From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library
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Skill Level: Beginner
The Scrap Zig Zag quilt block is a fun little piece of patchwork—just triangle squares and cut squares and rectangles.
No points to match.
Quick to make, this block would be perfect for your quilting bee's next exchange.
Choose all scraps for either the dark or the light fabric and this little gem will live up to its name.
Let's get to the quilting!
All seam allowances are 1/4".
The following abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam.
Next, open up the patches and press as instructed.
Click the images below to see the full collection. We share any commercial and/or free patterns that showcase them, too. (For inspiration, of course!)
Sample Size: 6" finished / 6" unfinished
Design Type: Pinwheel
Attribution: Kansas City Star
Patches for the triangle squares are cut based on the Quick Pieced method and are denoted by a **.
I prefer to cut these patches a 1/4" larger, stitch and then trim each to the perfect size.
While a darker background fabric is used for the sample block, you can swap lights and darks.
Choose what works best for your quilt.
Cutting Chart for a~ Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1**||A||1||1⅞'' x 1⅞''||2⅛'' x 2⅛''||2⅜'' x 2⅜''||2⅞'' x 2⅞''||3⅞'' x 3⅞''|
|2**||Bac||0||1⅞'' x 1⅞''||2⅛'' x 2⅛''||2⅜'' x 2⅜''||2⅞'' x 2⅞''||3⅞'' x 3⅞''|
|3||Bac||0||1½'' x 1½''||1¾'' x 1¾''||2'' x 2''||2½'' x 2½''||3½'' x 3½''|
|4||A||0||1½'' x 2½''||1¾'' x 3''||2'' x 3½''||2½'' x 4½''||3½'' x 6½''|
|Unfinished Block Size||4½"||5½"||6½"||8½"||12½"|
|**I prefer to cut my patches extra large for HST, stitch, and then trim them to size. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #1 and #2 above (I added 3/8" to each dimension for the sample block). |
There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them to size.
If you have a perfectly reliable 1/4" seam allowance use the dimensions in the cutting charts for these patches.
These are the cut patches.
With a pencil or chalk draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the lighter of either the t#1 or #2 squares.
With RST, pair a #1 and #2. Stitch a quarter inch from both sides of the drawn line.
Cut along the line to create 4 triangle square units.
Press with the seam allowance towards the darker fabric.
Use the chart below to check that your stitched HST are the correct size. Trim if needed.
|Trim HST to…|
Click here for more detailed information on this Quick Pieced technique for making half square triangles if you need it.
Each quarter of this block is exactly the same.
Sew the #3 square to the #1/#2 half square triangle unit as show below. Press SA toward #3.
Repeat for the three remaining pairs.
To this sewn unit, stitch the #4 rectangle to the side that contains both light and dark patches at the edge.
Press with the seam allowance towards the #4 rectangle.
Repeat for the 3 remaining pairs.
Lay out the sub-units in two rows. Each is rotated a quarter turn as you move clockwise around the block.
Stitch the pairs together into rows like this. Press the SA towards the light rectangle to reduce bulk.
Stitch the rows together. For this block I chose to twirl the seam allowance in the center. From the back it looks like this...
And here is our finished Scrap Zig Zag quilt block from the front.
That was fast!
If you're looking for more fun blocks to make, check out our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library for ideas for your next quilt project.
For a list of ALL the quilt block patterns on this site, start here.
If you know the name of the block, you can shorten your search by using these alphabetical links:
Click here if you're looking for blocks with at least some paper piecing.
Click here if you're looking for the basic building blocks of quilting, i.e. Flying Geese, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, etc., along with several techniques to make each.
And finally, use these links to find blocks in these finished sizes: