Prairie Points: A Traditional Technique for Today’s Project

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Quilting | Comments

As folded triangles made from fabric squares, prairie points can be used in a variety of fun ways! Prairie points are great for everything from embellishing items such as table toppers, decorative towels, pillow cases and bags to finishing quilts’ edges; they can even be combined with a regular binding to give an added textural dimension. In addition, prairie points can enhance the interior of quilts as an extra design element, like this, for example.

Prairie Points

Prairie points in a project can be made from a singular fabric or a variety of fabrics providing extra interest and color.

Prairie Points

Now that you’ve been amazed by prairie points’ many uses, let’s take a look at how they can be created. There are two different ways to fold a square piece of fabric to create a prairie point: the quarter fold and the centerfold. Using the quarter fold method the formed triangle will have an open edge on one side, making it easy to slip the adjoining prairie point inside, forming a continuous border.

Prairie Points

Another way to fashion a prairie point, the centerfold, is to fold the square in half leaving the folded side on top.  Then bring the two upper corners down to the center, lining the raw edges along the bottom.

When using prairie points in your own designs, you’ll first need to decide how large they should be as you can make them in a variety of sizes. Once you have selected the height for your prairie point (the measurement from the base of the triangle to the tip of the triangle) multiply this measurement by 2 and add 1/2’’ to determine your square size.

You also have a choice in how you space prairie points along the edges of a quilt. By overlapping the prairie points you will have flexibility in making sure they are the length you desire. It is a good idea to arrange all of them along one edge of your quilt, pinning each one in place. After pin-basting, make sure that the spacing and fabric placement are appealing before sewing the prairie points to your quilt.

An excellent in-depth tutorial for making prairie points can be found here. If you’d like to use prairie points and need a pattern to get started head over to the Craftsy pattern section here!

Have you ever worked prairie points into a quilt or other project?


  1. carol mlercer says:

    I thing this idea for the pillowcare is fantastic. i will make them to match my quilts I am making for my granddopts. Others grandchildren I have adopted to cherish. Still awaiting mine. (someday).

  2. carol mlercer says:

    I love this tutortial in photos. I will make 3 for a start to match my quilts now in progress for my granddopts. Other grandchildren I have cherished as I have none of my own to date.

  3. carol mercer says:

    I am impressed by the photo tutorial of the prairie point pillowcases. Absolutely fantastic. Will do some prairie points today for pillowcases to match my in progress quilts for my friends grandchildren. Yeah. Now if I could get some of my own! It will come.

  4. Lois Anderson says:

    prairie points add so much to a quilt and are so easy, they just look complicated at the beginning when you are new to quilting.

  5. Jen says:

    Hi, Is there a preference for each type of folding method. In other words depending on the application, is one better than the other because it will lay nicer? For example, I’m about to make a baby quilt with a line of prairie points on the front of the quilt near the border, but not on the edge ( This quilt will get washed a lot since its for a baby and I’m wondering if one folding method is better tan the other? Thanks in advance! -Jen

  6. Eve Morris says:

    I’m currently designing a dinosaur baby quilt for a friend, which will have a big stegosaurus in the centre panel. Stegosauruses had two rows of plates along their back, which I’m representing by triangles. I had hoped to make the front row as prairie points. However, the biggest triangle will be 4″ high. Can that be done as a prairie point, or would it fall over when the quilt was upright? Since I’m thinking of exhibiting this before it gets sent off to its new owner, looking decent while hanging upright is relevant.