You Zig I'll Zag Quilt

Who's ready for a large yet quick quilt out of a layer cake? Well, it looks like Paco is!

I'm Rebecca Silbaugh from Ruby Blue Quilting Studio here for yet another tutorial using Moda Layer Cakes! This quilt goes together in a snap, plus it's HUGE!!! I'm also going to show on my blog how to recreate this design using Charm Squares for a miniature version. Come on over and take a look! It's darling! I've also got a giveaway going on, so stop on over and enter for your chance to win. How about we get quilting?

1 Layer Cake
Setting Triangles - 1 Yard
1st Border - 5/8 Yard
2nd Border - 2 Yards (if piecing) 2-1/4 Yards (if tearing along Straight of Grain)
Backing - 4-1/2 Yards
Binding - 3/4 Yard

Alright, I'm not doing laundry - seriously. I'm helping you out. You know how layer cakes come usually with the colors grouped together. Well, we don't want that, so toss them one by one in your dryer and turn it on for a few minutes WITHOUT HEAT... It'll mix all those squares so the colors are nice and evenly distributed. See:

It does all the work for you. Now just grab them one by one and stack them back together...

Now onto cutting, you will cut all layer cake squares the exact same way. I'm right handed so I cut all my squares as shown below, but if you're a leftie, you can reverse the direction. Just make sure you cut out the same pieces and pay attention to the piece placement at the end...

Cut off a 2-1/2" strip from the bottom of the square.

Trim this piece to measure 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" Set aside (you will make a pile for each piece cut, put it into a pile where the piece was cut from... You'll see in the diagram below...)

Next cut a 2-1/2" strip from the side of the layer cake square.

Trim this into a 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" piece.  Set aside.

Then cut another 2-1/2" strip.

Trim also to 2-1/2" x 6-1/2".

Cut another 2-1/2" strip.

Trim to 2-1/2" x 4-1/2". Set aside.

One more 2-1/2" strip.

Trim to 2-1/2" x 4-1/2". Set aside.

Cut the remaining piece into 2 squares each 2-1/2". Set aside.

Your piles should look like this. Each piece cut from the square and put back into roughly the same position. There are easier ways to cut these pieces, but for the directional prints, this makes your "rings" of the block look more cohesive.

Also, if you are confident enough to do it without mistakes, feel free to cut up to 4 squares at the same time.

Here comes the fun part, you have all the pieces cut out from all the squares (you'll need at least 41 squares for this quilt), now mix them up.

Keep one "ring" the same, but mix the others by restacking the pieces. Maybe on one stack move the bottom half to the top, another move the top 1/4 to the bottom and move the bottom 1/4 to the top of the last "ring". Keep the colors the same for each "ring" as shown above.

Time to rev up that sewing machine... Start sewing the lone squares to the square of the next "ring". Press all seams for the blocks to the newest piece sewn.

* If you have to change a piece due to color, pattern, whatever - change the lone square, NOT the outer "ring"

Then sew to the bottom the companion to the 1st "ring". Remember to press the seams toward the new piece.

Branching out, time to add the next piece. You will see we will make all of the blocks starting on the side, then sewing on the bottom, then back to the side, etc. etc.

*Remember if you must change a piece due to color, pattern, whatever - change the pieces already sewn, NOT the new "ring"

Then add the companion.

Last color...

And the companion. Yay, you should have at least 41 squares each measuring 8-1/2" square.

Here's an option - I was playing with this layout for the quilt, but I didn't LOVE it... So I tried out this one:

And I liked the faux zig zag effect. I'm sure there are several options out there... Maybe there's one you've thought of I haven't! Try it out and let me know!

So this is what I decided on, an on point setting with 5 blocks by 5 blocks with all the holes in between filled with more blocks = 41 blocks needed. Now, about those edges...

You will need to cut 2 strips 13" wide from your side setting fabric. From the first strip cut 3 squares each 13". From the second strip cut 1 square 13" and 2 squares  each 7".

The 13" squares will be your side setting triangles. Cut each one of these in half twice on the diagonal. (Sorry I was so excited to be making this quilt I forgot a picture! Can you believe it?!)

The 7" squares will be your corner triangles. Cut these in half once diagonally as shown above.

* Disclaimer - these pieces have just been cut on the bias. Bias is a 4 letter word for a reason. If at all possible, try not to handle these pieces as much as possible once cut. The bias can stretch and go wonky, and that's just not nice...

For each row, you will need to put on either a corner or side setting triangle to square up the quilt. As you can see the side setting triangles are bigger than the block - this is perfect. Everyone deserves a little wiggle room. Align a cut side with the block paying attention to the correct direction needed for that particular row. Align the cut corner of the triangle with the corner of the block, and just let the rest hang over the edge.

Once all side setting triangles are sewn onto each row, go ahead and sew the rows together. Then you can add the corner triangles.

Pin the center of the block as well as the center of the cut edge of the triangle. Align the pins and sew the pieces together.

Your edges should come out all nice and neat, but if they don't - the side setting pieces were bigger than needed so you can trim the sides down (remember the wiggle room). If trimming, remember to leave a 1/4" seam!

Now go ahead and add those borders, here's what you'll need:
1st border - cut 7 strips 2-1/2" wide.
2nd border - cut 8 strips 7-1/2" wide (if piecing)

And while we're at it:
Backing - cut into 2 equal pieces 2-1/4 yards each
Binding - cut 9 strips of the width you prefer. I used to like 2-1/2", then I discovered 2-1/4" until I fell in love with 2-1/8". It's up to you, just cut 9 of them!

This quilt will finish approx. 75" x 75". Perfect for those cold winter nights to snuggle on the couch! Isn't that just huge?! And to think most of it is from a layer cake - Score! Don't you just LOVE quick projects?!

