Zig Zags… Not Happening!

Designing a quilt is a process, one which I really enjoy. I am rarely in a hurry and I never make something in a day or a weekend. I want to make something I love and that makes my heart sing. Part of the process is realizing that sometimes the idea takes a turn, or a zig zag. The design for the log cabin quilt I am making was to be a zig zag, so I made about 20 squares and put them together in said pattern on the floor – and – nothing. You couldn’t see the zigs or the zags. I went upstairs to look at it from the balcony and realized that was a silly idea. The bed is a twin, the room is small and no one will be looking at the quilt from that far away. Hmmmm… Time to re-think.

A number of things went awry. {Not wrong; there was no right or wrong!} There was obviously not enough contrast between the light and the dark sides, and I did wonder about that as I was sewing. The pattern I designed and printed from EQ7 was very high contrast, but I must have chosen more medium valued fabrics for the dark sides. And in this small a quilt (1 1/4″ strips) I’m also wondering if I should have picked one light fabric to do the work.  I moved the squares around in different patterns, and decided to sew this one. I’m not sure what to call this arrangement of logs, but I think of it as a snowball. {And can’t you see, in this picture, that there is not enough contrast?}

Snowball log cabin

I’ve been sewing away, but not as happily, so over the weekend when I had a few minutes, I looked up log cabin images on Google. {What an amazing resource!} I found several quilts with lattices added, which ends up making the squares look as though they are floating on a background. I like the look. Because I had sewn some of the squares in the snowball pattern, I tried this version. It does separate the squares a bit and highlights them more, but it’s not terrifically different.

Snowball with lattice

And here is how the lattice would look if it were sewn around individual squares. I remember seeing a quilt like this in a show some years ago. The colors were much more dramatic than mine, but even so, the lattice makes quite a difference. I think this will work well for a twin sized bed.

Squares with lattice

I must do a bit of math to find out how much fabric I will need and I definitely have some other fabrics to audition for the lattice. ;-D  I’m very happy that I stopped sewing and took some time to find a design that really pleases me. Whether you designed the quilt or you are using someone elses’ pattern, you owe it to yourself to love it! Just because a famous quilter won a prize with the pattern you’re using, so what! Change it if the quilt doesn’t sing to you. Believe me : if you are making a bed quilt, as I am, you don’t want to think “I wish I’d…” every time you walk in to the room!

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