– often we think aboutquilting with squares and rectangles of fabric. my guests thoughtoutside the box, asking, “what if?” and then started to add improvisational 1″ stripsof color to blocks. joining me are bill kerr,weeks ringle, partners in marriage… – yes.
– and also partners in creatinggreat modern quilts. welcome backto sewing with nancy. – thank you.- thank you, nancy. – well, when making”magic inch quilts,” the color work is as importantas the technique. – mm-hmm. – and i’m about to show youa quilt called whiskers. and we used solidsfor the blocks, and then we used yarn-dyedstripes for the strips.
and this quilt can becustomized for a baby, a teen, or even a grandpa. and you usea basket weave layout, alternating the blocks,to add additional interest and then repeat thestriped fabric in the binding. – “magic inch quilts,” that’s what’s coming up nexton sewing with nancy. [gentle instrumental music] female announcer:sewing with nancy,
tv’s longest-airingsewing and quilting program with nancy zieman, is made possible by: baby lock, a complete lineof sewing, quilting, and embroidery machinesand sergers. baby lock:for the love of sewing. madeira, specializingin embroidery, quilting, and special effect threads, because creativityis never black and white.
koala studios,fine sewing furniture custom-built in america. clover, making a differencein sewing, quilting, crafting, and needle artsfor over 90 years. amazing designsand klassã© needles. – let’s take a closer lookat the quilt that bill and weeksentitled whiskers, and there are 54 blocks. – there are, and they’reall identical blocks,
but they rotate. – and set them– just a 90-degree switch. – 90-degree switch. – and the beauty isthe fabric that you chose and splicing it apart, which we’ll explain. if you missed the first programof “magic inch quilts,” you can watch it onlineat nancyzieman.com
or on tv again or on dvd. but really, the sizeof the quilt block is not as importantas how to slice it. – no, this is–this technique can be applied to so manydifferent sizes, colors– but we started here with a plain squareand a square block. – so we had 5 1/2″,and we added– you added 2 1/2″ sides
and then,through strip-piecing, made it into a squarewithin a square. that’s a pretty… – straightforward…- straightforward. – basic, good beginner’s block.- right, exactly. but the fabric– the stripes gave it movement. – that’s whattransforms things. and we brought alongsome extra stripes
to show you. – you can have printed fabric, you know, where it looksdifferent on both sides, or yarn-dyed,which you used, the– – i love these yarn-dyeds.- yeah. – they’re woven; the colorgoes all the way through. it’s also really nicewhen you’re working, because you don’t have to worry about a right sideand a wrong side.
every side’s the right side. – so the strips are called– are cut exactly 1″. – this is a key here because we’re going to besplicing 1″ strips into these blocks. and those strips–those 1″ stripes are cut from differentsections of this. – you’ll soon see,when bill does the piecing,
that we don’t havethe stripes aligned going from one pieceto the other, which makes it a lot easier and great movement. – it does, and becausethere are 54 of these blocks… – uh-huh.[laughing] – whenever there’ssomething that you repeat, i like efficiency,and so something i’ve done is, i’ve set upthe cutting mat here
with just stripsof masking tape on the four sides, so i can just take my block and set it right down. – great, mm-hmm. – it fits really nicelyin there, because what i’m going to do is slice the three linesthrough there where i’m going to splice inthe magic inches,
and i’ve actually puta little dot there, and the other thingi’ve done is, i’ve put an arrowon each side of where this seam goes, because i could have the blockoriented either way. but by keeping itin the same direction, they’ll all be identical. – sure, so if there’sany variance in the fabric or the seams– whatever.
– and then i’m simply cutting. i’ve got three splices: one, two, three. and i’ll be done. – and what— okay– go ahead. i’m justshifting this around. i moved a little bit. – most of us don’t cutat an angle, do we? – but, you know, it works well.
there we go. – and those splices, whichwe’re going to show you are– are seamed together, so they end upwith 1/2″ pieces. – exactly,so we’ll take this apart and then put it back togetherwith the splicing. – and you’ll see how it’ll be exactly the right size. the magic of a 1/4″seam allowance
is what’s importantin this next step of making “magic inch quilts,” and, bill,you’ve spliced and cut up and arranged your quilt block. – yeah, thank you. you’ve just seenhow we cut this up, and what’s interesting is– i have the finished block here, which is a perfect square.
