Friday, February 3, 2012

Lessons with Zoe

This week I was working on a 'sample' adapted from my 'Zoe' pattern. I used up leftovers from a layer cake with reds and blues and a few black and white fabrics that remained and a bit of additional yardage some purchased from stash for the purpose of making this quilt and other yardage purchased on sale from Sew Lux (online store) before Christmas. All of this fabric is called 'Punctuation by American Jane Patterns Sandy Klop for MODA". Although the contrast levels of the fabric aren't like my original design, the scrappiness of it makes for a happy retro quilt suitable for a boy or a girl. I've decided to call it 'Summer School'.

I learned some lessons that I hope you can learn from me the easy way!

1. I loaded the backing with selvages between the rollers instead of ON the rollers. The stretch left to right was 'ok', but I think I should have done it with the selvage ON the rollers. (see photo in #3 below) Remember, the selvage does not stretch at the same rate that the rest of the fabric stretches. When using it at the roller it seems to be ok, but when stretching it between rollers there is a difference.

2. I contemplated putting it on the long-arm machine horizontally, but wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to quilt it. After getting into the quilting, I wished I HAD loaded it horizontally. I knew what I wanted to do in the border, so got it loaded and started quilting. I ended up quilting it with straight vertical lines, around the circles and then went back and added different punctuation marks, symbols and an 'A' and a 'Z' inside the circles. The vertical lines seemed to keep a retro theme of the fabric style.


If I had loaded it horizontally, I could have stitched each line across the quilt without stopping!

3. I used my new side clamps. Normally the batting would be part of what is clamped, but I was using some 80/20 scraps for this sample and it just wasn't wide enough for that. Given the close quilting that I was doing at the edge of the quilt, these clamps worked really nice to keep me from hitting the clap with the bottom of the sewing machine. These clamps are sold by Renae Haddadin. They are a separate purchase from  her Red Snappers which you can also see in this photo being used to attach the backing.

4. The border quilting I would typically SID (stitch in the ditch) w/ my channel lock on, but I did the fill at the same time. Just take it slow and it works out pretty good.

5. To do the binding, I wanted it to be exactly at the edge of the ticket on the fabric, so chose to sew it on the front first. Using a 2.25" strip folded in half lengthwise and knowing how far between the raw edge and the edge of the ticket, I could stitch the binding down with confidence. I had trimmed from the inner edge of the border consistently all the way around. Folding the binding around to the back, I then SID from the front. I wanted to use these new clips 'Wonder Clips' from Clover for holding the binding down. Generally this worked pretty well. I learned that you really need to push the clips in snuggly around the binding so that it stays tight. There were a few spots I had to re-do because the stitching didn't quite catch the binding on the back side of the quilt. But, for a completely machine sewn binding--I'm happy!

Here are other versions that have been made of this pattern. The original one (below left) made for our friend's daughter 'Zoe'. I put minkee on the back. I was really pleased with how it turned out. The second (below right) was made mostly with the fabrics used when designing it in EQ and as a store sample that has now been returned to me. This is headed to a baby born a month ago and they named her Zoe, so I just think it is the perfect way to now put this quilt to use. Most of the fabrics are 'Giselle'.

These are made with a pre-cut layer cake (10" squares) and some yardage from the fabric line 'Punctuation by American Jane Patterns Sandy Klop for MODA'. I split up the layercake by colors with the green and orange and accents of yellow in the first, then the reds and blues in the second. Black and white fabrics are used throughout as the highlight fabrics. The sizing in these are a bit different because of using a layer cake which also makes it scrappy. The retro effect of the fabrics prompted me to do the quilting in a more simplistic traditional style. Left has a cross-hatch in the background and curved cross-hatching in the circles. Right has vertical lines in the background and punctuation symbols and letters in the circles.

Client versions that I got to quilt include these from Crysta:


And this version from another client, Hildred. This was her first quilting project with an assist from me ;-). A beautiful light green minkee with alphabet letters is on the back. Made for her first grandchild. On the day it was finished my peonies were blooming beautifully in the yard, so had to include them with this photograph.
Have you made a 'Zoe' quilt? Send me a photo! I'd love to add them to the collection of how people interpret the design.

The red/blue sample finished this week is now on display @ Stash in Walla Walla, WA.

I'll be teaching two classes there in the upcoming months -- Charmed Network in Feb/Mar and Elephant's Play in May. Contact them directly for details on the class.

If you're considering Ireland--it is time to make a decision! 3% discount if paid in full by check before March 7. Details for booking on my tour click here. They have recently posted additional fare options, i.e. make your own airfare reservations --got miles? and just book the local part of the trip w/SewManyPlaces.


  1. Love it! The quilt is even better in person! The punctuation marks you quilted in the circles are wonderful!!

  2. great results - and snappers for the sides??? omg - have to have some of those too