Quilt Tutorial “Trip Around the World Quilt”

So a couple of you have asked me to do a tutorial on how I make the Around the World Quilt. Today I am fulfilling your wish!

{Let me just say, this is a tutorial on how I make this quilt. I am not saying this is the right way, but I am not saying this is the wrong way, I am just saying this is how I make this quilt!}

Quilt pin itBuckle down! This quilt is super fun but super time consuming.

{ If you have any questions at all, or a part of the tutorial does not make sense, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I will try my best to help you! =) }

Without further ado…. {Drum-roll please}


The Tutorial:

OLFA 004

  • First thing is first, you are going to need to choose your fabric!
  • You will need 6 coordinating colors.

  • For the twin size Quilt shown here, I used roughly one and a half yards of each color. I say roughly, because sometimes I have a couple inches of one color left over, and sometimes I have none left over, {It all depends on how the fabric lady cut it.}
  • Choosing the fabric is always the most fun, but can also be the most frustrating! Me and my mom were in the fabric section of Hobby Lobby for literally 45 minutes, picking up bolts of fabric, comparing prints, putting some back, rearranging, and finally settling on these 6 colors.
  • We got 1 1/2 yds. of each print. {These measurements do not include the border back or binding. 1 1/2 yds. of fabric is just for the top, but you will have some left over.}


Quilt for fair 008

Please, do me a favor and don’t skip this part:

  • Wash
  • Dry
  • And Iron your fabric.

This step prevents your fabric from shrinking after it is all put together.

I personally wash my fabric in hot water, twice. Because here is the ironic thing… I am allergic to fabric! Crazy, I know! A big time quilter allergic to her #1 hobby! I am pretty sure it is the chemicals and starches they put on the fabric that makes my hands break out. Because of this, I always wash my fabric twice, and just recently started wearing gloves.


Cutting time!

Now it is time to start cutting strips. {No matter what quilt size I am doing, I always do this step the exact same for every quilt.}

1. Fold all of your fabric in half the same way. {This can be long ways or short ways, the point is to have all strips that are the same length} I tend to cut all my strips longways, so they come out longer.

Quilt for Fair 002

Quilt for Fair 009

2. Starting from one end of your fabric, mark your strips, and cut. Each strip should be 6’’ wide. Do this to each color. {I usually cut a handful of strips (5-6) and then skip to the next part. If you need more strips later, you can cut some, but if you don’t, then you have a bit of uncut fabric you can use as binding later or for another project.}


Quilt for Fair 013

3. Decide what order you want your strips in. This is the order it will appear in your quilt. As you can see in the picture above, I choose the zebra fabric to be fabric #1. This meant it was my cross, or middle. Next I chose the pink swirl. My third fabric was roses, and so on.

Flag football and Quilt for Fair 021

Quilt for fair 009

4. Sew these strips lengthwise, right sides together, as you have them laid out. {Zebra to pink swirl…pink swirl to roses…etc.}

Quilt for fair 017 Quilt for fair 021

Quilt for Fair 022

5. Now you should have basically a “fabric of fabrics” if you will. Sew them into a tube {right sides together!} You do this by taking both ends {in my case it was the zebra and the black, pink, gray checkered fabric} Place them right sides together, and sew lengthwise like you have been doing. It should come off your sewing machine as a big tube of fabric. 

{Why I have brown thread in this picture, I have no idea, because the thread I was using was black. =D }

Do this to as many strips as you have.

6. This next part depends mainly on your quilt size. For a twin {shown above} I tend to cut these next strips about 3’’ wide. For smaller quilts I tend to cut the strips thinner.


1. Lay out one of your tubes. {it needs to be flat.}

Quilt for fair 022

2. Start from one end of the tube {you might need to trim the end to make it straight}

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3. Measure out your desired strip length. {I am cutting mine 3’’ wide}

4. Mark the strip and make your cut. {I used my handy dandy OLFA safety rotary cutter}

You should end up with a bunch of little 3” tubes.

5. Now here comes the fun/confusing part. This part will make the quilt look really intricate but in reality, it will be really easy.

Quilt for fair 027 Quilt for fair 028

6. Take your first little tube. Hopefully you already know what is going to be your middle (zebra) color. You also should know what your end color is {pink, gray, and black checkered.} You are going to cut these two colors away from each other! Some people like to take the seams out with a seam ripper, but I prefer to cut the seam off with a rotary cutter. {it is faster}

Quilt for fair 001

Now you should have a strip with all 6 of your colors in it, in the order you want.

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7. The next time you make a cut, instead of cutting the seam, you will be cutting the strip. Take your middle fabric {zebra} and fold it in half. Cut that piece directly in half!

8. Do the same exact thing one more time.

Quilt for fair 002

9. Lay out your strips.

10. They should look like the picture above

11. You can sew these strips together now, or at the end. I think it goes faster if you cut everything first, then sew everything together. Your pick. 

