The Zipper Quilt

Hi, I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Take a look at this cute little quilt behind me. Isn’t that darling? This is made with Little Black Dress fabric by Moda. Basic Gray makes it and this is their second, Little Black Dress 2, and I just love this fabric. I love the colors and it’s just beautiful fabric and everybody needs a little black dress.

One of the fun things that I have been noticing lately is that people are doing a lot of fun things with zippers. You know zippers are becoming a fashion statement. They show their teeth, they use them on the fronts, they use them on the backs, they’re using them in jewelry. Zippers are a cool thing.

So we decided to make a zipper quilt, and I just want to show you a fun and easy way to do that. So to make this quilt behind me, what I did was I used one charm pack and about one yard of black fabric. Now what we are going to do with this charm pack is cut it in half and make 2 ½ inch strips right here just like this. And so if you want a bigger quilt you could even use the jelly role. A jelly role will give you about a twin-sized quilt, but that’s just an idea for you. Today I am going to show you with a charm pack.

So I have my yard of black fabric right here, and the yard is going to make all of the little squares, and all of the sashings, and this first border. So what we are going to do is we are going to cut our yard, we can just go ahead and cut the whole thing into 2 ½ inch strips if you want, or you can use a black jelly roll. I often keep a black jelly roll handy, I love that they are already pre-cut. So I’m just going to cut a few strips here, and you’ll notice on my fabric, this is a whole big yard right here let me show you, this is the whole yard piece. I just fold it in half because then there is less cutting area and there is less of a chance of my rotary cutter getting a mind of its own and going crazy. So I just go ahead and fold it in half. I make sure that it is lined up evenly, that my selvedge edge is lined up straight across the top and that I am lined up on my mat.

If you find that when you cut a long strip that it has a little elbow, it is because your fabric isn’t folded straight. So just check that. Cut one and check it. So what I’m going to do is cut these into 2 ½ inch strips just like this. And you can go ahead and cut your whole thing cause everything you use is going to be 2 ½ inch strips. But then we’re going to cut some squares.

And how I like to do my squares is put a couple of my strips just in a row like this, and I’m gonna go ahead and cut off the selvedge and the fold like this. That’s a little wasteful, but I know that out of each 2 ½ inch strip I’m going to get 16 squares. So that is a lot of squares out of each strip. So then I just go ahead and I cut both of them at the same time. This will speed up your cutting a little bit because what we are doing is cutting 2 ½ inch squares just like this.

So then we’re just going to stack these over here in a pile cause we are going to be using those, and it looks like I can get one more cut out of this. There we go. And then we’ve got to get our charm pack ready. So the charm-pack, basically what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our five inch squares from the charm pack and cut them in half. So you can stack up about 4 of these if you want. But basically it’s going to give you a 2 ½ by five inch rectangle and then to the end of each rectangle we are going to attach a square. So we’ll put that on here like this, right sides together, and we’ll sew our quarter of an inch. And let me go do a couple of these.

We’ll go over to the sewing machine and do these. And here we are, once again do your quarter of an inch and make sure it’s consistent. And you can chain piece these, so once you get all your charms cut and all of your squares cut you can just bring them over here with your stacks and you can just chain piece them one after another after another. And it goes together super fast. This is a really fast quilt. I’ve seen it done in baby fabric too and it’s just so cute. Okay now you want to press these back and you want to iron to the dark side. And I’m gonna just press that and roll it back. There we go.

And then we’re going to lay these out. Now this is a little different. This layout is different than a normal quilt because we’re going to lay this out in vertical rows, like this. So I have 19 in each row, but depending upon how many pieces you have you will just divided that by the number of rows that you have. So for this quilt there is 19 in each row, and what you are going to do is you’re going to lay out your pieces like this and then you are going to put the next one just opposite. So here we go, here now let me scoot these down here a little bit so I can reach them.

And then we’re just going to do like this. See how those are going together? Just like that. And then you just start sewing the row together. When you get your row together you are going to take… Oh let me cut off one more 2 ½ inch strip here so I can show you this sashing. What do they say, measure twice cut once? I wish I could say I always remembered to do that, I’ve made a few boo boos in my time. And then this sashing strip right here. We are going to leave these whole for these middle pieces right here. And you can see one strip will do the whole length of the quilt, so that makes it really easy to sash.

So let’s go ahead and sew a few of these together so you can see what I’m doing. What’s really nice about this is there are no seams to line up. Nothing, you just lay them right sides against each other. And when I’m doing this kind of, what I do is I sew sets of twos, sets of fours and I just chain piece them and keep going down and sewing them together. So make sure they line up, no seams to match at all. And I’m going to sew two and then I’m going to sew two more. And just make sure they’re going opposites. And here’s the next one. Make sure they’re opposite and make sure they are lined up.

So then when I get all of my sets of twos together, then I’ll come along and I’ll sew them in fours. So here are our twos, and you can press these. I’m just going to finger-press for a moment. Make sure they are opposite.

So now we’re going to sew them together to make groupings of four. And you just lay them right sides together and do the same thing. Make sure they are opposite and lined up, and you’re going to make long strips, 19 of these in a row. And then we’re just going to iron this open right here, just like that. And I kind of like to iron the front first and then I like to go along and just make sure that all of those seams are laying down the same direction.

So then you have this piece like this, now yours is going to be long, and then you’re going to attach your sashing in between your rows. When you go to attach sashing you are going to put it right sides together. You’ll sew all the way down one side attaching this whole row, then you’ll attach it to the whole next row.

So before your know it you are going to have a darling little zipper quilt that looks just like this. So the next things that you are going to do is put your border all the way around the outside. And again you’re just using the 2 ½ inch strips, and then the outside border is just a four inch strip of fabric and you’re going to need five of those. So, for your outside border, four times five, you’re going to need 20 inches or about three quarters of a yard.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the fun and easy zipper quilt from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

posted: Basic Skills & Techniques, Charm Packs, Cutting, Quilt Charm Packs, Quilts and Quilt Blocks, Tips and Tricks | tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
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  • Janetta Dobler

    Why would you need 5 of the 4 inch border strips? Wouldn’t it be 4 of 5″ border strips? Also, how would this look with Fresh Lilacs? Can we have a tutorial on squaring up quilts, adding borders, sandwiching and adding binding with mitered corners? Jenny has inspired me to make so many quilt tops!!! Still not as comfortable with the actual sandwiching, quilting, and binding part of the process!! Love and blessings!!