Monday, March 11, 2013

Zig-Zaggity Woop Woop

If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure. It transcends all barriers. –Ed Sullivan

Over the last three weeks, I've been working on a quilt for my cute niece, Miss Butterfly. It's a zig-zag quilt. I've been kind of persnickety about my process, and I think it paid off. None of my points have gone missing and the seams—the whole quilt really—lays so flat. I kind of how it turned out.

I finished the top this week. It's twin size {72" x 96"}, and will be the biggest quilt I've ever quilted on my little machine. I'm looking at the throat space {or harp, or whatever it is called} and wishing for a Sweet Sixteen.

I've been thinking a lot about how I will handle a quilt this size. In my early quilting days, I was a roller. The instructor at the beginning machine quilting class I took said that's how to do it, so that's what I did. But then I read something Leah Day said in reference to rolling a quilt into a log for quilting. She said the reason that logs are floated down a river is because they are so hard to handle, and rolled quilts are equally hard to handle. I didn't believe her. A huge puddle of quilt in the machine seemed like it would be more difficult to maneuver and just in the way. At the time, I was working on my Polka Dot Quilt , and noticed while I was working on the quilting in the larger circles, that the whole process was kind of cumbersome. I decided to give puddling a try—not a complete puddle, mind you, but I unrolled my quilt a little, giving me a little more slack to work with while still maintaining the tidiness a roll creates. It helped, and since then, I've become a hybrid puddle/roller, leaning more towards the puddling, because really, Leah's right about logs being hard to handle.

I'm a little worried too, because the half-square triangles are 6", and that means they are going to require gross free-motion quilting skills, and I'm better at fine free-motion quilting {like how I am in life; better fine motor skills than gross motor skills}. I'd originally planned to quilt arcs in each of the triangles, from corner to corner, making a "net" of flowers in the quilt. But the long side of the triangles is 7½", and to get pretty arcs, I'll have to mark the quilt :yuck: {see above reference to gross free-motion quilting skills}. So, I've revised my quilting plan and hope to incorporate a bit of modern quilting {straight lines} with something a bit more traditional. I think this will fuse nicely with the more traditional calico fabrics and modern chevron/zig-zag quilt design.

This quilt has been in the works for a while. Or at least the idea of this quilt has been in the works for a while. I cut all the fabrics for the half-square triangles early last summer and I worked on the label a few months later, before any sewing actually began. I named the quilt before I even started working on it, thinking of the quilting I planned to do in it. Now that the top is a reality and I'm going to start quilting {and not stop until it is finished}, the name still works, but I did have to do a little tweaking to make the label a little more accurate. It used to say "September 2012."

I usually baste my quilts on my living room carpet {which also doubles as a design wall}. I know that some of you are being carried off in stretchers at the moment, due to shortness of breath, dizziness, pain in your left arm and tightness in your chest, but it works for me. But there isn't enough floor space for a 6' x 8' quilt, so I mopped the kitchen floor yesterday. I'm still putting the back together and seriously considered banning any food or drink in the kitchen until I can get the quilt basted, but decided against it because food and drink are already banned in all other areas of the house and I didn't want the Not-So-Little Bugs to starve. I'm hoping I can get it all together and basted before too much more time passes, otherwise, I'll have to mop the floor again, and frankly, I'd rather be quilting.

Speaking of which, here's a bit of funky swing {which gives this post its title} to quilt by.


Paulette said...

I love this Zig-Zag quilt!! Beautiful colors and fabrics in a fave pattern. Your niece must be on cloud nine!

And may I just say that your labels are just da bomb. I think you could have a side business making quilt labels for all us smart-talkers who go to the trouble of naming their quilts but are super lazy about labels.

I saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy live a few years ago, and it was as fun a show as you might imagine!

Lane said...

I LIKE it! I'm also a hybrid puddler/roller, rolling just enough to keep the bulk out of the way, but leaving enough for me to control under the needle. Love your label! Lane

Christine M said...

Your quilt is lovely Elizabeth.

Shay said...

I'm a complete puddler. I tried rolling and it just didnt work for me at all.

Love the label, and everything about your quilt. You'll quilt it perfectly (I know you!)

Carrie P. said...

great quilt. I would like to make one too. One day. Oh, so much to think about when you make a quilt. I like the puddle idea too instead of rolling. It seems to move a little easier but I am not an expert like Leah.

Anonymous said...

beautiful quilt!!! I love zig-zags!