Zipper Tape Embellishing

Posted by jackiewhite on Monday, March 19th, 2012


Hi there!  My name is Jackie from Jackie's Art Quilts.  I make all things quilt related and crafty.  My favourite is 3D embellishing of my art quilts.   I love to embellish!   Riley Blake has graciously allowed me to share some cool and fun embellishments with you.  I will be posting a different embellishment on the third Monday of each month.

Click here to get your printable copy.

We love to buy all those fun little extras that make your work special, but sometimes we don’t really know how to use them.  I want to show you different ways you can incorporate them into your work.  I hope you find something you like and give it a try.

March is Zipper Tape.  This fairly new embellishment is loads of fun!  I demonstrate four fantastic ways to use zipper tape.  


Zipper Tape comes in a rainbow of colours and is easy and versatile to play with.  

First up is the zipper tape flower that is a sure fire winner.   I am just going to direct you to Riley Blake’s very own Cindy and Jina to watch their video that shows you step by step how to make it.

My zipper tape flower is a bit different as I added two different colours.  This can be done by doing the centre and five loops, then glue the end underneath.  Switch colours and glue the new end on the bottom and continue with your loops.

Next up is using zipper tape in a traditional four patch block.   Cut 2 -4 1/2" squares of one color and 2 -4 1/2" squares of another color.   Cut 2 pieces of 2 different colors of zipper tape 4 1/2" long.

Line up the zipper tape, teeth facing in to centre of square, and match finished edge of tape to edge of square.  With right sides together, sew the 2 squares together with the zipper tape sandwiched in the middle.  Then sew the other 2 squares together.  If you have a zipper foot, use it.   You can use your 1/4" foot as well, and you will stitch slightly less than a 1/4" seam.  Press right up to the teeth.   I did press over the tape using my iron and was careful to press and lift as to not scratch the bottom of the iron.   You would have to decide if this is best for your iron to press right over the teeth.  If not just iron right up to them.




Pin the top to the bottom, marking a pin right where the teeth are.   As you start to stitch, when you come to the teeth, lift the foot and skip a stitch or two jumping over the teeth and continue stitching.   Once done, go and tack by hand the missed stitches.     Press and trim up.   When it comes to trimming up the block and cutting the tape, use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut fabric and jump over the tape.   Take your general purpose scissors and cut the teeth of the tape.   



The block below, I chose to add an additional tape across the centre as well.   I followed the same instructions as above and marked with a pin where the teeth were, jumped over them and hand stitched down. 



You can use these blocks for a fun quilt or turn into a decorative pillow.   


Zipper tape can also be used as a fun border in a quilt.   On the next quilt, it was added when the brown border was put on. It was simply laid on the top, teeth facing the centre and border fabric placed right sides together and stitched.   



The last method I am going to show you is how to make a funky little art quilt using zipper tape.

Cut a 12" x 12" background, backing and batting.  Pin the sandwich together.   Using different colors and lengths of zipper tapes, cut 4 'stems' out and lay on background.   Don't be afraid to let the 'stems' cross over one another. Pin down.  Cut 5" pieces of tape to be used as leaves.   Fold at ends and tuck under stems and pin.   Hand tack all the stems and leaves down to the sandwich.   


Free motion quilt on background.   Zigzag stitch around edges to secure.   Lay zipper tape on all edges.   The zipper tape that sits on the top of the other ones, fold down the corner of that piece of tape to give it the illusion that it is mitered.  Pin and hand sew around edges.   Decorate with your favourite method of flowers.







Categories: Accessories, Quilts


  1. What a great idea!Not so easy to find metal zipper tape here in the UK though!
    by Gill
    March 19th, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.
  2. I love the red and green flower. Interesting way to perk up a piece.
    by Ro
    March 19th, 2012 at 8:27 p.m.
  3. OK! That is totally great timing! I am doing some English Paper Piecing flowers and then am going to add a foundation pieced flower pot for the bottom. All that is missing is an idea for the stems and now I have it. I love all the uses for the zippers - and the instructions and video are really helpful. Thanks a lot.
    by Lauren
    March 20th, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.
  4. What creative use of zippers, who would think to use them that way. I just love the zipper flower and I am thinking that it would make a wonderful brooch for a sewer, or any woman for that matter it sure would be a great conversation piece! Send the idea to a fashion designer.
    by Margaret
    March 21st, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
  5. Thses flowers are beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!!
    by Laura-Lee
    June 25th, 2012 at 10:13 p.m.

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