How To Make A Chevron Quilt – Full Tutorial

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Chevron is in!  It’s a simple zig-zag pattern that’s everywhere.  In quilting, there are a lot of different ways to make a chevron quilt but I chose to to use half square triangles (HST) because it was the most popular option I saw when researching how to do it.

To learn how to create HST’s and/or create HST’s with directional fabric, see my detailed tutorial about it here.

This post is about how I sewed the half square triangles together and made the entire quilt.  Literally, every little step from start to finish I tried to include!

Here’s how you get started: First, decide how you’re going to lay your pattern down.  I found this helpful template for FREE on Craftsy.  With it, I was able to create a concrete image of the quilt I was going for.  I brought this piece of paper with me to the fabric store and it helped me so much because I knew what colour palette I was looking for and roughly how much fabric I would need.  My finished quilt changed slightly as I went along but this template was a great starting point.

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After I made my HST’s, I completed the following steps.

This is how I sewed the squares together: Step 1:  Lay out your HST’s so that colours touch colours and white touches white in a chevron pattern (zig-zag pattern.)

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Step 2:  Sew the half square triangles into horizontal rows with a 1/4 seam allowance. Press the seams with a hot iron.  This row has all of the vertical seams pressed to the right.

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The row below has all of the vertical seams pressed to the left.

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Continue sewing the rows and pressing the vertical seams all to the right followed by a row with seams all to the left.

Step 3:  Attach 2 rows together with a 1/4 seam.  To do this, align the raw edges and pin together.  Since one vertical seam goes to the right and the other goes to the left, they create a little ridge that allows them to nest up together like so. photo 3

Once sewn together, press the seam you just made.  I chose to press these seams towards the top of the quilt.  I like to spray my seams with “best press.”  It really helps to make crisp, neat seams when you iron over it.

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Continue sewing 2 rows together at a time and before you know it, you have a fleet of chevron zig zags.

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Step 4:  Sew the rows you just made together like you did in step 3 until all of the rows are attached and you have a quilt top!

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But….At this point, I decided I wanted 8 squares across instead of only 7, so I added them on.  I also decided I wanted to add a white border.  Typical me.  I can never just stick to the plan.

This is how I added the border: Step 1:  Cut 4 (2.5″ x width of fabric) strips and sew them together like you would a binding strip.

Here’s the fastest tutorial on how to do make a binding strip:

A)  Lay ends of 2 strips, right sides together, like a plus sign.

B)  Attach strips together sewing across corner to corner.

C)  Trim with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

D)  Press open.

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Step 2:  Sew a strip on the top of the quilt and the bottom of the quilt with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Trim excess.

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Sew strips on the sides of the quilt in the same fashion (picture not available.) Now you’re ready to make your “quilt sandwich” which is the quilt top, batting in the middle and a quilt bottom sewn together…like a sandwich.

This is how I made the quilt sandwich:

Step 1: Lay down your backing fabric wrong side up.

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Step 2:  Lay your batting on top.  Smooooooth it out!  (This batting is way too big but the smaller package available was just was just a little too small.)

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Step 3: Lay your quilt top on top and smooooooth it out some more.

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As you can see, there is too much batting so I trimmed it.  They say to have at least 2″ extra of backing and batting outside of your quilt top before you sew it together.  I had about 4″ because I was afraid I’d screw it up!

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Step 4:  Baste your quilt sandwich (meaning, attach all the layers you just laid down together.)  There are a few different methods of doing this.  I used quilting safety pins.  I only pinned through the coloured fabrics because I didn’t want the pin holes to show after I took them out of the white fabric.

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Now you’re actually ready to quilt!

This is how I quilted my quilt: There are endless possibilities with how you quilt your blanket together. Firstly, I “stitched in the ditch.”  All this means is that you sew along an already existing seam so you can’t see the stitch on the front of the quilt (but you can see it on the back of the quilt.)

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After, I stitched lines about 1/4′ above the coloured chevron zig-zags and 1/4″ below the coloured zig-zags.  These lines are visible from the front and back of the quilt.

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Look!  It’s really coming together now:

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Before long…wait, who am I kidding, these quilts take some time…but after you’re done that, you’re ready to trim off the excess and attach the binding!

This is how I trimmed the excess:

Easy!  Use a ruler and a rotary cutter and trim.

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So fresh and so clean, clean!

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Last step, and it’s an important one, the binding!  The binding is a strip of fabric that enclosed the edges of your quilt sandwich.

This is how I made and assembled the binding:

*I am choosing to do my binding strips in white which might make some steps difficult to see…but I’ll explain so hopefully you get the idea!

Step 1:  Cut strips that are 2.5″ x the width of fabric.  (Strips of a different width can be made – it’s personal preference.)  How do you know when you have enough strips?  Measure the perimeter of your quilt and add approx 12-18″ of extra length to be sure you have enough.  I cut 5 strips.

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Step 2:  Sew your binding strips together and press the same way as you sewed them together for the border.  Here’s the picture again for good measure.

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Step 3: Press your long binding strip in half, wrong sides together.

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Step 4:  Prepare the end of your binding strip for closure.  Cut end of strip at a 45 degree angle.  Fold over 1/4″ and press

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Step 5:  Pin your binding along one of the edges of the front of your quilt.  (I used binding clips – they make it so easy!)  Start with pinning the binding end you just cut with the 45 degree angle.  The raw edges of the binding should meet the raw edge of the quilt top.

Step 6:  Begin sewing your binding to the quilt top with a 1/4″ seam.  I’m using a 1/4″ foot on my sewing machine. Start here….

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Stop here…

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Start here again (about 2 inches away from where you just stopped) and sew until you’re approx 1/4″ away from the corner with a 1/4″ seam.

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So stop about there…you’re almost at the corner.  About 1/4″ away.

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Step 7:  Turn your quilt 90 degrees and sew right off the edge!

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Step 8:  Now you’re ready for the corner.  Fold the binding strip back on itself.  Press seam down with your fingers (or an iron if you’re fancy.)

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Step 9: Fold the binding back again to create a 45 degree line (mitred corner) and continue pinning along the raw edge of the quilt. Continue this process (stitching to almost the corner, turning 90 degrees and sewing off, folding the corner) all the way around your quilt, stopping when you’re about 4″ away from where you initially started.

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See, I stopped about 4″ away form where I started…

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Step 7:  Trim your tail so it’s about 2″ longer than where the binding starts.  (There might be a better way to do this part!  I just went with what made sense to me.)

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Step 8:  Snuggle the end underneath the 45 degree opening you made.  Make sure everything looks flat.

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Step 9:  Sew across.  Everything is attached now but you’re not done yet!

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Step 10:  Press binding open/away from the front of the quilt and fold it around to the back.  With the front of the quilt still facing you, clip or pin he binding into place making sure the binding is covering the 1/4″ stitch line you just made.

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See how it wraps around to the back here?

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Make sure the corners are folded nicely too!

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Look, all clipped!

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Step 11: With the top of the quilt facing up, “stitch in the ditch” all the way around making sure you are piercing through the binding that’s folded around the back of your quilt.  Go all the way around the quilt.

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Step 12:  Repeat.  Just kidding..You’re done!!!

Can you believe it? And that my friends, is how you make a quilt, particularly, a chevron quilt! I really hope you find this useful and give it a try.  Please feel free to send feedback or comment.

I hope baby girl likes it!  xo

Happy Quilting,

-AFriendLikeBen-

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