Welcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Marlene Oddie of KISSed Quilts! Marlene’s new wall quilt pattern, Mountain Pass, is in the October/November 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts magazine. Read on and don’t miss Marlene’s quilt pattern giveaway at the bottom of the article!
Hi blog readers! It is great to be here again; you may remember me from the 2011 McCall’s Quilt Design Star Challenge. It has been a few years and I’ve been busy with all sorts of projects, which included a move to a smaller town and taking my long-arm quilting service into a commercial space where I now have a quilting studio, KISSed Quilts, that includes about 450 bolts of fabric, thread, and notions along with my own patterns.
The project Mountain Pass in the Oct/Nov 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts came about because of a similarly designed project that is near and dear to my heart. My mom leads a group of quilters in Apache Junction, AZ that makes Bags of Love which are given by child protective services and other similar agencies to children taken from a home and placed into foster care. Most often when removed, the children have nothing and are not allowed to take anything with them due to meth infiltration to all of their possessions. This “bag of love” is made by the group of volunteers and includes a quilt, toys, stuffed animal, and gender and age specific personal hygiene items. About once a year I have occasion to visit the group and often provide a tutorial on a new quilt design.
The basic zigzag design was presented to them with a different border treatment to meet size specifications that they need, but also to give their quilts a little bit of design interest, yet minimize the number of seams. Most quilts are labors of love, but when you are making over 400 a year, they tend to be fairly simple in their construction. I thought this concept would also give them some seams as quilting guides.
I use EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7 software) currently for most of my designing (Congrats #EQ25!). I started with a Vertical Strip Quilt and used a Points A strip style since there is a sample ‘Lightning’ design that uses that method. One could also use a Horizontal Strip Quilt and a Points B strip style – sometimes I start playing and don’t realize there is another way (perhaps even easier way!). I also experimented with making larger size quilts (below). But ultimately I originally just wanted a 48” x 60” quilt for the charity group and kept it simple with a single border.
It might seem a bit tricky to get the pieces aligned properly in each row so that they always stitch out flush, but once you figure that out it goes really quick!
I prefer cutting my borders on the length of fabric and always cut the lengths to size (opposite sides should match) before sewing them onto the quilt top. This helps minimize a wavy border!
I had an opportunity to quilt two red and white quilts for the Red, White and Quilted book published by AQS and wanted some practice of modern quilting before diving into the actual quilts. I used the zigzag sample I had made and I had this beautiful red and white border print from Jinny Beyer, so I incorporated that into a new border concept. I then went to town on the quilting. This gave me confidence to move ahead with the quilts for the book.
As Marcus Fabrics provided yardage from their Rustic Winds collection (right) for my Quick Quilts project…the name Mountain Pass emerged to the Quick Quilts team. I love how it bridges the gap of this modern design to these more traditional and fall themed fabrics. A great name choice! I used a black and white filter to check the value of the fabrics so that they would make a visual impact based on their placement in the quilt.
The border fabric is not a border print per se, but in looking at the repeat of the motif, I chose to cut it so that it had a similar look from all four sides. Although I prefer to cut my borders on the length of fabric, I liked the striped direction for the small borders which required me to cut it on the width of fabric and piece it together—but a stripe fabric is easy to line up the design so that it looks continuous.
The quilting is an edge to edge design, hand guided on my Gammill Optimum plus, called “Indian Summer #1 Petite” by Patricia E Ritter and available from Urban Elementz. I used Aurifil 40 wt #2350 and The Warm Company’s Warm & Natural batting.
I have a technique detailed in my book You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners on how to do a binding completely by machine.
I’m excited to share this technique for making a zigzag design with you and hope you will find this to be a great way to make a quick zigzag too!
My original 1st round entry to the McCalls Quilt Design Star 2011, 1892 Rondure, has been adapted into a pattern, Rondure (quilts shown below), and is now available from me directly or through your local quilt shop. I am planning a 3 day intensive retreat to make this design, April 25-27, 2017 in Grand Coulee, WA. Contact me at email@example.com for more details. I’m giving away a copy of the pattern through the McCall’s hosted contest below.
Leave a comment below before midnight August 30, 2016 and you’ll be entered into the random drawing for a copy of Marlene’s Rondure quilt pattern. The winning name will be drawn on August 31 and notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.
If you’d like to make a Mountain Pass wall quilt and don’t already have a copy of the October/November 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Mountain Pass quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.