Contributed by Sarah Yuhr, Sew Much Charm


Introducing – the Zig Zag Quilt Block! The best part about this quilt block is that we can use scraps! All we need are three different coordinating fabrics in 5” squares. Now let’s make this month colorful and use our scraps – just coordinate them please!

These are the fabrics I picked from my stash:

Select three fabrics that coordinate, making sure you have a light/n

eutral tone, medium tone, and a dark or color popping tone in your fabric choices. I would also recommend to select fabrics that are not in one specific direction or directional fabric.   Since our block is literally spinning, a slip in fabric placement will not give the same effect. (Ask me how I know…) You will have three fabrics….out of those three fabrics you will have three 5″ squares. That’s it. You can literally use your scraps!

Next take your dark or color popping fabrics and pick one 5″ square. You will trim this square down to 4.5″ square. You can pin a needle in the square if you need help to remember this is your middle squa

re. Your other two fabrics – hopefully, are not directional. If they are not directional, go ahead and cut them in half on the diagonal. If they are directional, pay attention to the direction of the print and cut accordingly. My color popping fabric needed to be cut as such due to the direction of the fabric print:



All but ONE square (NOT the center square – 4.5″) should be cut on the diagonal and you are ready to put them in the block layout. This block has not been sewn, just placed in the block layout for you to view.

A helpful trick

Don’t be alarmed… Here’s a little trick I learned at the guild meeting. We had a speaker Sue Heinz (if you don’t know her, definitely look her up). She told us and SHOWED us that we can take this bottle of Elmer’s glue and use it on our fabrics to help piece them together.

If you don’t have this…it’s $1 at the store during the school year, and with back to school sales you can find it for 25 cents! I ran to the store after the guild meeting the next day and found it at my local dollar store for $1.25. Highway robbery. LOL

Curious? Here’s what you do…

Pull the first two half square triangles to form the first square — you will place a tiny bit of glue along the edge…TINY. I put the glue on the darker fabric. It’s easier to see. Can you see how tiny of a squeeze you do? I did not get a special tip to do this…I just used the glue bottle itself as it came. Then match up the seams – and put your super hot iron (

with no steam – it doesn’t work with water) on your seam for about five seconds.

The fabrics will be stuck together. Did you mess up and the edges are off, like I did my first time? Simply pull it apart. No harm to your fabrics at all! You don’t have to pin your quilt blocks ever again! Then simply take them to your machine and sew a SCANT 1/4″ SEAM. Press your seams to the darker fabric. DO NOT trim the dog tails at this point.

I recommend that you do this process and sew all of the half square triangles into squares before you proceed to sewing across the rows. Why? Because Elmer’s can be finicky and the longer I left the bottle open, the more I had to stop, close the bottle, shake the glue down, and then apply the glue. Hey, learn from my mistakes.


Sew your seams

Once you have all the smaller squares sewn together – sew across the row. Try the glue method again instead of pinning them. This was amazing! My points have never been better…SEE!

When you are ready to sew across the top row – it will look like this:

Here’s a TIP:


When you sew the two squares of the row together – before you press or open the squares – TRIM THE DOG TAILS NOW! Then press and look.

Here’s what it will look like when you have all three rows sewn:

Now take two rows and being careful not to mix up the direction – apply the glue to the center row instead of pinning.

After you line up the bottom or top row to the center row – iron the area where glue is the same as when you sewed the small half square triangles together. Nothing is different, it’s just a larger piece of fabric now. Press… press… press those seams flat.

Attaching rows

Now to attach the top row to the quilt block – AGAIN – apply the glue to the center row across the top and match the edges. Press with the iron to “set” the seam with the glue. Sew across using a SCANT 1/4″ SEAM. Trim your dog tails before pressing open.

Completed block:

Not ready to make this quilt block yet? Save it here on Pinterest for later…


Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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