Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zig Zag Block Tutorial


This post is for the online block exchange groups I'm in, but the rest of you are of course welcome to enjoy it too!

The block I have chosen for my months (October for the Beatnik Bee, and December for Fresh Comfort) is the zig zag block. We really need a new quilt for our bed (the pretty lavender floral bear's paw quilt currently on there just isn't doin' it for me anymore!) and I've decided a zig zag quilt would be gorgeous!

So let's get started.

1) Cut your fabric. Bee members, I have pre-cut the fabric for you. Everyone else, for one block you will need:

(8) 6.5 x 3.5 rectangles of patterned fabric
(16) 3.5 squares of solid fabric
For my quilt I am doing alternating rows of Blue/cool fabrics and red/warm fabrics, so I cut 4 rectangles of blue fabric and 4 of red.

2) Sew a square to your rectangle, from corner to corner. ***(Because people have had trouble with this part, I am editing to say make sure you do HALF your pieces one way, and the other half the opposite way! See instruction #7 for more details)*** You can draw a line on the wrong side of the square if this makes it easier for you to get it straight.

3) Sew another square to the other end of your rectangle, corner to corner, and in the same direction as the first. It is similar to sewing flying geese, but instead of sewing them in opposite directions, they are the same.

4) Sew another line approx 1/2 inch from each of the first lines, on the side closest to the corners. I did mine a little narrower than 1/2 inch, so I could have larger 'bonus' squares (keep reading to see what I mean by 'bonus' squares!)

5) Cut between each of the lines. You now have extra 'bonus' half square triangles to use in another project!

6) Finger press your seams and this is what you have so far...(remember, we are only using the rectangular one for this block - the HST's are NOT used in this block - use them for something else!)

7) Now for the crucial part of making a zig zag quilt successful. In order for the zigs and zags to work, you need to sew half the squares the same direction, and the other half the opposite direction, as in this picture...Because I am doing red rows and blue rows, this means that for each block, you will sew two reds one direction and two reds the opposite direction, and two blues in one direction and two blues the opposite direction. Clear as mud?! Good!

8) Lay your pieces out and place them in an order that is pleasing to you...

9) Now sew them together and repeat for the blue row...

10) Time to press. Press the red row seams in one direction and the blue row in the other direction. This will make everything fit together nicely when you sew the rows together.

11) Sew the rows together with the reds on top, blues on the bottom, and you have finished your first block!
Look how fabulous just 4 blocks look laid out in different combinations...I think the last is my favorite :)



If you want to make a quilt for yourself using this method, you will need about 7 yards of solid fabric and the equivalent of scraps for the top of a queen size quilt. Kona cotton is a popular solid fabric with quilters, and I used Kona Chocolate. Just the name alone made me buy it!

Thanks Bee members for your work. Have fun sewing and let me know if you have any questions!

19 comments:

Oops-Lah said...

I have seen several methods for making a zig zag quilt, but I think your way is the easiest. No triangle to cut or sew, so perfect! Thanks for sharing. Cheers

Huisvlyt said...

That looks like a fun quilt to make. Will put it up on my "to-do" list...
Thanks for the tips as well.
Elzaan

Cathy said...

Gorgeous zig zag block and great tutorial I have never made them like that before, looks like a great way to do them! xo

Kim said...

I'm confused. What happens to the spare half square triangles?

Nedra said...

Another wonderful tutorial! I love how you made the zig zags scrappy. I've always wanted to make a zig zag quilt and this inspires me even more.

Emi said...

-Thanks. Is very good.


Un abrazo desde COSTA RICA.

Shelley said...

Hello! I just found your blog today from Cabbage Quilts blog list. I love the colors in your zigzag, and the tree quilt tutorial is fantastic! Thanks!

Barb said...

how fun - I love zigs and zags. This makes a really great graphic quilt -thanks!

Heidi said...

Ooooo, I can't wait to try this block for you! Great tutorial.

theodora said...

I love your technique it is very clear the way you described it with nice photos ,I will make one I always wanted to make a zig zag design I am a new follower and I also got you on my fav. list, happy quilting to you and many more tutorials for us thank you.

SO I'M Anna Fogg, an eclectic kinda gal said...

Yes, my brilliant friend, it is beautiful. Have you ever made anything that's not gorgeous. I am getting so in the mood to make one of these, but perhaps all in greens. Lovely just like you.
~anna

Cyrielle Lemeunier said...

Merci pour ce super TUTO !!!

(Thanks for this great tutorial !!!)

Shari said...

Looking forward to giving your tutorial a try! I have a large amount of scraps and this may be just the project to take on!

LindaB said...

Wow...a new way of doing zig-zags...why didn't I think of that...thanks for sharing your great ideas...LindaB (Aust)

Michele said...

Really neat! Thank you for sharing. I love the fabrics you used for yours! So happy to stumble upon your blog today.

twobutterflies said...

I love the colors you used - the brown really makes the other colors pop. I bookmarked your page so I can remember to try this. Thanks for the tutorial.

Creative Mind said...

this is great...i love your work...

RETRO-fabulous said...

Truly clever! I've also seen several ways and like your method best. Thanks so much for sharing!!

*Staci* said...

Thank you for this. I am new to quilting and this looks fun and not too complicated. :)