Zig Zag from strata……dissected…..

I want to share what I learned by making this quilt.  I cut five 3″ strips from each of 20 fabrics and sewed 5 stratas for this 80″ x 100″ quilt.  See this post for a photo of one strata.  I made the decision that I would try 5 steps up and down and started upicking strata slices.  It took me until the third strata to finally register that I was unpicking the same 5 seams over and over.  Duh! I should have just made a strata, NOT sew it into a tube, and slice the 2.5″ sections from it and then there would be NO unpicking for most of this quilt.  I could do that 3 times for the 3 parts that weren’t the highest point and the lowest point in the design.  I only needed half as many of those highest and lowest points so 2 half stratas could be devoted to each of those parts.  The fifth strata would be sewn into a tube and the remaining pieces of all 5 positions would be unpicked at the proper place.

If you are still reading and I haven’t lost you……..the first strip on the left has the lowest step of the 5 steps of the design and occurs 5 times across the quilt.  It is comprised of 2 strata slices sewn together to make one strip from the top of the quilt to the bottom…so that means I need 10 slices from strata for it, and the same for the 5th strip in which is the top of the 5 steps up…10 pieces.  Out of one strata you can cut 16 slices.  If I cut the 20 strips at the fold mark and make 2 half stratas with the right fabric at the top of each I will get 8 of the 10 slices I need.  The remaining 2 will come from the 5th strata which WILL be sewn into a tube and unpicked at the proper places.

Rows 2, 3, and 4 each occur 10 times (with 2 strips sewn together to make each long strip) 20 slices.  Those stratas need to pieced with the correct fabric at the top and will not be sewn into tubes.  The slices will be cut from the flat strata.  I will get 16 of the 20 slices I need from each strata and the remainder will come from the 5th strata which will be sewn into a tube.  Also I would make that 5th strata first and play with the arrangement of the color bands before sewing the rest of them.

So now comes the “what if” part- what if I make it 3 steps up and down instead of 5, will it be more of a zig zag and less of a Bargello look?  What if I make the second strata with the same first 5 pieces and then all different fabrics for the rest of it?  Will I like it better with more colors in it? (Or will that even work?)  What if I add in a few strips twice as wide in the strata for more division between the zig zags?

And finally…..was this helpful or confusing?  Did it give you a headache or an Aha! moment?   I’m expecting a lot of comments and probably won’t be answering all of them.


A little progress…….

I got 3 sections sewn together and the fourth one almost done yesterday.  I had to do some clean up in the basement for my class today and that took most of the afternoon.  Tomorrow I should be able to show the whole top sewn together and share some tips about the assembly.

Designing done……..

I finished sewing the stratas and now need to get busy sewing.  I need this off the wall before Monday when my next TAW class starts.  After seeing it all up there I think I would have rather had the lavender at the top which would have put half of the blue at the top of the quilt and half at the bottom.  I still love it though.  It ended one strip short of a full match to the left edge but that won’t be noticeable on a bed.  This one should finish around 80″ x 100″.

Here are the 2 Amaryllis blooms together.  The one on the left is in its final stage and starting to droop a little.  I think there might be 5 flowers on the one to the right, 2 bloomed so far.

More zig zag………..

I could see I was going to run out of room on the double design wall so I sewed the first 11 rows together to compress it a little.  This is 2 1/2 stratas out of 5.  I finished unpicking the third strata after I took this photo.  Hopefully I will get the last two sewn today.  It will be too cold to go anywhere.  The temperature is supposed to drop all day and be below zero tonight.

My indoor garden is doing great.  This is the second Amaryllis that i bought on sale in January.

Both of the orange cactus plants have buds and one started blooming yesterday.

Trying for a finish…………..

I have had the backing and batting for this quilt hanging over a rail of my longarm frame for almost 2 months.  Finally yesterday I sewed the seam in the backing, loaded it and quilted it.

I chose this gray/beige Jinny Beyer print for the binding.  I didn’t want to emphasize any one color with 9 different color blocks in the quilt so I went neutral.

I have just a narrow band of it showing here and it looks good with the front and backing.  I cut the binding but didn’t sew it on yet.

I also sewed the last four blocks and played with the layout.  I’ll check it later today to see if I’m still happy with it and then sew it together.  There are some old fabrics in these blocks, from the late 1980s and early 1990s all the way up to a few new ones I have purchased in the last few years.

A little progress……….

Four blocks were sewn yesterday.  I had errands to run and knitted for awhile.  I even made a casserole with turkey leftovers and froze 4 meals for the coming weeks.  Refer back to this post for the book and the beginning of this quilt.

The sewing is done on the parts of the last four blocks.  4 across by 5 down will measure about 64″ x 80″ so it will be a nice large couch quilt.

We finally made it above 32 degrees yesterday and today is supposed to be in the 50s.  I guess that means I need to get outside for some final winterizing today. 

Small business Saturday today.  For anyone near the Charlotte NC area, my daughter’s gallery will be open in Pineville NC.  She has some of my quilts and her mosaics available as well as mosaics and jewelry by other artists.  There is an opportunity for one day workshops with Canadian artist Margo Anton available this coming week also.

Design wall play………….

It is time to take this quilt top off the double design wall so I needed to try the border auditions.  This print, another by Keiko Goke, was my original choice for the border.  After seeing it next to the quilt I changed my mind.  I tried a stop border too and didn’t like that either.

Then I tried the black background print that is like the white one in the quilt top (positive/negative prints).  I think that is what I am going to use.

I got all of the fabrics pressed and cut for the remaining 12 blocks for this new quilt.  If you haven’t been following along, here is the post where I show the book and the first blocks.  In this post I first showed this block (third one down) as a possibility for a layout.  I took the 16 pieces from 4 blocks and played with them before I sew the rail fence blocks.  This first layout is every other block turned a quarter turn.

This layout has all blocks in the same position.  The solid border between blocks that is formed could go horizontal or vertical.

Fabric choices would be important for these layouts.  I think it would have to be more coordinated instead of contrasting like I’m using for the rail fence layout.