Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easiest Chevron Quilt EVER {a Tutorial}

I love love love chevron quilts, but I really really really hate trimming half-square triangles and I never mastered the whole rectangle method.  When I figured out I could make a chevron with squares and not have to constantly worry about block orientation, I was stoked!!!  I'm not reinventing the wheel here folks.  I'm sure some smarty pants out there figured this method out ages ago and has a tutorial on it, but  I have never seen it so I'm guessing a few of you haven't either!  I'm also cutting out a lot of work and listing the fabric requirements and dimensions to make 4 different sizes so you don't have to do any math, yay!   That being said, I've only actually made two of the sizes below.  I sketched and did some rough cutting diagrams to make sure I had the right fabric requirements for the others.  If you find a mistake in the larger sizes, please let me know!  You can alter my math to fit whatever size squares you want to use, these are just what I chose.  There is no right or wrong!  Make it your own!  I'd love to see what you make so if you post on IG, Twitter, etc., tag me @kelbysews

For a 20" pillow/mini quilt you will need 5 Fat Quarters
from EACH fat quarter cut:
(5) 4.5" squares
(10) 2.5" squares

For a baby quilt 32"x40" you will need 1/2 yds of 5 fabrics
from EACH 1/2 yd cut:
(4) 8.5" squares
(8) 4.5" squares

For a lap quilt 60"X72" you will need 20" or 2/3 yd of 12 fabrics
from EACH 2/3 yd cut:
(10) 6.5" squares
(20) 3.5" squares

For a bed quilt 80"x90" you will need 1.25 yards of 9 fabrics
from EACH 1.25 yd cut:
(8) 10.5" squares
(16) 5.5" squares

For a bed quilt 84"x96" you will need 3/4 yd of 16 fabrics
from EACH 3/4 yd cut:
(14) 6.5" squares
(28) 3.5" squares

Rule of thumb:  The more fabrics you have, the more lines of zig-zags you have.  The larger the squares, the chunkier the chevron.  

I've cut and lined up my big and little squares to make the 20" chevron mini.  Be sure you're happy with the order you place the big squares.  You want to make sure there is some contrast between any two fabrics that are next to each other so you can see the chevron shape.  

Next, shift all the little squares UP one place so they can make friends with their new big square.  This means that the little squares that match your top fabric will move DOWN to the bottom fabric--in this picture, the smaller squares of yellow flowers on white move down to pair with the larger squares of white flowers on yellow.  

See?  All the little squares have new big square partners.  Keeping the original order of big squares is important in this quilt.  You can NOT make changes once the little squares start getting sewn so make sure you are happy with your order!

Using a ruler and your favorite marking tool, draw a diagonal line through ALL of the smaller squares on the back/wrong side.

Place the smaller square on the BOTTOM corner of the larger square you paired it with in the previous step--right sides together.  Here it is important to point out, if you have a directional print on your LARGER square like the white flowers on yellow, make sure you are placing the smaller square at the BOTTOM of the print.  As for the smaller squares, I decided I didn't care about direction for those.  It gets too stressful worrying about it and I like quilts that are quick and easy.  It's easy to notice if the big square is oriented correctly, not so much for the smaller ones.  Additionally, you could avoid this whole paragraph if you used non-directional prints.  Just saying.  If you're ever in a hurry and want to make this quilt, non-directional is the way to go!

Sew along the line drawn, or, in my case, I sew VERY SLIGHTLY below the line (toward the part that will be cut off.  I do this because sometimes if you sew directly on the line, when you fold the little square down, it's a bit short of making your larger square whole again.  This is due to the fold line created when you fold the smaller square down.  If you sew a hairline below where the line is, your squares come out perfect!

Using a rotary cutter or scissors, trim off the bottom corner leaving 1/4" seam allowance below the stitch line.  Don't throw these little triangle paris away!  They are already perfectly matched and ready to make into half-square triangles on a another day!  You can make mug rugs, potholders, table runners, or even whole quilts from these trimmings depending on how large of a project you're making.  

Press the seam open.  It's actually important for bulk reasons, so trust me, OPEN.  I know some of you are old school, but take a walk on the wild side and try my way here!

Repeat the sew and trim process for the second square.  


Your finished block.  It should still be the size of your larger block, but with cute little contrasting triangles on the bottom.

Once you finish all the blocks for the row, sew them together.  Repeat for the remaining rows.  I alternate which side I press the seams per row because pressing open at this stage isn't important and it's faster to nest the seams than match seams that are pressed open.  Once you make all your rows, simply join them together to form your chevron! Is that easy or what????????  If you have any assembly questions please feel free to ask! 

My finished 20" block

This was my original project with this method.  This is a 32"x40" baby quilt made with Alison Glass and Tula Pink fabrics.  It's super bright and fun!

I went with high contrast for the back and used my favorite IKEA numbers print.  Why they discontinued this print is a mystery! 

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