Thursday, December 15, 2011

How I make Chevrons

Thought I would share today how I make chevrons. I'm sure there are other methods, but this is working for me and pretty quick and easy!

First the difference between a chevron and a zig zag (in my humble opinion). This is a chevron ~ the angled stripes are long and skinny, or longer than they are wider.
This is a zig zag ~ the stripes are not as long between the angles and can be made with triangles.
I've been strip piecing my chevrons. Start with a strips that are all the same width or vary in width - doesn't matter. Sew the strips together, off-setting each strip based on the finished size of the strip you're sewing it to. These strips are cut 1" and finish at 1/2". Each strip is off-set 1/2" as they're sewn together. If your strips vary in size the off-set will change based on the size of the top strip.
For each chevron you'll need to make a second set the same way, except that it will "step" in the opposite direction creating a mirror image set.
Find the 45 degree line on you ruler and place it along one of the seam lines of your strip set as close to the off-set edge as possible.
Trim the end - creating a 45 degree angle.
Your chevrons can be any width. In this example they are 1 1/2". Cut your chevron units parallel to the 45 degree edge whatever width you chose. Do the same with the mirror image set.
Sew your sets together alternating the two directions. then trim the top and bottom evenly.
This set was used for the eyeglass case I made.
Here are a few tips:
  • Press the seams in one direction on the first set and the opposite direction on the mirror image set. This way the seams will nestle when you sew the units together.
  • After you cut your first 45 degree angle, try not to move the strip set if possible. The edge is bias and loses it's shape easily. Think about this as you lay your strip set on your board to make the first cut.
  • If you make your first and last strips extra wide, you'll have room to square it up without cutting off any of the chevrons.
Here's how that might look...
And here's the result. You can see too that I alternated the background color in this example. It required 4 strip sets - 2 with color and white and 2 with color and gray.
Remember the pillow I made? The strips were varied in width on this one...
Here's my chevron quilt also. The colored strips were cut 2 1/2" and the white strips 1". Since this was a long quilt, I made the chevrons in sections, by doing about 6 colored strips and 6 white strips at a time. That way the section wasn't any longer than my ruler. Then I sewed the sections together to make long rows.
And this was my first attempt ~ Stella's quilt.
Hope that makes sense! Please feel free to email me or comment if you have any questions!!


  1. Great post, Cindy! There are so many directions one could go in...I really like the chevrons laid over the white and gray vertical stripes!

  2. That is fabulous. I'm going to give it a try!

  3. This tutorial is a keeper. I must make something with chevrons in 2012!

  4. I have been wondering about the differneces, thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Thank you for the great tute, Cindy! I love all of your samples!!

  6. Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day.

  7. Many thanks for this super tute. I am definitely going to give chevrons a go now.

  8. So cool you make it so easy to do with your great tutorial.I am a visualize learner. Thanks, Jean

  9. Zig zags and chevrons have always confused me, I assumed us Brits called them zig zags and elsewhere they were chevrons but after looking into it I found out that they are chevrons if they are a single section of 'v's like on a uniform or your chevron quilt (as they divided by white lines) but when they continue in an up/down stripe pattern then they are a zig zag, does that make sense? Anyway yours all look gorgeous whether they are chevrons or zig zags

  10. What a great post, thank you! I love the chevrons with the grey and white background!

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've been dying to give chevrons a try but have been so afraid I'd just make a big mess of it. Thank you for breaking it down step by step so that I finally feel like I could actually do it!

  12. You've done it again! I'm not out of my garden fence phase yet and you've got me wanting to make chevrons with your method now! Completely brilliant - thanks do much for sharing! And fantastic colors, as always!

  13. This is totally awesome! I will have to try this in the future.


  14. I really love posts like this were I can get a feel for a technique that could be used in a lot of different ways, instead of a tutorial with set measurements. Thanks for sharing!

  15. So inspired by this pattern that I decided to make my next baby quilt with the chevron pattern.
    I am having trouble sewing a chevron row. I have three sets of strips and I want to sew them to make one long row, but when I do, the pieces being sewn together just don't match up! Is there a hint for sewing together the strip sets to make a long row? Thanks!

  16. thanks ; I feel it's the year to try chevrons ! this makes it more do=able !

  17. Finally getting around to actually doing my quilt. I want to do the chevron so bad but just not sure about the colors?!?! Guess I just need to be brave, huh. Love all your quilts just amazing!!!!

  18. Very helpful - can't wait to grab my fabrics and go!

  19. This was well explained and very helpful. Thank you :)

  20. This was Awesome! I have been searching for days trying to find how to make a chevron pattern. Not use chevron pattern fabric but make the chevron "from scratch". This is the only one I have found and I am very grateful!
    Thank you!!!

  21. "Neat " I am ready to give it a try for a border.

  22. sooooooooooooooooo helpful
    THANK you!!


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!