we started out with a square and ended with a square. but to get there, we have– you can see how rectangularit looks right now. and what’s really funwith this is, we’re going to splice ittogether, but first, if you look atthe different stripes, the darks fallin different areas. so when i cut the long strips,i made sure to have–
to staggerwhere i cut the strips. and if you don’t likewhere the– that falls, you can turn it overand find a new home. but then i’m going toscoot these off to the side and just show–i’m going to line these up, and again,one of the beauties of working withthe yarn-dyed stripes is that there’s noright or wrong side. so i’m just going toput that right down
and feed this into my well-marked 1/4″. and i’m going to lay this flat. and i just love– this machinejust purrs beautifully. – and you can use a 1/4″seam allowance– you must use a 1/4″seam allowance, i should say. – yes, and i’m usinga walking foot here. you don’t have to,but i love the way it feeds things so evenly. – and some people love to workwith their 1/4″ foot–
whatever works for you. i just recommend, always,with these “magic inch quilts,” that you–you really do a test– a test seam or two so you can measureyour 1/4″, because that’s very, very vitalto this working. and then i’m just going tofeed this through. and if you’re doing this with all 54 blocks,
it’s really an assembly lineproduction. and what i’m doing–i’m just going to do a couple of these strips to give you a sampleof how this works. but i’ve got… this sewn. and i’m just going to kind offinger-press lightly open. and i’ve got the next one. and what i would dois take these,
and i would sew them, puttingright sides together again. – put that and feed itback through the machine, just like this,and then what i would do– i’m going to putmy presser foot down. go back through,and really, i had quite the assembly linegoing with this. – i’m sure you did. – and then once i’ve sewnthese all together, we move over to press them.
– and the beauty about– with the 1/4″ seam allowancesis that you have… no loss in width of the fabric–or of the square. everything butts1/4″, 1/4″,1/4″– – it’s magic.- it’s magic. and the seam allowances,as you can see, are pressed open.
and rather thanpressing them to one side, it gives a much flatter look, and you can steam them. and then if you wantto set the crease, just use that block of woodto set the seam. and it really gives it–nice and flat and accurate. so you’re going to make blockslike this to get that movement from the stripe of the fabricplus the piecing of the fabric. and we laid out–or bill and weeks, not i–
i didn’t do it– laid out this quilt with the basket weave look, with the stripes goingvertically, horizontally, vertically,and then reversing the order in the subsequent rows. so amazing movementwith one type of technique but a little bitof improvisation with the different typesof fabric.
pickup sticks is the originalmagic inch quilt that bill and weeksdesigned in 2000. inspired bythe children’s game, these colorful sticksappear to be lying on top of one another as a resultof a unique piecing process. for each block,you’ll decide how many cuts and where to make themfor your one-of-a-kind improvisational masterpiece.
i have to admit, weeks, that…- mm-hmm? – the one quilti’m going to try first is this one. – oh, this is so fun.you’ll love it. it is so fun. – there are big blocksof fabric, and they’re cut,as you mentioned, with three to five pieces and sectionsand 1″pieces of fabric
that have been cut,and you can tell which one was done firstbecause it’s underneath, just like in the game. – right. – and then this oneis the second one. here’s an over and an under. and then an overand an under, and the final sticklies on top. – right, exactly.
– and then just showinga three-block– or a three-splice blockis quite interesting. and then down below,we have one with five. – right, and you can haveas many or few as you want. – very, very enjoyable. and again, that spontaneous work. – exactly.- so we’re going to cut. but we need some specialmarkings, as you’ll learn.
– yes, yes, we do. so the first thing i’m going to dois make the first cut. – so you can reallymake the first one anywhere you want. i’m going to goin the middle here. and i’m not reallypaying attention to the grid or anything… – angles. – because you can bereally loose and free,
and in subsequent cuts,you can change the angle. now, it’s really easyat this point, especially with solid fabrics, to get lost between hereand the sewing machine. so we use theseflower-head pins of the same color, and i like to put ’emon either side of the area i’ve just cutto remind myself that they need to goback together just this way.
– they’re the notchesof garment sewing– – that’s right, exactly.- that are now… – and we’ll needslightly longer, strips here, because if you’recutting at an angle, you want to make sureit’s going to fit. – so you can overlap the ends.- right. and sew one side. – and the next samplethat we have–
i’m going to swap outsamples with you. – one side has been stitched. – right,and you’ll see, we’ve still got the–the pins reminding usof what goes where. and these ends,you will want to trim… with a ruler, just lining it upon the bottom of the block. and…
– pretty easy.- yes, it is. – you still have that same1/4″ seam allowance with the walking footor patchwork foot– whatever type of footyou’d like to use. – mm-hmm, and then you’regoing to sew it back together. and remember to keep those pinsevery time you make a new cut. – and you want to dothe matching? – sure. so…
these are a slight angle. so we’ll want to make sure that the 1/4″– 1/4″ infrom the raw edge is where the fabricsare going to overlap. – so you have a little divotat the 1/4″– – exactly. – so you can kind of see– i’m exaggerating itjust a little bit.
