Matching Points – One Method

Many of the newer quilters participating in the QUBE QAL have talked about how difficult it can be to match points. Some think this is because of pressing seams open, but it can be difficult whether you press seams open or to the side. For years, I avoided pinwheel quilt blocks for this very reason. I took some pictures yesterday of one of the ways that I match points.

Helpful tips:
+ Use a large pin for matching points. A finer pin seems to slip within the seam.
+ Use a shorter stitch on seams that have matching points.
+ Use something to anchor your pin. I use a piece from a foam mat, but a piece of styrofoam or foam core board or a sewing ham will work as well.
+ Place pins so that you do not sew over them. I know many machine salespeople will say that certain machines will not hit pins. I have had many brands of machines and no matter what, sooner or later, the needle will strike the pin. And striking the pin just right will result in  the timing to be off enough to cause skipped stitches.

Here are pictures of one of the ways I match points. It really requires getting the pin exactly at the tip of the point and when pinning through the seam, the pin can slip just a little up or down. This is why a shorter stitch length really matters.

Placement of the pin from the top.
A look at the placement of the pin from the inside.
Pinning to secure the points before removing the alignment pin. One can pull the long pin back just before sewing so that the presser foot holds the fabric in place while sewing across the top of the point. After crossing the point remove the vertical pin

Tomorrow I’ll show you another way to match points.

14 Replies to “Matching Points – One Method”

  1. Wow! Thank you for this lesson. I really appreciate and enjoy learning the techniques that will make quilting/piecing more rewarding.

  2. You’re not going to believe this but I never saw this method outlived like this. I had been using my alignment pin as the pin I then moved to ‘pin’ the fabric in place! Never understood how an alignment pin really helped when you then had to move it, to ‘pin it’. Seems so obvious that you use two pins!!! My sewing life is about to change.

    1. Hi Barbara, So glad this worked for you. That is exactly the issue – the alignment pin has to stay ‘straight up’ while you insert the other pins. I also use my index finger and thumb to help hold it in exactly that straight up position.

  3. This is so helpful. I use a 4” square wool mat to place my first pin, but didn’t think about changing the placement of the other pins. I’m a visual learner so the pictures helped tremendously. Thanks!

    1. Hi Deborah, I’m a visual learner too and find it hard sometimes to make pictures that show the 3-dimensional aspect of quilting. See my answer above to Barbara. That first pin really makes the difference.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial. I’m new to quilting and really appreciate all the hints. Matching all these points has been challenging…hope they look better from here on out!

  5. I insert the placement pin but then I add a touch of quick dry fabric glue from Quilter’s Select. I then remove the pin. The fabric doesn’t slip and my points match perfectly. No pins to distort the fabric where the point is. I wish this was my idea but credit goes to Alex Anderson of the

    1. Hi Kay,That is an excellent method and one I have used when pressing seams to the side. I find that sometimes it makes it harder to press seams open but your comment makes me want to try it again. I have glue in some very fine tip containers so will do that today.

Comments are closed.