About zippyquilts

I quilt for pleasure but I also teach and write about quilting.

Scrap HSTs

HSTs (half square triangles) are the basis of lots of dynamic quilt designs, so of course they’re even better if they’re scrappy. For those who may not know, here’s a half-square triangle block. Each half of the square is a triangle, and of course it helps that they contrast.

Block drawn in EQ8

So after I had made a whole bunch of scrappy squares, I decided to cut them in half diagonally to make scrappy HSTs. I had the perfect white fabric with metallic gold oriental writing to use as contrast.

Of course I tried numerous layouts for the blocks and consulted friends about which to use.

This arrangement was voted out

Eventually I chose the arrangement below because I like the “double twist” effect you get in the center if you look from a distance.

The finished quilt

Quilt Stats

Name: Ziggy Scraps

Designed and made by me

Finished size: 58″ x 78″

Quilted by: Linda

I’m developing a talk about making successful scrap quilts. If you have any ideas I should include, let me know!

A Visit to the Mint Museum Uptown

Several years ago my husband and I visited the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in downtown Charlotte (N.C.) and were very impressed. The museum has since constructed a new building (now called the “Uptown Charlotte” branch of the Mint Museum) so we were eager to visit.

The new facility is lovely, but the craft exhibits were disappointing. For example, the previous venue had a large Chihuly piece hanging from the ceiling in the entrance. I know I didn’t dream this, because I was able to find it on Pinterest as shown below.

This photo was found on Pinterest, where it is attributed to “rtencati on flickr”

There was no evidence of the chandelier in the new building, though the lobby is still impressive with a huge colored window, shown below. It is 3 stories high!

There were many fine crafts, especially in glass and ceramics, but if there were quilts I somehow missed them. Here are a few things I did enjoy.

Acrylic chair by Patrick Norguet

Marimekko fabric designed by Maija Isola, 1964. 

Wolf Crest Hat (in glass) by Preston Singletary.

Threshold, by Danny Lane is a huge piece made of stacked glass. The wall of glass is lighted from behind, and there are a variety of objects behind the glass, providing interesting shapes and colors. This was one of my favorite pieces.

Unfortunately, the two pieces below were the closest the museum came to having quilts. These are pieced by Anna Buckner and mounted on small stretchers, but are not quilted.

I miss the old Mint Craft + Design museum, but there was still plenty of inspiration in the new version. 

P.S.–I’ve added a dragonfly to the “summer rain” quilt over the stairs.

This came from my jewelry box. Someone crocheted the wings and assembled the whole by hand.

Turning 20 Again

I’m a long-time fan of the Turning 20 quilts, in part because they make such efficient use of fat quarters. (And who can resist fat quarters?) The original patterns came out many years ago, and there are a number of new ones since. If you don’t know about them, you can find them here, at Tricia Cribbs’ website.

Anyway, I recently made my upteenth version of her Turning 20 Again pattern, in part because I just had to use this gold fabric.

The quilt is straight; my picture is not!

The quilter did some wonderful swirls on it.

I’m blogging about this many weeks after finishing it–that’s the way it goes some days! It’s a donation quilt.

Quilt Stats

Name: Turning 20 Again

Pattern by: Tricia Cribbs (available here)

Made by: me

Finished size: 55″ x 55″

Quilted by: Linda

Improv Quilt-Along Continued

I’ve already posted about the first week of the quilt-along, which was focused on strips. Here are my blocks again.

The second week’s suggestion was polygons but not triangles. I found it difficult to like most of my attempts for this, though I did finally use EQ to design a block that I paper pieced. I thought that many of the others lack focus, so there was a lot of cutting up and re-designing. Still not my faves, but here they are:

The third week focused on triangles. I still did much of my cutting without a ruler, but I stuck to simpler designs and I’m much happier with this collection of blocks.

The quilt-along is called “30 Days of Improv” so we’re only about half way through. Here’s a link to the first post for the QAL if you want to join in. I’m looking forward to next week’s prompts.

Why Does This New Quilt Count as Finishing a UFO?

I hate the recursive nature of most social media, including Pinterest. You don’t dare click on what looks like a good pie recipe, because you’ll be fed pie recipes for at least 6 months, probably longer. HOWEVER, I do remain a fan of Pinterest, where I still find a lot of fun quilt ideas. Recently I found this pattern via Pinterest and just had to have it:

The pattern is available on Etsy, here.

I had just the place for the quilt, having decided a while back I wanted to make a “summer rain” quilt to go over the stairs. We’ve had this lovely Japanese silk scarf over the stairs, but it was time for a change.

I got the blocks made. Oops, I got the blocks made following her directions and then made a number of my own design. Anyway, I liked the way they all looked together.

This is a small quilt, so I decided to use a sort of baste-as-you-go construction by sewing rows down to the batting and backing, sort of like you’d do if you were making a QAYG place mat using strips. Then I quilted it in vertical lines. Not my favorite thing to do, but it worked fine.

