Here is a scrappy zig zag quilt using equilateral triangles (triangle’s three sides are same length, three angles are all same-60 degrees). It was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be. I cut the triangles without a template, just my rotary blade, ruler, and cutting mat. As long as your ruler or cutting mat has a 60 degree angle mark, you can make this quilt.
This is how:
Step 1: Cut eight (8) 4.5 inch strips of your solid of choice from selvage to selvage (usually 42 inches across).
Step 2: Tilt your ruler so that one edge of the fabric lines up with your 30 degree or 60 degree angle mark (depending on which way you lay your ruler), making sure that the fabric under the ruler makes a 60 degree angle. Cut off the end piece of your solid 4.5 inch strip.
Step 3: From here we will be making diamonds. And, from here on out, you want to make sure your angles are as exact as possible. Since all of the angles are 60 degrees, use your ruler to check and re-check as you cut. Being as exact as possible here will help you in every other step along the way, so it is worth taking your time.
Each 4.5 inch strip will result in 8 diamonds. If your fabric is shorter than 44 inches wide, cut as many diamonds as you can, and then see if at the end if you need to cut another 4.5 inch strip. In the end, you will need 60 diamonds.
Place the freshly cut edge of your strip along the 4.5 inch line of your ruler. Line up the side of the fabric with the 60 degree angle line (or the 30 degree angle line, depending on how you use your ruler) again making sure that the fabric in the top corner of the ruler makes a 60 degree angle. Accuracy is important here. If you can’t match up your fabric with both the 4.5 inch mark AND the 60 degree angle line, then you may need to re-cut the end of your 4.5 inch strip as in step 2. If you have it all lined up, you can see your fabric under the ruler is in the shape of a diamond. Feel free to cut.
Continue to cut up the 4.5 inch strip until the end. Then, continue on to the next 4.5 inch strips, repeating steps 2 and 3 until you have 60 or more diamond shapes.
Step 4: Now, we will turn your diamonds into triangles by taking your ruler (checking again that you are making a 60 degree angle) and cutting each diamond in half, as seen in the picture. You should have 128 triangles by now. You will only need 120 for this quilt, but it is good to make extras in case you make mistakes along the way.
Step 5: This is the fun part. Take all of your scraps and cut them into strips. I made most of mine 1.25 inches wide, resulting in a 3/4 inch strip in the end. I would recommend making them no bigger than 1.5 inch wide, no smaller than .75 inches wide. The more variety in the size you have, the scrappier the quilt will look.
The width of your scraps strips can be between 6 inches wide and 1 inch wide.
Step 6: Finally! The sewing. Take long strip of scrap fabric and align it with a side of your equilateral triangle, making sure the scrap fabric covers from corner to corner. Sew this on to your base triangle. From here, I just chain piece. When I sew one strip of fabric to a triangle, I move on to the next without cutting the strings. So, in the end, I have one long chain of scraps sewn to triangles all connected together. I cut the strings holding the triangles to each other. Then, I add a second strip to each. Always make sure that the next strip you sew on is big enough by folding the triangle over and making sure you can see the scrap fabric under it on both sides. Most of my triangles needed four strips of scrap fabric to completely cover the base triangle template. Some needed more.
I did not iron the triangles until I had all of the scrap strips sewn on.
Step 7: Once all of the triangles with scraps are pressed, fold the triangle over the scrappy side, making sure again that you can see the underlying scrap fabric on both sides (and above the top) of the triangle. This is where those extra 8 triangles come out handy, just in case you made any mistakes.
Step 8: Using the base triangle as a template, cut off the excess scrap fabric on both sides of the triangle.
In the end, you should have these resulting diamonds, one half of it a solid equilateral triangle, the other half, a scrappy equilateral triangle.
From here, I will show you what I did with this block, but I thought I would also show you some possible options on how else to use this block:
Triangles in a row.
Hexagons. With this block, you can either continue outward making hexagonal rings around this center hexagon, or your can make more hexagons similar to this one with triangles spinning off of it. You’ll know what I mean when you lay it out.
Diamonds. You could have fun with this one, making the scraps in the rows of diamonds “point” in the same direction, or point in alternating directions depending on how you orient to diamond rows.
And, the design I chose…
I placed my diamonds in rows, making sure the oranges and greens and teals felt balanced. I sewed them together, which was VERY EASY because even though these are triangles, since all of the angles are the same, ALL OF THE CORNERS MATCH UP in this step. So great! Then I pressed. (That crazy black and white fabric in the background is my ironing board cover. It may be crazy, but it sure looks good against my wall.)
Then, I arranged the rows, again making sure all of the colors were equally balanced.
Sewing the rows together was a little tougher, but I would suggest you pin pin pin! Again, since these are equilateral triangles, it was a lot easier than you would think.
After your rows are sewn together, the resulting quilt top just needs one more quick cut until it is done. Using your cutting mat, a ruler, and a rotary blade, trim off the extra halves of the triangles. And, your quilt top is now complete.
So, so show you how easy it is to sew these equilateral triangles together, I want to show you my quilt corners…close up!
This is my worst quilt corner
The average quilt corners:
And I’m not even that great of a “sewist!”
If you wind up using this tutorial, please let me know because I would love to see it!
This quilt measured 49.5 inches x 37.5 inches before washing.
46.5 x 35 after washing.
Thanks for stopping by!