A Zig and A Zag : The Beginning

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along I’m hosting here on my blog.  You can join in at any time!  You will find the links to all previous steps in my sidebar.

Well I hope that you are ready to dive into this quilt with me! It’s finally time to start my quilt along, A Zig and A Zag. This is a double zig-zag quilt pattern that I designed specifically to share with all of you. A little fine print before we begin. Please feel free to share the pattern with anyone who may be interested. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your husbands (who I know will especially care. 😉 ). However, please credit the pattern back to me and my blog here. Also, feel free to create this quilt for small-scale production and personal use, but once again, please give credit back to me for the design. Do not reproduce the pattern for distribution or sale without my consent. You all know the deal. Play nice and Have fun!

Phew! With all those details out of the way, we can get down to the really fun stuff, like picking out the fabrics! Just a reminder of what the quilt design is:

A Zig and A Zag : The Beginning

This is a 7-row zig-zag quilt laid out in a rainbow fashion with two shades per color. As discussed before, if you hate rainbows or just love other colors feel free to create this in whatever fashion suits your fancy. There are so many great options out there and a lot of you have already commented on what a boy-friendly pattern this is. I’d love to see a little boy (or big boy!) option made.

This pattern is for a quilt sized somewhere in the 60″ x 84″ range. So it is intended to be twin-sized. Again, if this is too much of a commitment or you simply prefer to make a smaller version, this can be easily downsized. I’ll let you all figure out the adjustments for fabric requirements, but I will say that making this with 5 rows instead of 7 and 4 blocks instead of 6 per row should give you a nice crib-sized quilt approximately 45″ x 60″.

But let’s assume that someone wants to make the quilt as I have it laid out. 😉 In that case, you will need the following.

Fabric Requirements:
• 1/4 yard cut of 14 different fabrics. There is a light and dark tone for each color of the quilt. There are seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, and purple. So you will need a light red and a dark red, a light orange and a dark orange, etc. (Please note: this is a true 1/4 yard cut of each fabric NOT a fat quarter. Which is not to say that a fat quarter will not work, I just don’t know. I didn’t design the quilt that way.)

4.5 yards *the first measurement of 3 yards was incorrect! so sorry!* of a solid white fabric for the background. (Please note: this assumes that your solid fabric is two-sided such as a kona or bella solid)

• backing and binding…if you want to go ahead and plan for this now, a single fabric back requires 4 yards of fabric. And the binding will need no more than a yard of fabric if you do a 2 1/4″ double folded binding. But we’ll talk more about options for this later on.

Other Tools:
• You will also need a cutting mat with a 45 degree marking (almost all of them have this!) and a straight ruler or a ruler that gives you a 45 degree angled cut. You will also need a rotary cutter.

The plan is to take steps over the next 8 weeks or so to put together this quilt. It will be strip pieced so we will be working on all the colors at the same time. This first week is dedicated to choosing and acquiring fabrics for the quilt. So, how do we do that?

Choosing Fabrics:

There are fourteen different colors along with a background fabric in my design. So it could be a little overwhelming to make all of those fabric decisions. Let me offer you a few suggestions.

• Think about continuity.

It’s always a nice idea to have a sub-theme running among your fabric choices. The main theme is a rainbow, but the fabrics can have more connection than that. Maybe you favor a particular designer or stick with all solids. Perhaps you have a variety of polka dots or a bunch of florals. Think about what you love in quilts that really strike you. Try to find that secondary design that helps the flow of the quilt.

• Think about tone.

You will want all the shades you are picking to be harmonious together. When selecting 14 different fabrics, it can be difficult to find ones that all work together. Look at your fabrics with a discerning eye. Step back a few feet or take a picture to gain some extra perspective on how well the fabrics relate to each other. Does one glaringly stand out? Did you suddenly become obsessed with neon green when all of your other colors have a grey tone to them? Adjust accordingly.

• Think about scale.

We will be cutting up the fabric into fairly small strips, about 2″ wide. So you will want to think about how your fabric will look cut up. Different scale prints will work together but you will want to consider whether a large scale print should be included with an entire collection of small-scale prints. It might! But it might not. 😉

Totally overwhelmed or finding this helpful? There are a couple of options.

