I’ve been looking long and hard for our next Block of the Month. I wanted a block with a bit of a variety…yet one that built on our skill sets.
I finally, after many long nights, decided this one would be a great to add to our quilt tops.
Introducing – the Zig Zag Quilt Block! I found my inspiration while pondering Pinterest for new quilt ideas for a client. When I saw it…I stopped and stared and found that it was half square triangles sewn together in this layout. I didn’t find a pattern with the numbers magically written down to a 12.5″ quilt block…but luckily, it didn’t take much to do that.
The best part….it all starts with 5″ squares. Who doesn’t have 5″ squares needing a block to call home?
Select 3 fabrics that coordinate, making sure you have a light/neutral tone, medium tone, and a dark or color popping tone in your fabric choices. I would also recommend to select fabrics that are not in one specific direction or directional fabric. Since our block is literally spinning, a slip in fabric placement will not give the same effect. (Ask me how I know…)
You will have 3 fabrics….out of those 3 fabrics you will have 3 – 5″ squares. That’s it. You can literally use your scraps!
Next take your dark or color popping fabrics and pick one 5″ square.
You will trim this square down to 4.5″ square. Stick a needle in the square if you need help to remember this is your middle square.
Your other two fabrics – hopefully, are not directional. If they are not directional, go ahead and cut them in half on the diagonal. If they are directional, pay attention to the direction of the print and cut accordingly. My color popping fabric needed to be cut as such:
All but 1 square (NOT the center square – 4.5″) should be cut on the diagonal and you are ready to put them in the block layout. This block has not been sewn, just placed in the block layout for you to view.
Don’t be alarmed…
Here’s a little trick I learned at my local guild meeting. We had a speaker Sue Heinz. If you don’t know her, definitely look her up!
She told us and SHOWED us that we can take this bottle of Elmer’s “glue” and use it on our fabrics to help piece them together.
If you don’t have this…it’s $1 at the store during the school year, and with back to school sales you can find it for 25 cents! I ran to the store after the guild meeting the next day and found it at my local dollar store for $1.25. Highway robbery. LOL.
Curious? Here’s what you do…
Pull the first two half square triangles to form the first square — you will place a tiny bit of glue along the edge…TINY. I put the glue on the darker fabric. It’s easier to see.
Can you see how tiny of a squeeze you do? I did not get a special tip to do this…I just used the glue bottle itself as it came.
Then match up the seams – and put your super hot iron (with no steam – it doesn’t work with water) on your seam for about 5 seconds.
The fabrics will be stuck together. Did you mess up and the edges are off, like I did my first time? Simply pull it apart.
No harm to your fabrics at all! You don’t have to pin your quilt blocks ever again!
Then simply take them to your machine and sew a SCANT 1/4″ SEAM. Press your seams to the darker fabric. DO NOT trim the dog tails at this point.
I recommend that you do this process and sew all of the half square triangles into squares before you proceed to sewing across the rows. Why? Because Elmer’s can be finicky and the longer I left the bottle open, the more I had to stop, close the bottle, shake the glue down, and then apply the glue. Hey, learn from my mistakes.
Once you have all the smaller squares sewn together – sew across the row. Try the glue method again instead of pinning them. This was amazing! My points have never been better…
When you are ready to sew across the top row – it will look like this:
Here’s a tip!!! When you sew the two squares of the row together – before you press or open the squares – TRIM THE DOG TAILS NOW! Then press and open.
Here’s what it will look like when you have all 3 rows sewn:
Now take two rows and being careful not to mix up the direction – apply the glue to the center row instead of pinning.
After you line up the bottom or top row to the center row – iron the area where glue is the same as when you sewed the small half square triangles together. Nothing is different, it’s just a larger piece of fabric now. Press! Press! Press those seams flat.
Now to attach the top row to quilt block – AGAIN – apply the glue to the center row across the top and match the edges. Press with the iron to “set” the seam with the glue. Sew across using a SCANT 1/4″ SEAM. Trim your dog tails before pressing open.
Here’s your completed block!
One more block to go before our big reveal! How are your quilt blocks coming along? Which one was your favorite?
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About Sew Much Charm
I enjoy gardening, quilting, sewing, & cooking as a relatively new stay-at-home mom of two girls.
I make custom handmade quilts for clients and recently decided to learn how to sew garments for my little girls. Watch my journey & learn from my mistakes.
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