Quilting Blog

Have You Heard About Zentangles?

New Quilting Technique: Zentangles

Zentangles are a fun, easy to learn meditation type of drawing experience and I guarantee that anyone can do it! Zentangle drawings look complex and intricate, but when broken down, they are very easy to do and perfect for translating into quilting designs.

Zentangles are an art form that is created from small, simple to learn, repetitive structured patterns. As an abstract drawing technique that is done “one stroke at a time,” the deliberate strokes involved can be equated to the concept of now, being in the present moment, a Zen-type experience. As such, Zentangles can help you develop your artistic spirit, even if you thought you never had one.

Zentangle DrawingsZentangles will help you to become more aware of pattern. Patterns are everywhere! Just look around you. Look at your clothes, architecture, nature and your daily living experiences. Zentangles make you more conscious of your own environment and the patterns that are right in front of you.

If you are a quilter I can assure you that Zentangles will enhance so much of the quilting design process and  that you’ll love the gentle process of creating art. It will soothe your soul and help you to focus on the present moment. The whole process is portable, inexpensive, and truly life changing. It opens you up to a creative and more peaceful life. My 11 year old grandson who has ADD loves it and can’t believe what he can do! Simply awesome.

Zentangle OrbamentsMany people have said that they wanted to create art but couldn’t because: there’s not enough time; it’s too expensive; there’s too much equipment; they don’t have the ability; they’re overcome with fear; there’s no place or space; they never finished what they started; they don’t have training; or it’s too intimidating; and the list goes on! But learning Zentangles dispels all of these obstacles. Zentangles offer many affirmative metaphors, as you can do anything one stroke at a time. People often start out thinking “I can’t do that” and then about a half-hour later they have done what they thought wasn’t possible. Because of that, Zentangles are an empowering experience. To get started the only things that you will need are an extra fine tip black pen, a #2 pencil and a small piece of good quality paper. That’s it! Transferring your designs to your quilt tops using a washable marker is easy too.

Zentangle QuiltIn what way could you use Zentangles to increase your confidence and refresh your artistic spirit? One lady “tangled” a piano, another a ski helmet, another boots, and me; I have applied my Zentangle designs to quilts, jewelry, masks, ornaments, cards, envelopes, pillows, notebook covers and just about everything else. This could become your new passion and change your life!

Written by Nancy Smith:

Nancy has been a full time quilter for the past 30 years and had a retail store called Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. Nancy wrote, with her partner Lynda Milligan, 74 quilting books through C & T Publishing as well as Possibilities, and together they designed well over 100 fabric lines. She has loved quilting for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother made quilts for her as a child, and so she came by it honestly.

After 30 years of running 3 full time businesses she literally stumbled upon Zentangles. She had always had a fascination with calligraphy but had never really sat down to do it. Upon seeing an article about Zentangles in a Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, she signed up for a workshop, made airline reservations, and had her hotel booked. She was ready. Little did she know how it would change her life, create a new passion, enhance all of her quilting knowledge and fit right in with what she was already doing. She is now a Certified Zentangle Instructor (CZT).


Carol Ann Waugh

I took a class from Nancy and it was one of the most fun days I’ve spent in a long time. Nancy is a wonderful, supportive, and inspirational teacher and I found out that I COULD draw and make beautiful original patterns, when I thought I couldn’t. Just do it!


This sounds so interesting! I am one that says I can’t even draw a straight line but this post makes me really want to try!


When a.zentangle class?


How do we learn more about this craft through Craftsy? I am guessing there are other ways to find it but feel this is a tease for a new class offering. Can’t wait to see more!!

Susan Ertel

Ok ! I interested. Are you going to do a crafty class ? I can’t just fly off somewhere. Used to do fine doodles in school.

Kara Jensen

If you cannot find a class right away, there are a number of excellent books available at very reasonable prices. There are also TONS of youtube videos you can watch endlessly. Being at the end of the supply line (Hawaii), this what I had to do five years ago when the only available teacher was on the big island and that was still too far away for me to swim. 🙂 Once you get the basics down, the applications are endless and you will find inspiration is everywhere around you. You will see the world around you in a totally new and different way.

Mary Ann

I would like to learn this as well. Please offer a class.

Nancy Giles

I just bought a book on Zentangle at the local quilt store and have ideas in my head. Getting them out onto paper or fabric will be my next challenge. Do you think Craftsy might do a class on Zentangle. Sign me up!!!


Yes please-an online class that I can go back and refer to again and again. Thanks in anticipation

Cynthia Parker

Tanglepatterns.com is the website I have been using. It has links to tons of pattern tutorials and many great ideas. I really can’t draw a straight line, but I’ve made several really pretty designs in pen and pencil. I got some 4″ x 4″ watercolor paper from Hobby Lobby, and I use that to draw on (on the smoother side).

Johanna Fritz

If you are a quilter, I love to go online and find Zentangles and “tangles” (the unofficial ones) that inspire me for free motion quilting designs. Just do a Google image search. You will be amazed at the inspiration just waiting for you for your next machine quilting projectl

Elizabeth Scott

I am Zentangling a sewing machine cabinet I have with an old Pfaff in it. I painted it black and white and it was too plain. Now it is going to have zing! I love zentangling. It is relaxing and you really can’t mess it up.


yes I agree – a craftsy class on Zentangle! i bought the kit and am going to try it on a quilt

Fabric Fascination

Interesting and beautiful!


I have several Zentangle books. I think the best one for learning on your own is “One Zentangle a Day” by Beckah Krahula. It walks you through the basic beginnings to ones in color and turned into projects. I am working thru it now, and my bulletin board is growing more wonderful every day as I post them there together.


I have purchased a lot of Zentangle books. I just love the designs! I would love to see a Craftsy Zentangle class as well.


okay, so there is no class. I would be very interested in the class.


l have taken a class and loved it it has got me back into quiltting and l would love to learn more on it


This class sounds like it would be a fun class to take. I am going to see if I can find anything on the internet about it. Let me know if you offer a class.


I would love to tale a craftsy class in zentagle quilting!!!


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