Zoo Dwellers Quilt Tutorial

Posted by andyk on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Zoo Dwellers Quilt Tutorial

Course instructor:  Andy Knowlton


 Hi- I'm Andy and I blog over at a bright corner. We have an all-boy house over here, and I'm always on the look out for great “boy” fabric. Alphabet Soup is one of my favorites. I wanted to create a no-fuss, no-frills quilt to go right along with the bold prints and adorable zoo animals.

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all seam allowances are ¼”

WOF = width of fabric

Please read through all of the instructions before beginning project


Course Materials

Below are the fabric requirements for this quilt. In parentheses are the fabrics that I chose, but if you'd like more orange or green then you can swap them around!

  • Coordinating print A: 1/3 yard (Green Circles)
  • Coordinating print B: 3/8 yard (Blue Alphabet Soup Boy – Main)
  • Coordinating print C: ¼ yard (Blue Alphabet Soup Boy – Squared)
  • Coordinating print D: 1/3 yard (Blue Argyle)
  • Coordinating print E: ¼ yard (Blue Beads)
  • Coordinating print F: 1/8 yard (Orange Argyle)
  • White solid fabric: 1 ¼ yard (Clean White)
  • Fabric for binding: ½ yard (Blue Argyle)
  • Fabric for backing: 1 ½ yard (White Alphabet Soup Boy- Main)
  • Coordinating print for backing: ¾ yard (Green Circles)


Course Instructions:

You will be working with only two sizes of blocks: 4 1/2” x 6 1/2” and 6 ½” x 10 1/2”  

To get the most out of your fabric I have provided a cutting diagram for each of the coordinating prints:








Now that you have all of your blocks cut, it's time to cut the sashing strips from the solid white fabric.


Solid white fabric cutting instructions:

  • Cut 5 strips that are 2” wide x WOF

Sub cut each strip into 2” x 6 1/2” rectangle strips. You will need 28 of these (you will have two extra.)


  • Cut 5 strips that are 2 1/2” wide x WOF

Sub cut two of these strips into 2 1/2” x 6 1/2” rectangle strips. Now take one more of the long 2 1/2” x WOF strips and cut 6 1/2” in from the unfolded (selvedge) edge. Cut again 7” in from that unfolded (selvedge) edge.

You should now have 14 strips that are 2 1/2” x 6 1/2” and two strips that are 2 1/2” x 7”. Now take the final two long strips (2 1/2” x WOF) and to one end of each, stitch one of the 2 1/2” x 7” strips. You now have two strips that measure 2 1/2” x 48 1/2”. These are the very top and bottom sashing for the quilt top.


  • Cut 7 strips that are 2” x WOF

Take six of these long strips and trim off selvedge so each strip is 2” x 42” long. For the seventh strip, sub cut it into 2” x 7” rectangle strips. (you will need six of these)

Take each 2” x 42” long strip and to one end stitch one of the 2” x 7” strips. You will now have six strips that measure 2” x 48 1/2”. These are the horizontal sashing between the rows.

You are now ready to begin constructing your quilt top! First follow the quilt assembly diagram below to find the correct placement of each of your colored blocks. Sew the horizontal rows together first. (Just as a reminder, all seams allowances are 1/4”) Blocks should have a 2” wide sashing strip between them and a 2 1/2” wide sashing strip on both ends of the rows:  

Press seams toward blocks.

Next we're going to add the horizontal sashing between the rows. Using the 2” wide x 48 1/2” long sashing strips, join rows as shown in the assembly diagram below. Press seams toward sashing.

 Find your two long strips that measure 2 1/2” x 48 1/2”. Add these to the top and bottom of your quilt top. Press seams toward sashing. Your quilt top is completed!  



To assemble quilt back:

Take the 1 ½ yard piece of fabric for the back (in my case it is the White Alphabet Soup Boy- Main fabric), and remove the selvedge edge. Open up fabric and press flat.

Now take your ¾ yard piece of coordinating print for the back and remove the selvedge edge. Keep fabric folded and using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut right along the fold (as close as you can get to the fold). You now should have two pieces of fabric that measure 21” x 27”. 

Stitch these two pieces together at ends, following diagram:



Add the 1 ½ yard piece of backing fabric, stitching with a 1/4” seam. Press seams as desired, and you have your quilt back completed!

To finish, quilt and bind as desired. If you have any questions you're welcome to contact me at abrightcorner (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Category: Quilts


  1. I love the colors and the pattern was easy to follow. It gave me an idea on how to do my backing and how to do my cutting. Thanks Andy
    by Sharon
    September 03rd, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
  2. O! You are AWESOME! Thank you so much for this great and simple-to-follow Tutorial. I LOVE the quilt...it is all clear enough for an intimidated wannabe quilter. I'm going to start one right away, as a charity quilt for Foster children. The Utah County quilt guild requested help from our guild. -i thought you may be interested in that detail :) Many older foster kids have never owned anything of their own, and love receiving a quilt and pillow case. Anyway, thank you so much! It's a wonderful and interesting pattern.
    by Marise
    March 06th, 2014 at 7:08 p.m.
  3. i love this Quilt and i really Love the Tutorial. You are going to turn me into a quilter with this pattern :) I have some great dinosaur fabric with funny, happy dinosaurs on a black background, that i purchased at The Fabric Mill in Orem. -I also purchased your Jack's Blocks pattern, misplaced it, purchased it again and found the first. That's pretty much the only way i ever find anything, and it worked like a charm LOL! Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.
    by Marise
    March 06th, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.
  4. Thank you, looks really simple but looks great. Off to cut out now in my new sewing room for a young lady I know. Different fabric as more female orientated.
    by Jenni
    August 11th, 2014 at 10:59 a.m.
  5. Do you have a suggestion on an easy way to enlarge this to a twin size? I would love to make this for my son, but he no longer sleeps in a crib :)
    by Lisa
    September 19th, 2014 at 4:22 p.m.
  6. I loved this pattern and instructions. Easy to follow. Made my very first quilt top with diffnt material but so excited.
    by Ronda
    October 02nd, 2015 at 7:17 p.m.

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