Flying Geese using the bonus triangle method.

I don’t think one method is better than the other…If you don’t need or want the bonus triangles, it’s kind of silly to waste that fabric. So in that case I would use the Companion Angle/Easy Angle method…but if you want to get a jump start on making your next quilt, I love the Bonus Triangle Method.

I’ve made lots of quilts using bonus triangles if you want to use that method for making your Flying Geese. This is Hawk’s Nest.  Normally sitting down to make all the of the triangles needed for this quilt would be daunting…but, I had most of them made because I used the bonus triangle method for making Flying Geese in other projects.  I saved them and then used them to make this.  You can find the pattern for this quilt in THIS book.  You can read more about the quilt HERE.

What a treat it was to sit down and make this quilt and not have to make all of those half-square triangles.  They were already made!!

I vividly remember making this quilt first…. (This one is a Bonnie Hunter quilt found in her book Scraps and Shirttails I.  You can find the book HERE.)

So I could make this quilt next…This is Stars over Shallot, another Bonnie Hunter quilt.  This one is in THIS book.  You can read more about the quilt HERE.

Here is a closer picture of the quilt.  See all the half-square triangles in the T-block?  Those are the bonus triangles from the previous quilt.  This is one of those cases where working smarter wins out over working harder!!

Another quilt that I made using bonus triangles is our Stair Step quilt.  See all of those red triangles.  About 1/4 of them were bonus triangles saved from making Flying Geese from other projects.  You can read more about the quilt HERE.  It was featured in the August 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

I often get asked how I get so many projects done.  One of the answers to that question is bonus triangles.

If I don’t have to drag the fabric out,
If I don’t have to match fabrics together,
If I don’t have to cut it out,
If the pieces are ready for me to go,
I can sit down and assemble a quilt that much quicker.

As I am writing this, I have a drawer in my sewing room of half-square triangles that are already sewn and waiting for me to do something with them.

I’ve had blog readers send me their bonus triangles.  I love it.  I made these two baby quilts using someone else’s bonus triangles.  You can read about the quilts HERE.

You can see the blocks used bonus triangles if you look at this picture of the blocks.  I used a gray background because the bonus triangles that were sent to me used a gray background.

So now your question is likely when do I use which method of making flying geese?

Here’s your answer:
If I am making a big project that will give me quite a few half-square triangles, I regularly use the bonus triangle method.  Mainly because I will have enough half-square triangles to work with, in the end.

It also depends on the size of the unfinished Flying Geese block.  A 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ will give me two 2″ half-square triangles.  A 2″ x 3 1/2″ unfinished will give me two 1 1/2″ half-square triangles…


When I am making my Hawaiian Sunset Flying Geese blocks only end up at an unfinished size of 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.  This will yield two 1″ x 1″ half-square triangles.  I typically don’t make many quilts that need units that small.  That’s why I am using the Companion Angle and Easy Angle Ruler.

Some people like the bonus triangle method but they don’t go to the work of creating the bonus triangle.  They simply clip off the triangle area and throw it away.  BUT…those little pieces can be valuable.

If you want to make a quilt like my Red Diamond Crumb Quilt, you can use the clipped triangles for that if you don’t want to make bonus triangles.  I have blog readers send them to me all of the time.

I used them along with my pieces from joining binding strips together to make my Red Diamond Crumb Quilt.  I did a tutorial for a block HERE.

Those clipped pieces work great for mini paper piecing.  I used them in my Pineapple Crazy quilt…That pattern is in THIS book and you can see more pictures of the quilt in THIS post.

Saving the triangles made this quilt virtually free to make.

What a fun, but time-consuming quilt to make!!

Whatever method you use to make Flying Geese, I hope you find one you are comfortable with.

If you aren’t into making bonus triangles or saving the clipped pieces as I do, no worries.  I just wanted to show you that there are options and ways to make your quilting dollars go a little further…and if you don’t want to keep the extras I’m sure there are others out there that would LOVE to have your scraps.

5 thoughts on “The “Bonus” of Bonus Triangles”

  1. Wow, such a good way to accumulate HSTs. It certainly will make me think more about saving the bonus ones.

  2. Missy Reynolds

    I use the left over triangles from binding to make Bonnie Hunter’s wonky stars blocks. I’ve made three quilts with them for kids. I especially like Alex Anderson’s pattern using the blocks. Thanks for all the other great ideas!

  3. Leftovers and scraps are my absolute favorite! I always use the method to gain the extra half square triangle. They are so fun to collect and use in other projects.

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