I think you can see the vertical quilting here. The lines were marked with blue painter’s tape, and are at pseudo-random distances apart.

Oh, and why does it count as finishing a UFO? Because I had started an improv quilt with this in mind but never finished it! I got out the blocks I had completed for that and combined them with blocks made using Maryline’s pattern, and got rid of another UFO 😀

Quilt Stats

Name: Summer Rain

Pattern: City Quilt by Maryline Collioud-Robert, plus some blocks I improvised

Made and quilted by me

Finished size: 39″ x 50″

And BTW, I recommend this pattern. It was a lot of fun!

 

An Improv Quilt-Along

My blogging friend Linda, over at Flourishing Palms, posted about an improv quilt-along and I got hooked in too! Here’s the link if you want to know more about it:

And here are the fabrics I selected.

The first week’s prompt is strips/stripes. I’ve already done a bunch of what Maria Shell calls “mat cut strips” when I took a class with her, so I tried this time to go beyond what I did with Maria.

Here are a few of the strips

And strip setsAnd some final blocks

To be continued…

Finish! A Really Old UFO

A number of years ago we had a guild program in which we made 3-dimensional fabric. I know I got this fabric wet and pushed it through a cake rack, but I don’t recall the details and can’t find instructions online. If you know how to do this, please tell me!

So this fabric (just the purple piece, with no beads yet), sat around for quite a while.

Then I layered it on batting and added all the rest of the stuff–beads, ribbon, side triangles, and quilting.

Then it sat around. OK, there was a lot going on in those years, but really, it just didn’t rise to the top of the “to-do” list.

Finally this week I got it out and applied binding.

Quilt Stats

Name: Shiny

Designed and made by: me

Quilted by: me

Finished size: 11″ x 11″

Whew! I’m guessing it took 5 years to make this quilt. Well, at least to get it finished 😀  What’s your oldest UFO?

Another Zen Chic Quilt

Yes, I liked this pattern so much I made it twice.The quilt shown above is the first version, more or less following the pattern.

I’ve blogged previously about the second version, made when I had the “brilliant” idea that this would be a great Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) project. Here it is again:Anyway, I still like both of them and plan to use them when I next teach QAYG.

Here are the stats on the latest one (with the border):

Quilt name: Bauhaus

Pattern by Zen Chic available here

Finished size (with border): 58″ x 58″

Designed by: Brigitte Heitlend of Zen Chic

Made by: me

Quilted by: Linda

Have a good week!

Some Favorite Tools

In the past year I’ve tried a number of new-to-me tools for my quilting, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. As always, these are not affiliate links; they are just for your convenience.

A New Table for My Sewing Machine

I’ve had in mind for years (literally) to get a table I can “drop” my machine into, but goodness! Have you looked at the prices of sewing furniture?!? Not in the budget!

However, I’ve seen a couple of people use the SewEzi portable table and both recommended it. It still isn’t cheap by any means, but it’s a lot less than “sewing furniture” and I’m very pleased with it. I got the portable version rather than the Grande because I have every intention of taking it to retreats with me. I positioned it perpendicular to my usual sewing table so I now have all the large table to the left to support the quilt when I’m attaching binding. The only drawback is that I had to wait several weeks for delivery, but of course we’ve come to expect that these days.

A New Seam Guide

I’ve had the Angler 2 seam guide so long it has turned yellow! I learned that it’s no longer made, so I’m trying Clearly Perfect Angles from New Leaf Stitches. It’s getting a good workout because my current project has about a zillion flying geese.This tool has, as advertised, eliminated the need to draw a diagonal line on the back of my squares. There’s even an auxiliary line that is used to sew the second seam needed to make those scrap HSTs that are a byproduct of the “waste triangle method”. So now I have 2 zillion HSTs….

New Non-Slip Stuff

I’ve tried multiple products, at multiple price points, to keep my rulers and templates from slipping while cutting. Most recently I found Grippy, and after trying it on one template I just lined up all the templates and rulers and sprayed the backs of all of them! On a per-use basis I think it’s the least expensive of the products, and it doesn’t leave a gummy mess on the back of the template like some of the stick-ons did. It’s my fave.

So tell me, what are your favorite tools? I’m always looking for something new to try 🙂

Return of the Fruit Ladies!

I’ll be teaching a new class in August, all because I am so excited to see the return of this fabric! (The fabric is shown on a bag I made many years ago using the original issue of this design.)

This is one I made several years ago

I had the fruit lady fabric when it came out about 15 years ago and made our daughter a quilt because she loves the beach. I made the bag shown above to go with it.

So when I ran across the re-issue of it, I was “forced” to buy some and make another quilt.

Because this quilt involves special techniques, I’ll be teaching it at Studio Stitch on August 11. Class list is here.

Quilt Stats

Name: Fruit Ladies

Pattern: Modification of “Level Up”, a pattern currently offered free here

Finished size: 49″ x 60″

Quilted by: Elisabeth Pugh