Monday, February 20, 2012

Chevron Quilt Tips

I've had several questions about how I did my chevron quilts.  Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures of the process, but I thought I'd try to give a few tips.  (Just a warning with these instructions.  I am left handed and may use the angles on my mat and ruler different than a right handed person.  Keep this in mind if it seems I'm doing something backward.  Adjust however it works for you.)

Brr Quilt:  Matching Chevron Strips

Info about the process for this quilt:
  • There are eight rows to this quilt.  I sewed each row in 4 different sections then pieced those sections to make a complete row (as shown by the blue lines above).  
  • My strips vary in width from 1.25" - 3" cut (.75" - 2.5" finished)
  • For each section I sewed about 10 strips (width of fabric) together, pressed seams, then cut sections into 8.5" widths.  This must be done twice with identical pieces for the full width of the quilt.  You will need four 8.5" sections for each direction of the pattern (angled up and angled down).
  • I used approximately 5 yards of fabric for the front of this quilt.  
  •  I pressed seams down for this quilt, but realized this was making it hard to keep my angles consistent.  I was getting too much stretch.  I recommend carefully pressing open to help keep the angle consistent.
  • Finished size is 64" x 80".

Scrappy Chevron:
  • This quilt is also pieced in 8 rows.  I pieced each row in 3-4 sections then sewed these together to make a complete row.
  • Fabrics varied in width from 1" - 3" cut (.5" - 2.5" finished)
  • I used fat quarters of about 18 different fabrics.
  • Rows were trimmed to 7.5".  Finished size is 7". 
  • Finished size is 56" x 72".

How to piece scrappy sections:
Cut fabrics into strips of varying widths.  Then cut those fabrics to size.  First cut one end on a 60 degree angle.  Cut the other end at the same angle making sure the base of the second angle is 10" from the point at the beginning of the strip.
Sew strips as shown.

Make sure to cut 1/2 the strips with the angles slanted up and the other half with the angles slanted down.  This is absolutely necessary unless using solids that are reversible.

After sewing a number of strips together you will have a section like this.  (I didn't bother cutting the ends of the fabrics at an angle).

I used the angles on my cutting mat to trim all sections.  To trim the sections on this angle, simply flip it over and cut from the back.  Line it up with the 30 degree line on the mat.

Without moving the piece, check your top angle by lining the ruler up with the "0" line and the top of the section with the 60 degree line on your ruler.  Trim if necessary to ensure the angles are consistent.  Pressing seams open will help with consistency and reduce stretching.  (If trimming is needed it will likely only be about 1/8".  This should not greatly affect the overall appearance of the quilt.)

Now you have one completed section.  Sew multiple sections together to complete each row.  I wouldn't recommend sewing more than 10 strips together.  If the section is too large it becomes unmanageable and difficult to cut accurately. 

How to piece matching sections:
For the Brr quilt, I was able to do strip piecing of each matching section.  Cut fabrics on the angle as shown above, but instead of cutting them down, sew full strips (WOF) together resulting in a large section.  Line up the entire section on the cutting mat.  Arrange the fabric on the mat, alining with the 30 degree line.  Cut along the "0" line.  Then cut at the 8.5" line.  Check the top angle to make sure it is correct.  Trim slightly if necessary.  Move the section down and start the process again, cutting four total strips.  Recheck angles each time to ensure accuracy.

Remember you need four rows with the fabrics angled down and four rows with the fabrics angled up.  When piecing strips of fabric, make two identical sections--one angled up, one angled down.  Cut four strips from each for the width of the quilt.

When deciding on the width of my rows, I had a couple factors to consider.  For my scrappy quilt I was using 60" minky on the back and wanted my quilt width around 56".  I cut my sections at 7.5" to give me eight rows of 7".  I could have cut these scrappy sections to 8" had I not been adjusting for the size of my backing.  For my matching chevron quilt, I conservatively cut them at 8.5".  This is a scrap from one of my strips.  I could have cut each section to 9", but just barely. 


  1. Loving it! Adore the fabric combo of your top quilt. Looks fab.

    Good tutorial. My last attempt at a chevron quilt ended up as just diagonals as I forgot to reverse half of the pattern. Looked ok, but nothing like I intended.

  2. Oh Kati, this is a super helpful tutorial. Now I have yet another fun project on my Hope To Do list!! Thanks so much for putting this together!!

  3. This is really helpful info! I won some of Laurie Wisbrun's Brr fabric when she came to our Austin Modern Quilt Guild Meeting this month. The fabrics look so cute in your quilt! I can't wait to craft something up with them, too!

    p.s. Would you consider turning off your word verification please?

  4. Thanks for showing us how you do it!

  5. Wow. I had never really considered how complicated quilting could be (since I have never quilted). This is SO impressive!!!

  6. Thanks for the tips Kati! I am also a leftie, so it made complete sense :-)

  7. Love your chevrons, thanks for the tips :o)

  8. Thank you so much for the process notes Kati! x

  9. Thanks for the great tips! I am working on a herringbone pattern quilt (my first quilt!) and although I knew I wanted to go about it like this, it's helpful to read the step by step instructions & note all the tips you gave.