– right, just so you can see. – but the greater the angle,the greater the divot. – correct. correct. – you start sewingin the dip. and here’s a close-up,you can see, of weeks stitching this, starting in that divot area or that 1/4″. – and when you are finishedwith that,
the beauty of it is that… – mm-hmm.- everything lines up. and then should we makethe next cut? – we do.- okay. – because now you canpick up those sticks. – so i’m– i’m holding onto my pins again. and i’m going to make this onea little bit more pronounced. and then before i take itto the sewing machine or i even add the strip,
i’m going to make surei put those pins in, because it’s very easyto get confused. – and this samplehas that first– that second seam… – right.- stitched. – now, one of the things thatcan really get confusing is trying to make surethat this green one looks convincing,as it does here, that it connectsstraight through.
– here’s onethat’s not so convincing. – right, and that’san example of– of, um– when– if you don’t mark it,you might not get them lined up as preciselyas you’d like. – so mark away. – yes, so what we like to do is to use a straight-edge and this great marking– this chalk marker.
and if you line upthe ruler on the edge of the previous strip and you makea really nice mark all the way across– i’m going to just steal this pinfor a second– when you’re pinningthe next side on, you’re going to want to make surethat, right there, at 1/4″from the raw edge, that’s the really critical partthat you need to line up.
– so we’ll line it up. so i’m going to be puttingmy pin through… at 1/4″from this edge and 1/4″from here. – and that pin is crucial. – it is crucial. – so here you can see again another close-upof how that seam is stitched so that the pin,
in this instance,is the key area. as we look atthe finished quilt, you can seethe accurate marking gives a very crispgraphic look. first responders are amongthe local heroes in every town. weeks and bill made this quilt for their local firehouse,where the firefighters and emergencymedical technicians rest when not on call.
this improvisational techniquecreates a patriotic block that can be madeby adventurous beginners and veteran quilters alike. bill, we have the last of the “magic inch quilts.” – yeah. – and this quilthas a lot of movement to it. – it’s all about movement, because we were inspired
by the flag. it doesn’t sit staticon the pole. – no.- it’s always waving. – and it’s a rectangular shape,not a square block, and the piecing–same as you did earlier. – but you can seethat it’s staggered. they’re not evenly spliced. and in fact, there are somethat are spliced with three. some have four;some have five stripes.
– this is about–8 x 12″ rectangle. – and we’ll talk aboutthe size difference in a little bit– a little bit later. but let’s talk about fabric. – okay, so you think,well, this is an easy one– red, white, and blue, right? – right, mm-hmm.sure. – but you have to–
we wanted variety. the varietygives it movement. so we were lookingfor a grouping of blues that weren’t all identical, because otherwise, you know,what’s the point? and likewise with the reds. so we had that nice variety, but i also brought somethat we decided not to use, so you could understandthe challenges.
for instance, here,this raspberry print, the light spots really competewith the white stripes. – and too intenseand too muted and then too blue or purple. – almost purple there.- purple and too green. – yeah, and it’s funny. they seem obvious now.- yeah, this one seems– – but as you’re building the— nope, mm-hmm. – exactly, and sometimesif you’re not sure,
make a block and put it up and just look at itfrom a distance. – great. now, bill and weeks,when creating this, spliced– the rectangle–and look at how– i like this. i like this exampleof the 8 x 12″ block– or rectangle, and it’sthe same size after seaming it all those times. – yeah, so you’ve seen howwe’ve seamed others of these.
– yes, and everythingkisses in the middle, meaning, those seam allowancescome together. – they do,and in the splicing, it’s fun, because you canreally see with these two how they’re notperfectly spaced. – now, if you happento be a quilter who loves precision, you– if that’s important to you,you could do that. – sure, go ahead.- you could measure.
but we don’t measure here. and i think there’sa lot of looseness involved in improvisation. but the one thingthat i did want to caution people about here… – oh, yeah,this is important. – is, red and blue,more than any fabrics, tend to bleed. so we use washer sheetsthat catch the color,
that you can get at the… – sure. wow. – grocery store.look at this. that looks like red fabric. this was a white color catcher put in with the red load. – yikes.- it’s scary. ’cause can you imagineif we didn’t do that and everything bledonto the white?
– okay.- it would be ruined. – yeah, we get it… – yeah.- that’s a good lesson. good example.so why don’t you do the cuts? – okay. so actually, i’ll cutthis one right now. – sure, sure. – and the way thesego together diagonally, i’m just going to cutfrom corner to corner.
and the important thingin this cut is, we need to make surethat they mate very nicely with the blues. so you can imagine, if i cut the wrong directionon the blue, it’s not going to go together. so we’re going to the samecorner to corner. and so this yields two bluesand two reds. – and then just pair itwith another– another blue,
not the same blue. – exactly,so we’ll mix them up. – and again, like that divotwe worked with earlier, overlap the endsso that you have 1/4″ rabbit-ear, which is pretty commonquilting techniques. this on the bias,bill. – and the bias, as you know,stretches so much. and we want this to bea nice, crisp diagonal.
