Thursday, November 26, 2015

TGIFF! Zig Zag Quilt

Welcome to Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday. If you're here in the USA you might be recovering from a Thanksgiving food coma, or battling the shoppers for 'Black Friday.' Maybe you even braved the masses who shop Thanksgiving Day. In the spirit of this crazy season, I'm making this post available on Thursday. I cannot wait until Friday! Let's get this TGIFT/TGIFF party started. I'd love to see what you are finishing up! 

My Zig Zag Quilt had its beginning in March of 2014. I fell in love with some beautiful batik stripe fabrics at the Original Quilting and Sewing Expo in Lakeland, FL. I'm happy to say I completed the quilt in less than two years! 

Binding took quite a bit of time, and inspired the name.
My original design did not call for a crazy binding. No, I drew it out on my graph paper all neat and square. The craziest I got with the first sketch was cutting off the corners a little bit. When I started putting the whole thing together though, I just couldn't justify trimming so much of the set in triangles that put this design on edge point. The crazy zig-zag binding was going to put me on edge! Fortunately, with a helpful search engine and YouTube, I was able to find some great tips on how to handle an irregular binding. I'll include a link to the video that I followed at the end of this post.

It seems that everyone has different parts of the quilt making process that are super appealing to them. I run the gambit, I love piecing (even though I'm not entirely precise), I love quilting (especially now that I have Louise the Longarm), but there is something so satisfying about hand stitching the binding onto a quilt. Perhaps its the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you are putting the finishing touches on something that you've worked so long on, or maybe I just find the hand work to be very relaxing. I'm not sure. Anyway, as soon as the binding was on, I couldn't wait to take the quilt out to the groves to get some pictures. 

Free hand 'straight line' quilting enhances the strong geometric and graphic quality of this quilt. I used Louise's hopping foot to follow along the stripes in the red fabric and then use straight diagonal lines in all of the white areas. You might be able to see from the photo of the back that there is a difference in color where the red stripe fabric is and where the white areas are. That's because I used a variegated King Tut thread from Superior threads for the red areas and white Aurifil (#2024) in the white areas.

 A little close up of the quilting. I know it's an amateur shot, but I'm always on the look out to learn better ways of documenting my quilts. I have learned that it is very difficult to see what you are taking pictures of on the screen of a smart phone in the day light. If you have any suggestions for photographing your quilts, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more about the journey to this TGIFF be sure to check out these other postings.
Getting My Sew-Jo at the Expo, where I first fell in love with the stripes.
So Yeah, This Happened Today, which I could have titled, The First Cut is the Deepest! 
A Quilty Coaster Ride, where find out what a thrill designing my own quilt can be.
Finding Time, cause we could all use some more sewing and design time.
 Here is the link to the video that I used for irregular binding.


  1. Wow!!!! What a gorgeous quilt. Great job with the binding!! Love the colors of the top and shades on the back!

  2. This is one gorgeous quilt. I love the contrast between the red areas and the white. Great job on the quilting as well. you are very brave tackling that binding around all those corners.

  3. What an interesting shape for a quilt! You've chosen gorgeous colors and mixed them beautifully. I can see it draped on a sofa in front of a fireplace...
    I'm also a big fan of finishing the binding by hand. Yes, the action is very relaxing and we can enjoy handling the quilt during the stitching.

  4. I dropped by to quickly add a project to this week's TGIFF, it'll only take a second I told my husband, but when I saw your quilt I wanted to know more. Slightly more than a second later I've read all your back posts and have to tell you how great it's been to read your process, your design progression and something of your thinking at each stage. Your finished quilt is WOW, just fabulous. So glad I dropped by today but now I have things I have to do!!! - Chris @madebyChrissieD :D

  5. Wow Jan! This is a fabulous quilt!!! I actually said "Wow!" out loud when I saw it. I love how you quilted it, seems like you and Louise are quite a team now, yay. I love seeing the drawing on graph paper and then seeing the actual quilt all done. :-) Pat yourself on the back for a real beauty! I hope you are entering it in some shows...

  6. Your ZigZag quilt is oozing with beautiful, creative drama. It is really stunning!
    Thanks for hosting us today:)

  7. The way your jagged edges support the nature of the piecing is superb - I'm so glad you didn't chop them off! Your quilting choices feel just right. What a beautiful finish!
    All of my photos are amateur (because I'm not a photographer - I'm a quilter!), but I've found a way to show the quilting. I like to take photos indoors with natural light flooding in from one side (window). It creates shadows, which shows the stitching, and the colours stay true because there is no artificial light.
    The outdoor shots I've tried are trickier, but I have a rolling rack that I can move around so the light is angling across the surface, or shining through the quilt (just for fun!). I've also laid quilts out on the snow, which has worked okay, too. (OH, and sometimes I pin quilts to my Styrofoam design wall and take it outside. Portable and positionable.) I just take a lot of shots from different angles until I see what I like. It is hard to see on the phone but, if I have time, I can check the shots on my computer screen and go back for retakes. I do think my outdoor photos turn out better in early morning or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky and the light is softer.
    Not all of the photos I post are stellar, but sometimes a quilt goes out the door so fast I have no time to fool around! (or to wait for daylight). And, sometimes I just make mistakes (user error)...but again - Not a photographer! Just a quilter who loves to share ideas. :-)
    Of course, all of this comes from a person who takes every photo with an android phone and doesn't edit, so...grain of salt suggested!
    One other thing - I've taken other people out of the equation. I've found that people tend to complain after the hundredth shot when I want "just one more". Ha! (Easier to experiment on my own time.)

  8. I love this quilt! So unique and different. I am with you on bindings - it is one of my favorite parts of quilting. Thanks for hosting TGIFF!

  9. WOW! This is a boldly different quilt! I love it!

  10. Amazing finish. Love that striped fabric.

  11. Your quilt is so wonderful, particularly the binding!

  12. Mr. B, your blog has really grown up! Hosting TGIFF--look at you go! Congrats, sir, just sorry I was too late to the party to post my loveliness.
    Your quilt, however, is ah-mazing. This is what became of those previously viewed stripe experiments? WOW. I am in awe.

  13. WOW Jan it looks fantastic, it just jumps out at you and it reminds me very much of some of Kaffe Fassetts colours, I thought it might have been one of his designs till I read back through your blog. Love love love it. Cheers Glenda Australia.


Thank you for stopping among the groves. Please feel free to share any thoughts, comments or tangent ideas. I would love to hear your point of view and make every effort to respond via e-mail to you.