Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lightning Zigzags {tutorial}

Okay so here it is--my very first tutorial. Try not to judge me too harshly.

Ever since I made my round 11 quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap I've had quite a few people as me for a tutorial or pattern for it. Well I didn't have one--I just figured it out on the fly. But I thought this might be a good way for me to cut my teeth as far as tutorials go, so here you have it.


First of all some notes. All seams are 1/4". This tutorial is for a doll-sized quilt since most inquiries were about that size, but it could easily be translated into bigger blocks for a real quilt. Okay, here we go!

Okay, now you need to cut your fabric. You will need to cut your background fabric into 42 3.5" squares. Next, cut the zig-zag fabric into 2" strips. I used Kona Ash for the background and some Good Folks scraps I've been hoarding for awhile now. The strips were various lengths but I found I didn't need much--a fat quarter of each fabric will leave you with LOTS of extra fabric.


All cut out? Good. You're ready to sew. Lay a strip of patterned fabric across the background fabric at a diagonal. The exact angle isn't important, especially if you're going for a wonky look.


Set your machine for a quarter inch stitch, and line your presser foot up with the edge of the patterned fabric. Sew, sew, sew.


Flip the fabric over and press. Note--you will need to press the seams so that the strip is folded over, not the backing. You will need the square to stay square for a little while longer.


See what I mean about the square? Okay good. Now keep it flipped over. 


Now it's time to trim the excess strip fabric away. Using the square as the template, cut along the edges. 


Flip it over and check it out!!


Sorry. I feel like such a tease now. But you're really almost done! Flip the strip back over so it's like it was when you first sewed it on...


...and do what the picture tells you to.


Now, repeat the process 41 more times. This doesn't take as long as you'd think, especially if you chain piece.


All done? Good. You should have some nice little stacks that you can proceed to play with until you find a good layout. Here's mine:



Now, about that layout. I'm sure you can figure it out by trial and error, but here's the pattern I used to get that lightning effect:


Got it? Now you're ready to sew it all together, and you end up with this:



Tada! You're done! Now you're ready to quilt and bind, baby. 

Hope you like this, let me know if you all have any suggestions!

65 comments:

Leanne said...

Thank you ! I love your DQS11 quilt, now I can make my own. Your tutorial is lovely, clear and easy to understand and very good pictures.

susan said...

*clapping for your first tute*
great tute, and it was easy to follow. super cute little quiltie. definitely will be doing one of these. thanks!

Beezus said...

Great little tutorial -- good pictures and good directions. :) Thanks!

alli b said...

Awesome tutorial - very informative with helpful pictures. I can't wait to try this myself. *jumpy claps*

Ellen said...

Very good, your tutorial, easy to follow, easy to sew, just going to sit at my machine..... ;-)
Thank you!!

Ellen

Kelly said...

Thank you! Love your DQ and I am so excited you posted the tutorial! New follower!

Jo said...

Wow this is great, thanks so much

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

I totally love this - great tutorial :)

Lynz said...

Woop, woop, my friend!! I LOVED this pattern when you did it for DQS and cannae wait for a shot! Great tute (although are you really going to make me work out how big it is finished by myself? You horror!)

Kandra said...

Great 1st tute Jenn! :) So proud to be the recipient of the quilt that started this! :D

Rachel Hauser said...

Ta da! A great tutorial. Clear, fun and lots of pictures. Doesn't hurt that I love the fabrics too.

Megan said...

Thank you so much for this! I love it!!

Venus de Hilo said...

Fabulous! Makes me want to stay up all night playing with my scrap drawer... but I'll be "good" and hold off until the WIP/UFOs bin isn't quite so full.

Candice said...

Oh my goodness, you are a genius!! I have been going crazy over your first doll quilt, and now I know how to make one!! EPPPP!! I'm squealing here :) Thanks so much- love this!!

tusen said...

I love the tutorial, too (as all those who left a comment before me ;)) It's both easy to understand and fun. Thank you so much for sharing.

Teeeeeena said...

Yay yay and thank you, thank you. I'm gonna try that in the 5 inches squares instead of your 3.5 inches squares.

Candy said...

I love,love, love this quilt. I first saw it over at "In Color Order" yesterday and had to make one. If you want you can see mine here.
http://quiltvine.blogspot.com/2011/08/hurricane-irene-quilt.html

Lisaleh said...

Great tutorial. I'd love to make this once I've collected enough scraps.

daisy said...

yay - thanks sooo much for this tutorial - I can't wait to try it - just right for a dolly quilt I think :)

Connie said...

What a cute quilt! Thanks for the easy tutorial.

Laura said...

Hi Jen, Great quilt and tute. do you think this could be done as a stack and slash with an alternate colourway quilt being made? (white zigzags instead of coloured?) Two for the price of one!
I've posted your tute on my tutes page. :) www.quokkaquilts.blogspot.com
cheers
Laura

Ima said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. You make it look so easy I might actually try to make this one.

VickiT said...

I just ran across your blog and this tute for the Lightening Zigzags and had to say how awesome this is. Thank you.

Jeanne said...

I just found your blog site. Don't ask me how. I started out at a blogsite that you can put in your state and find all the bloggers there (that are listed). Somehow, I went to one blogsite, then another, and another, and after about an hour I found you. And I am so grateful to find you. I LOVE, ADORE, ADMIRE your zigzag quilt. It's so simple but looks amazing. Thank you for the step by step instructions (including the pics which I need because I am visual) so I can now make one of my own.

Sarah said...

I like this so much I've been spending the first few days of the new year working on one of my own in shades of gray and orange. I'll link back to you when I post the finished quilt on my own blog. Thank you so much for sharing, what a great tutorial!

kate said...