To soften the appearance of the design, I quilted swirls all over with a flower mimicking the border fabric every once in a while (you can see one to the bottom center)

I love this quilt and so does Paco, my crazy little Chihuahua. I got his seal of approval, but now I'm afraid I'll have to fight him for it all the time!

Looks like I"m losing that battle already! How is it that a 5 lb. dog can steal all the blankets in my house? It's a travesty, I swear!

Well, I hope you like this quilt as much as I do and remember that I will have a similar tutorial on how to recreate this design in a miniature using Charm Packs!!! Yay!

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway, come on over for your chance to win by clicking here.

Have a great day!

Rebecca Silbaugh


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Great quilt, but I'm in love with your puppy!

Pauline said...

Love the design! Thanks for the clear instructions, especially for cutting the layer cake.

Richard Healey said...

Great walk through I appreciate the clarity and simplicity of it.

Dolores said...

love the quilt! your instructions are so concise, i'm bookmarking this one.


Stephanie said...

OMG, the tip about tossing the pieces in the dryer is fabulous. I want to start working on this pattern ow even tho it's 2:30 in the morning.

Cajame said...

Fabulously clear instructions. Loving the "chuck it in the tumbler" way of mixing up the fabric. Takes me hours of decison time otherwise.
A lovely quilt.

Becky said...

Great pattern! It doesn't look like it used a layer cake. Sending it to my printer right now. Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

Great quilt, fabric choice and tutorial. This one I will make.

Cherie said...

Great design and a beautiful quilt!

piece peace said...

This is a perfect use of some layer cakes I have in my stash. Thanks to you and your super cute, 5lb. assistant, Paco!

Fignie said...

Beautiful quilt! Love the explanations! I might even try this ... i have a thing for zig-zags lately :)

Anita said...

Lovely tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

OliveStreetStudio said...

what a great design - thanks for sharing!

Marianne said...

Wow - absolutely gorgeous! I have a stack of Layer Cakes that I didn't want to cut up for the typical pinwheel pattern, and now I don't have to! ;-) Thanks for the great tute.

Elsa said...

Great tutorial ~ I had an aha moment when I saw how it's put together! And Paco, what can I say, he's very sweet looking ~ I have a 5 pound cat that is the queen of the house and she does the same thing!

Honeybun said...

Fantastic idea - I'm taking this to retreat in two weeks!! Using Blueberry Crumb Cake line by Moda. Thanks so much!

gill said...

Great design! Great instructions!

KatieQ said...

Great quilt and very well written tutorial. I have to admit, when I saw the cutting directions I wondered why you didn't choose a jelly roll. It seems as though there would be less cutting. I have a few jelly rolls in the house and it seems doable to me. Is there a reason why you chose a layer cake or does it matter?

Quiltjane said...

THanks for sharing your wonderful quilt and tutorial. I like your quilt model. Very cute.

Sherry said...

Love this recipe! Your quilt turned out wonderful. Don't blame Paco for claiming it as his. :)

VickiT said...

Great looking quilt and looks fairly easy. LOVE your little quilty guard dog. Those little dogs tend to take over what they want even if they're small. LOL My son has two toy fox terriers and they are hillarious to watch. One is the alpha dog between the two of them and what's funny is that she's only about 4 lbs and the other is almost 11 lbs. He loses every time.

Юлия said...

Nice quilt!

thisyearsdozen said...

Beautiful quilt!! But I have to comment on your adorable dog. So much like my beloved Max who is now looking down on me. I so want another pet. Thanks for sharing.


janette.tay said...

Love this - so simple even I can do it thank you for taking the time and effort to share

Ruby Blue Quilting Studio said...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments. And Paco thanks you all too, but he's still not getting the quilt!

KatieQ - I used a layer cake for two reasons, 1 - I had it on hand & 2 - I thought you could make this block with as little waste as possible. You certainly could use a jelly roll, and you'll probably have more blocks available for a different setting. Good Question!

Deborah said...

The fabric is perfect - especially like the outside border - what fabric did you use for the layer cake & yardage?

Jamie said...

Very pretty quilt!

Andy said...

Thanks for sharing this pattern! I love it...definitely on my 2012 'to do' list:)

Ruby Blue Quilting Studio said...

Deborah - this line is Reunion by Sweetwater. I know some stores already have the precuts, but the yardage should be arriving any day now!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Love an easy quilt that looks difficult. It is on my to do list.

summersadie said...

I'm working on this quilt and need opinions on the layout, please let me know what you think:

Kira Rae said...

Just ordered Curio layer cake to make to quilt to go on the end of my bed. Love it! Can't wait!

Emily's Mum said...

i asked for suggestions on my blog for a pattern for my layer cake and this was suggested. love it and love the mix up idea- genius.

Emily's Mum said...

i have been working on this today and love it but have a question? if you need 41 sqaures, how does it work for the 8 1/2 piece, as the layer cake only has 40 fabrics in it? my head is exploding... thanks. Hope you can help. I am so near but so far :-)

Deborah said...

for Emily's Mum:

I have made this quilt using the listed supply list. Somehow, it works out to be 42 blocks. The quilt has 5 rows of 5, and 4 rows of 4. I made the quilt top and had 1 block left over for a pillow top. Hope this helps! Deb

Emily's Mum said...

Thanks Deborah, still can't figure it out so think I might have to buy a FQ for the last 2 8 1/2 strips... must be me being a bit silly. i will let you know when its done on my blog :-)

Ruby Blue Quilting Studio said...

If you have an older layer cake, they used to come with only 40 pieces. Recently the number has been updated to 42 which is what this quilt was designed to use. If you add in any scraps to the squares you already have it should work out fine!