Quilt for fair 003

12.Now that you have cut the {zebra} middle fabric in half, that color is done. So the next step is cutting the middle {zebra} away from fabric #2 {pink swirl.} You can use a rotary cutter or seam ripper. Do it just like you did step 6!

As you can see in the picture above, the zebra fabric is now at the top, while the pink swirl is at the bottom.

Quilt for fair 004

13. Now, you have to cut the pink swirl in half, just like the zebra!

14. You continue to do this over and over… until you reach your desired length.

15. Make a mirrored image of this end.

16. It’s pin time! Take that giant pincushion of colorful pins and match up the two pieces. All the seams should match! Use LOTS of pins!
When you sew it together, you should have a {zebra} cross in the middle. The rest of the colors should surround the cross in a diamond shape.

Now all you have to add is the 3 B’s,

  • Border
  • Back and
  • Binding!

Have FUN!

What do you think?

Was this tutorial helpful?

Have any questions?

I would love any feedback you have!

You can ask me those questions by simply leaving a comment below! =D

 Hope you had “Sew” much fun!

PS: That last line was free of charge.

PPS: I will be entering this quilt in the 4H fair in my city!

PPPS: Read this article. I stumbled upon it today and thought it was the craziest coincidence I have ever seen! She made a twin zebra around the world quilt {just like me} entered it in her first 4H fair, {just like me} and won first prize…{hopefully like me} = ) What a coincidence, huh?


  1. Billie says:

    Quick question. Great directions by the way. But for the middle rows those all have what looks like an extra zebra piece. How did you get the zebra to have the points on the bottom ends?


  2. Stormy Lavelle says:

    Love your tutorial. I have bought all the exact fabric and have cut my strips and sewn them into my tube. Unfortunately it doesn’t lay flat. Arrrrrrgggg. Not sure what I’ve done wrong. I cut my strips as precise as I can. I used my 1/4″ foot. I changed sewing directions after each strip. Any suggestions would be awesome. Should I press open the seems? Right now the are just set pressed.i thought it would lay flatter that way.

    Thank you.

    • Caroline Williams
      Caroline Williams says:

      Hey Stormy,
      Thanks so much for the comment!
      I’ve had this happen a few times to me too, so I feel your pain ;) I found that Pressing the seams (no need to press open) every time I sew something will make everything a lot straighter. Also I realized one time that I was going so fast on my machine I was actually sewing crooked without knowing it, which made my tubes not lay flat. And lastly, if none of this works, before you sew your fabric into a tube, straighten it all out flat (right sides together) and if the end fabrics don’t match up perfectly, just sew without matching up those end pieces. I have done this before but only if the excess amount is not drastic. Good Luck and please let me know if you need anymore help! ~Caroline ♥

    • Caroline Williams
      Caroline Williams says:

      Hi Sue,
      So the biggest quilt size I have made with this pattern is a queen. How I made it bigger was I added a few more strips on the end to increase the length and then added another 6” border to the width side. So to make it a king size, I would recommend maybe adding another border to the width size? The queen did end up being very large (almost king) so you may want to check on that before you add 6 more inches ;)

      I really hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions! :)
      I have never actually made a king size quilt!


  3. ada peddle says:

    I am ready to sandwich this quilt.reading my pattern it says to tie the diamond with embroidery floss.Do i need to do this or can i sew through the layers of the quilt

  4. Therese Duermyer says:

    Have you ever used more that 6 fabrics. I want to use 12. Would you recommend 1. Do I make a tube with 12 colors and follow directions. Or 2. Do I make two separate tubes of six each then arrange them in my order.

    • Caroline Williams
      Caroline Williams says:

      Thanks for the comment! I have never used more than 6, but I always have wanted to, I assume it would just make the quilt wider. I would recommend doing each tube 12 colors long and continue to follow the directions. I’m pretty sure it will work out the same! :)
      I would love to see the finished product when you are done!

  5. Lorraine says:

    I have bought all my materials, but only
    5 different patterns/colors. I got my instructions from an experienced quilter who tells me to just cut 31/2 inch strips the width of each fabric and then start cutting 31/2 inch squares. Then sew in desired color order. Is this crazy???

    • Caroline Williams
      Caroline Williams says:

      Thanks for the comment! Personally I find that a little crazy. Lol I’ve never done that method before but I feel like my method is a little easier to keep track of the patterns and colors. It sounds like the other quilters method won’t have the same finished effect
      Hope this helps!

  6. Janice Caine says:

    A friend of mine recently lost her grandmother and she now has a quilt that my mom identified as “around the world ” pattern. There are #s/letters in one corner on the back-any ideas what they may mean?

  7. Barbara says:

    Wow that size is about the same as I was going to make for a king size topper quilt, would that be right? I have seen this style but with squares rather than oblongs, would the fabric estimate,ate be about the same?

    • Caroline Williams
      Caroline Williams says:

      Yes some quilts run big! I tend to make larger sizes for the drop length.
      To your next question, It should be about the same but with squares, I don’t think you will get the same staggered look.

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