I have pre-selected a bundle of fabrics from one of my lovely sponsors, Sew Fresh Fabrics. Peg and Becca will provide this bundle of 1/4 yard cuts of 14 fabrics for $32. It takes all the guesswork out of finding the fabrics for the quilt.

A Zig and A Zag : The Beginning

(please note: there may be a couple of changes to this bundle depending on the demand…but no worries, it will always look good!)

You can find this bundle in their Etsy shop, Sew Fresh Fabrics. If for some reason you don’t like one of my fabric choices, Peg and Becca will be happy to substitute any fabric of your choice. Oh and you can also buy your background fabric there. And silly me… I forgot to mention that they will be offering free domestic shipping/half off international shipping for all orders over $35 dollars. So throw something else in that cart and have a fun mail day. Just use the code ZZQAL to get your discount.

Also, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a 15% off coupon to anyone looking for fabrics for the quilt along. Perhaps you want to make your own bundle or just pick up a couple of fabrics to supplement your own stash. This would be a great option as well! Just use the code ZIGZAG in her Etsy shop Pink Castle Fabrics to receive your discount.

Also, join us on Flickr and post your fabric selections in my group Cut To Pieces. Feel free to post questions, random discussion topics, whatever! Get feedback on your choices and just have a good time with other people making the same quilt.

Ready? Set. Go!

15 thoughts on “A Zig and A Zag : The Beginning”

  1. @ Staci who originally asked about doing a quilt with two colors…although I'm not exactly sure if that is two colors and a background or two colors total. My answer here is for two colors and a background.

    yes, you definitely get a bit of waste with each color…so you would definitely need less if you went with two colors. By my measurements you can get up to 8 half blocks with a 1/4 yard cut. With 7 rows and 6 blocks per row, that is 42 blocks. So you would need 42 half blocks from each color. Therefore you would need about 6 quarter yard cuts…aka a yard and a half. So a yard and a half of EACH color.

    Now this assumes that you are making a two toned zig zag….if you are making each set of stripes a different color, the measurements might be slightly different. All else fails, round up to two yards of each color and know where you can get more. 😉 But I think that should be right. Someone correct me if I sound crazy.

  2. My stash is VERY lacking in 1/4 yard cuts. Will have to wait for the cutting instructions to see if FQ's will work. I like this bundle… but my budget says no haha.

  3. Oh goodness. Although I have a ton of WIPs, I just might have to jump in on this. And payday is Friday which is a perfect day to order a fabric pack!

  4. @ Katie,
    I believe I worked out some measurements for a queen at one point. I would consider adding at least one more row (so another whole color) and probably two or more blocks per row. Can't wait to see what color scheme you choose!

  5. I'm going to have to do some math here as I want to make a queen size. And to be further difficult on myself, I came up with a different color scheme that will fit into my decor and my boyfriend will approve of. He's not a rainbow kind of guy. 🙂

  6. @Angela, that's what I came up with. I'm going to make it eight rows by eight blocks. I'm toying with adding a 3" sashing too, but that depends on finding the right fabric.

    Now to decide on how I'm going to do the backing. I sketched out some ideas already.

    Thanks again for the great design!

  7. Can you suggest another solid to go with the bundle you picked out? I love this bundle … but I'm kind of ready for a new solid instead of white in my quilts. Thoughts/suggestions? 🙂

  8. I'm a little confused about the fabric requirements and cutting requirements:

    3 yards of a solid white fabric for the background.

    — 1 7/8 strips – 28 of them = 52.5
    — 6 7/8 strips – 14 of them = 96.25

    That equals 148.75 = 4+ yards

    Am I reading something incorrectly because I def. did not get all of my strips out of 3 yards.

  9. Tiffany!!! Agh!!! I'm sooo sorry! I think you are absolutely correct and I'm a complete dolt.

    I just rechecked and my cutting instructions are correct. So obviously I just don't know how to add…ironic for a person with her degree in mathematics. lol

    So you are right. It looks like there should be a little over 4 yards of the white solid for the background. We'll round up to 4.5 yards just for possible shinkage or cutting problems.

    Thank you so much for finding that.

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