Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zig Zag Quilt Tutorial

So, thought I would write a tutorial on how to a make a Zig Zag Quilt with 2 layer cakes; using the Half Square Triangle Method.  I used a Moda Bella Solids Brown Layer Cake  (contains 40 squares) and Moda Salt Air Layer cake (contains 42 squares).   If you choose to use 40 squares of both layer cakes your quilt will have 320 half square triangles.  I chose to use only 34 squares of the brown and 34 squares of the Salt Air Layer cake, so I had over 270 blocks.

First take your beautiful layer cake squares and  pair up one solid square and one print square.  Lay the print square and the solid square rights sides together and pin.  Then draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the solid square.  Draw two lines forming an "X".   Using the lines as a guide, sew a quarter inch seam on both sides of the lines forming an "X". 

Now we are going to slice the sewn square up to make 8 half square triangles blocks.  Using your ruler and rotary cutter, cut the square in half horizontally.  Don't move the squares, now cut the square in half vertically.  Without moving the square, use your ruler and cut the square on the drawn diagonally lines.  Now you have 8 half square triangles blocks, open up the squares and press with your iron.  

Now this part gets tedious, but it is super important to square up and trim all your blocks.   The Moda layer cake squares can vary in size, so don't skip this step.  Each block should measure 4 1/2".  Be sure to line up the diagonal line on your ruler with the diagonal on the half square triangle block, that way all the blocks will have nice points.  Trim off the excess, turn the block and trim up the other side.  I had around 270 blocks.  I decided I wanted a large lap quilt, so I went with a 15 blocks by 18 rows lay out.

I divided my blocks into color ways.   My layer cake of Salt Air had five color ways.   I decided that I wanted my zig zig rows to be in rows of the different colors ways:  Red, Yellow, Green, Aqua and Blue. 

Now arrange your blocks into rows according to color.  To get the zig zag pattern I needed 2 rows of each color.    For the first two rows, I chose red for the color, so I needed 30 red blocks.   For the zig zag design, start with 2 blocks and place them on your design wall (or floor) and place them with the red color part of the squares touching making a little "mountain red color triangle".  Then lay out the next two blocks  and make sure that the red colors touch, go down and complete the row.  For the next row, grab two more blocks of the red color family and place them with the solid chocolate part of the square touching, making a little "chocolate mountain".  Repeat for the rest of the row.  The red zig zag design should be clearly seen.   For the next color I chose blue, so I needed 30 blue blocks and arranged them in the zig zag design for rows 3 and 4.

 Once I laid out all my blocks and was happy with the color and design I decided to sew my blocks in sections rather than in rows.    I divided my quilt into 4 sections and sewed each section, then sewed the sections together.  I find it easier to deal with a sewing a section of the quilt at one time rather than sewing all the blocks into rows and adding row by row.  But sew it however you like.

My top finished at 60x72".

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