Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


A Finish: Midwest Modern Zig Zags

I just mailed off this new quilt to Timeless Treasures to be part of the Luanna Rubin’s 5000 Quilt Challenge for Hurricane Sandy relief.  It finished 70″ x 86″, which is about as large as I like to quilt on my home machine.  For larger ones, I usually quilt in two pieces, join, then quilt the joined area.

This is a very different color palette for me, mainly inspired by spotting the large amount of Amy Butler fabric in my stash and finding I could easily pull enough coordinates to go with it.  My donation blocks were bright and cheerful;  here I went with soothing.  The whole thing has a feeling of butterscotch about it.  I hope it warms and soothes someone in need.

I pieced the top in one day, but the quilting took about 12 hours, which I spread over several days because it was a little hard on my shoulders and back.

I started quilting but using the walking foot to quilt a stabilizing grid of lines between all the blocks.  For this, I rolled the quilt to fit under the machine.  To support this long sausage, I assembled several surfaces.  The white is my machine cabinet; the brown is the wooden cabinet that always backs up against the machine cabinet;  the silver is my ironing board, lowered to line up; and the white table is a narrow folding table.  This table was new this spring for the graduation party, and this is the first time I used it in the sewing studio.  It was the perfect size for my cramped quarters.

For the straight lines in the chevrons (are “zig zag” and “chevron” completely interchangeable?) I used the walking foot, where I would usually free motion them.  However, the large size made it possible to use the walking foot, and I know it made my lines a lot straighter (notice I didn’t have to come on Twitter to beg you to chant about crinkling for me).  This was the least fun and most time-consuming part.  Shoulder tiring.  I found that moving the white table around to the left side of the machine gave me the support I needed for this step.

Finally I got to my favorite:  free-motion feathers.  I know I’m in a little bit of a rut with these, though I am stretching and doing different things with them sometimes.  When I get stuck on something like this, I often just go with it until I get them out of my system.  Or get good at them.  Or sick of them.  So far I am getting pretty good at them, though I find that some days I can form feathers and some days I really can’t.  More and more I can.  And, as Kati R. said, I may just make them forever.  So versatile and traditional, but I like the contrast for modern things, too.

For the feathers, I used the flatten and smash technique (is that right?  Leah Day?).  I used the stitch regulator on my machine, but I’m alright without it, too.  I just marked the spines (which I quilted before I took off the walking foot) and went for it.  I’m pretty happy with them.  There’s some glitches and size variation, but I won’t point those out to you.  I think it washed up beautifully.

I bound it with the coordinating stripe, which is wavy, giving the binding an interesting slanted look in places.  It’s all machine bound.

This all came from stash, front and back.  I enjoyed it, and I hope it comforts someone.

Happy Thanksgiving.