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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wanda this post makes sense to me and I found it helpful. If I were going to make a zigzag (and I might, as it is very striking!), I think I would remember this post and it would save me a lot of work. Thanks!

Mary G.

PugMom said...

Wanda, This is simply fabulous. So it appears that you need about 1/2 yard of each fabric, full length to get started. And the pieces are actually rectangles, not squares. I MUST try this!

Gene Black said...

I get what you are saying - sort of anyway - but by the time I figured it out in practice, I would probably be better to just sew strata and pick out.

Beth said...

I get it and I want to make it.... right NOW.... alas restrictions.... and more restrictions!

Debbie said...

You had an "aha" moment with this! I did several bargello style this way, so I got your detail about the different strata layouts. Only 3 up or down will create a flatter zig-zag. If you introduce thinner slices of the sub-cut strata you will bring the peaks and valleys closer and be more jagged. A wider cut spreads it out.
Not sure what happens with new colors for the second or third strata....I have not played with that but sounds interesting. Thanks for all your details and discoveries, as I am printing them out and adding to my book for reference.

Maryse said...

It's beautiful! I understand your explanation for using a similar method before on a trip around the world. It all makes sense to me. Thanks for sharing this!

Betty said...

Duh........ I often wonder how I still find myself discovering new things that seem so obvious afterwards. Perhaps we are related.
Love the colors.

Needled Mom said...

I have earmarked this post. It sounds very logical to me, but I know I will need to refer back to it if and when I attempt the technique. It really is gorgeous.

Becky said...

Makes sense, taken step by step. I love these results. Thanks for the instruction and the eye candy. It always amazes me to see how much you accomplish.

Lesley Gilbert said...

A Beautiful quilt - what a finish!!

I understood most of your instructions and I will save them and reread them again. I guess it will become more clearer when I attempt to make a 'smaller' version for practice - I really would like to make a larger size in the future. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out - much appreciated :)

donaleen said...

I think I will read it again when I am more awake....

Sheila Moller said...

Thanks a bunch.....would like to try this.....the fabrics are sliced across the width of the fabric right?...so about 15" per color....lovely

KatieQ said...

I was confused the first time I read it, but when I thought about it, it really made sense. Thanks for sharing the process.

JJM said...

I know I will never attempt making this quilt. But so enjoyed your 'tutorial'. It is absolutely stunning, fabulous, fantastic, and mesmerizing I just love it ! You still amaze me as to how much you always design and accomplish day after day.

JJM

Vicki W said...

If you are like me you will forget that you have written these great notes the next time you make one of these. I am always making notes for myself and then forgetting about them. I think I like learning the same lessons over and over.
I love the quilt, especially the dark red and pale lavender areas.

Roxanne said...

The first read-through was confusing, but reading it again more slowly it made sense. I like the idea of this layout even better because it has less unpicking. I have a big pile of Malka Dumbrowsky that I think would be very fun for this.

Sylvia Anderson said...

It appears I am the dunce in the class, never having made a TAW, so much of this is Greek to me, but it doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beauty of this quilt, and will hopefully have the opportunity at some point, to make one of these quilts in the zip zag pattern. I am more of a visual learner on techniques I've never tried before, so maybe I should try You Tube for some visual help. I will save these instructions Wanda and appreciate your precise, teacher inspired, lesson for the day.

Charlotta said...

I admit, I didn't really even try to follow you :). When/if I get ready to make this quilt, I'll go back and figure it out. I trust, completely, that you know what you're saying. And if you teach a class sometime - NOT during the winter - I just might drive up and take it. It's a great quilt!

Sewing Sue said...

This is great. I made one bargello quilt and it was the project from %#**... took me nearly a year after the full day class ended to get it done. I wish I had read your blog BEFORE that! Thanks.

lindap in il said...

brilliant

JustGail said...

I like this quilt the way it is. With that many colors, it seems like three steps wouldn't have the same oomph. Of course, maybe that's what you are after in thinking about a 3-step version?

As far as you closing questions - I'll answer "Yes!". A bit confusing and headache at first, but then helpful and "AHA!" after thinking about it for a few minutes.

Kevin the Quilter said...

WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO WANDA! I may have to have you teach me this one instead! Such a vision of loveliness! I would definitely need a tutorial on this one to follow you.

momto1 said...

Makes total sense. I've tried to read through instructions for this type of quilt published in books, but it never clicked. Now it makes sense. Thank you for explaining!