Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zig Zag Quilt

Over Christmas vacation we were at the in law's house and I finished up my hand sewing projects pretty quickly.  That left me with nothing to do except surf the internet looking for quilting inspirations.  I started a flickr account and favorited all the quilts that caught my eye.  After a few hours of this, I went back through the pictures and found that there were a couple of patterns I had saved over and over again.  One of them was a zig zag pattern.  I'm not quite good enough that I want to do triangles yet.  Bias sewing, shudder!  However, I found this tutorial for how to do a zig zag quilt using squares.  Crazy Mom Quilt's zig zag without triangles tutorial.  Another design feature that caught my eye again and again, was quilts with a lot of white in them.  I thought I'd combine the two ideas and make a quilt for for sister in law, who is having a baby girl in April.  Her favorite color is purple, so I wanted that color to be a feature, but not the only color.

I picked up these fabrics at Joann.  It's hard to see in this picture, but the white on the bottom is a white on white print with dots of all sizes.
For the zig zags you first start with 3 inch wide strips.  You sew a colored strip to a white strip. and then cut squares that are half white and half colored.  I was quite sure how many I would end up needing, because Crazy Mom's pattern was for a smaller quilt than I wanted to make.  I have a great piece of lavender with blue dots minky that was 60x60, that I wanted to use as the back.  I wanted to use most of the minky, so I was shooting for 50x50.  Also, I wasn't sure how I wanted to arrange the colors.  I'm a sucker regular color progressions.
 However, I still needed to know how many blocks and of each color.   Given the end dimension I wanted, I did some quick math.  The square blocks are arranged on their points, so if you know the side dimensions of the square you can figure out how long it is from point to point.  A squared plus B squared equals C squared.  Thank you geometry and the scientific calculator on the computer!  Because I sure don't remember how to get a square root on a regular calculator.  To all the math teachers I tortured over the years.  I'd like to apologize now.  You do need math in the real world, after all!

I figured out I could have 8 zig zags, but I had 5 colors, and I didn't really want to drop a color.  Eventually, I decided that I'd do two zigs of each of the purple, pink and blue and one zag of the green on one end and one of the yellow on the other end.  I'm hoping it looks like the pattern is two of each color and the green and yellow had simply gotten cut short.

This is as far as I got the second night.  I was tired but very pleased with myself, until I noticed and once again, I had sewed past my competency point.  Do you see where I went wrong?

I got to spend some quality time with the seam ripper the next day.  Fortunately the strips of squares hadn't been sewn together yet and I only had to take apart that one strip.  I also realized I was missing some squares, so I got to cut and piece some more white and colored blocks.

 Lesson taught, but not fully learned again, that one should not sew past the point the point in time when you are competent.  Just go to bed already, there's always time to sew tomorrow.


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