This is a fantastic tutorial. I CAN DO THIS, thanks to your great step-by-steps!! Keep them coming :)
Kate

WAZOO! Quilting said...

Wonderful!! I have to run to the sewing room and make some blocks!!

Amy said...

very good job! I love this wonky block!

Anna said...

Looks good! I can't wait to try this one out.

Jackie Russell said...

Love the tutorial! Here is a link to my mini quilt using your tutorial.
http://jackiesquilting.blogspot.com/2012/05/mini-quilt.html

Julie said...

Love this! So cute and fun! I had to pin it for later.

liloca, liloquinha said...

Ótimo!!!!Pàrabéns!!!!
liloca

Jolie said...

Thank you for this gorgeous tute - I adore the finished top!!! (and I am now having to physically restrain myself from going and starting one of my own right.this.instant. It's 1am here, and my kids are anti-sleeping in at the moment, even if it is school holidays, ha!)
Thanks again!

carla (http://dancingmoon-carla.blogspot.com/) said...

Thank You!!!! This looks like fun!!!
I hope I can make one someday!!!!

Ki'ihele said...

I love this. I've made some pieced quilting squares, but this one is soooo easy! The tute was so clear and concise. Good job. I can't wait to try it.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the tutorial...wonderful job.

Anonymous said...

what a way to use up scraps. love it

Kay in NJ said...

I LOOOOOOOVE it!!! This is on my to-do list, for sure. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So very clever!!

Pam said...

I losve the quilt. Your instructions are very easy to follow. I will try using left over jeans for the background. I can't wait to get started!!

SeeLifeMarvels said...

I just found this via another pinner on Pinterest. Really cool!

Amy Sampson said...

I am in need of a quilt pattern for a baby boy who isn't born yet but due in February 2012. I have the "fabric" that consists of old flannel pajamas in various patterns that belong to the Grandma to be. She only wants something big enough that the baby(when he's older of course) can drag around with him.
This pattern looks fun and relatively easy. Do you think this would be fun and simple enough for a relatively new quilter? I'd greatly appreciate the feedback!

Thank you!!
Amy Sampson
scrapcrazy121104@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Your tutorial was very clear. However, my layout differs from yours as I was consistent with my wide end/narrow end up/down, etc on each row, etc. Threw me for a loop when I came back and looked at your finished layout! LOL!

Regina Diniz Outeiro said...

Thank you so much for this! I love it!

Texas JennyWren said...

Thank you for this awesome pattern idea. I love how it looks. Going to get my squares cut right now!!

Kathleen3 said...

Great tutorial. Love the quilt. I'll have to try this one!

Valerie Mann said...

I plan on making this tonight! Yay for lovely, easy, UNIQUE projects! Thank you for the inspiration!

Karen said...

I loved your yellow lightning quilt, thanks so much for the tutorial, I'm definitely bookmarking this one! :)

Anonymous said...

I really love this pattern.Thanks alot.It is on my list to do.I love making and using my scraps.NK

Kathy said...

This looks like exactly what I need for the back of a quilt in progress!! I am so excited to find this, thank you!

Laura said...

This is WAAAAYYY cool! I wish I didn't have my son's wedding quilt, my first grandbaby's quilt, etc. to have to work on first....

Can't wait to try this!

Anonymous said...

i love this pattern! your directions are fun and clear. am doing this today!! thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Cute quilt! AND you did an excellent job on the tutorial! I'm thinking it may can be done using the printed fabric in place of the white and the white for the lightening. You know anything goes when your quilting.

JoAnne said...

Thank you for sharing. It was a great tutorial, straightforward, simple and the pictures were perfect.

Anonymous said...

The quilt is adorable and your instructions are very clear. Congratulations on your first tutorial.
But one question:
Your instructions say to cut your squares 3.5" but your pictures where the squares are lying on a cutting mat show them to be 3" Did you make two different size quilts?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering about using 5 or 6" squares ... would I then make a wider strip? or just use the 2" strips still?

Susan said...

Finally gotten to point where I can quilt again. I plan to make single bed quilts with this great pattern. Has anyone made these blocks for a bed quilt? If someone else has figured the size if the print piece? and how much fabric is needed?
Susan

Judy said...

I just saw your fantastic tute and am going to make one for the charity treasure chest at mu lqs. They give them to a charity that has a Christmas party for underpriveledged children every year. I try to make seversl doll quilts and turn them in at the beginning of December. Looks like a fun and eat project and I have collected a lot of scraps so I will have a nice varitety to work with. Thank you and Happy 2014.

katiegetyourgun said...

Beautiful quilt, great tutorial (warm and friendly; so encouraging for beginners!, effective pictures, and can be completed quickly - thanks, Jenn!

GrannyTo8Boys said...

I love it. Can't wait to make one in red, white and blue. Thanks.

Beth said...

So excited to try this! Love it!!
Be still dust and vacuuming, I've got some sewing to do!

Kathee said...

Found tute a week ago, thought I could remember it (is easy). Well, couldn't and looked and looked. Finally found again. Now - onward and upword. LOVE this pattern! Thanks SO much.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled with this pattern. I love that each strip is not exact. I am making a doll quilt for my granddaughter and one for her bed too. I think I will use 6 inch squares for that. Good tutorial, directions and pictures.

Beaj said...

This is just way too cool. Thank You. What a great way to use up bits & pieces of fabric...I'm off to sew up a couple blocks now and will pin them to the instructions so I can do them up later..:)

Heidi said...

Linked here from Pinterest, I was inspired by your project and posted my result today! http://redletterquilts.blogspot.com/2014/09/its-sister-swap-reveal-linkup.html

Thank you!!

Elizabeth Kelly said...

Just what I was looking for!! I love it... Thanks, awesomeness