– uh-huh. – so you’re doingexactly the right thing here. we begin by pinning the two endsto get the rabbit-ear. – and then if you putone pin in the center, that will keep everything flat, especially because one sidehas all the splices in it, and the other is a continuouspiece of fabric. – and here’s billstitching the seam and starting stitchingon a scrap of fabric.
– we always starton that scrap. it just helps guidethe fabric through. – and afteryou’ve sewn that seam and done the pressing– pressing that seam open and assembling the quilt, bill, you like to,in closing, just after doingthe stitching, you like to wash it again.
– yeah, we love that– a little shrinkageand nice texture. – great project, great waysof making dramatic quilts with 1″pieces. â™ª – memories of livingin her native country of ghana, specificallythe remembrance of the “beat the drum” serve as the inspirationfor the quilts
of today’snancy’s corner guest. please welcome wendy mamattah, who joins us todayin studio, and she’s from portland. – thank you. – welcome to sewing with nancy,wendy. – thank you so much, nancy. – wendy, when i sawyour quilts in print, i thought,”i have to interview you.”
– because they havesuch movement, such life. and when i see them in person, i’m even more impressed. – right, thank you. – give our viewersa little summary of how you started quilting and how you createthese lively dancers. in the beginning, you know, before everything started,
i was a sewer, so i used to sew a lot for the community,locally and all that. and towards the endof the recession, you know, i– i lost my job, and that wasn’t a happy moment. so when i came and sat at home, a church mommy of mine told me she would teach mehow to start quilting.
and then,she was a traditional quilter, so she basically taught metraditional quilting, and that was a struggle,because i– i didn’t want to do that. so i started, you know, just putting artworks together, because i did art in school, and i have thatcreative ability… – you certainly do.
– and showed hermy first quilt, which was “and she said yes.” and it’s justtwo african silhouettes looking into each other’s face. you know,it’s a marriage quilt. – now, your fabric is alsoa marriage of fabrics. so you have batik fabrics.- right. – but then you havetraditional african fabrics… – yeah.- not the original woven fabric.
but explain the differencebetween the print and the woventhat we have here. – okay, this is a kente sash that i have. the real kente is very rigid, and it’s woven by handin wefts and then finallyjoined in pieces till it gets really big. and kente in ourculture is– is huge.
like, that’s whatwe celebrate in for our traditional ceremoniesand stuff like that. and the colors in kenteactually represent the gold, which is a raw material that ghana has, and other colors too. and it used to beused by the royals, you know, in times of old.
and right now, in my quilts,i actually– what i do is– – use the prints. – i use the kente prints, because they’re,cost-wise… – easier to manageand to use in the quilts. and i oftenwould select, you know, just audit a lot of fabrics– audition a lot of fabrics,
like batiks, that reflectour african weather. and this is one of the best that i found out… – sure.- and started quilting with. – it’s hot. – yeah, it represents, to me,the west african sun. – sure.- you know? – now, this isa small quilt of yours, but let’s look at your newestedition called “celebrations.”
that is spectacular. – thank you.[laughs] – it has drummers,it has dancers… lovely job. – now, when you design quilts, you explained to me thatyou put on your music of your native countryand get into the mode. – that’s right. when i’m quilting, i just want
to be transportedto that place. – and sometimes it’s hard just to zone out… and go to that placeto feel, you know– to feel the richnessof my culture, to represent that in fabric. so i help myself by playing our traditionalghanaian music, which we call “highlife,”and that’s what i use.
and, you know,just getting into playing it for about five minutesjust takes me right home. – oh, nice. – and the rhythm of the music actually helps me into placing– cutting outthe silhouettes, you know? – because i know a lotabout our traditional dances. so it depends on how– what music is playing.
i just tell myself,”this would go with “adowa.” this would go with “aba yaa.”this would go with…” – sure.- you know, whatever. so, i cut outmy silhouettes just according to whatkind of music i’m listening to. – and then i’m able to placethe limbs of the silhouettes. that’s the legs and the hands.- sure. – you know, in–dynamically, just to go with the kindof music i’m listening to.
– now, quickly,the very vertical quilt that we’re looking at nowof the women in the line… – the perspectiveyou have there is amazing. – now, they’re walkinginto town. – they’re walking into town. you know, we have a lotof african villages everywhere, and in the mornings,the women would leave because they– they are likethe hard workers of the family. – they would leave,either to go sell
at a local marketor go shopping at the market, you know, to come and makethe evening meal. and most of them havetheir kids behind them, and they all walk alonga footpath, and some hold sticks, and others come inwith pots and pans on their heads, and– – well, it’s lovely.- yeah.
– that’s so lovely, wendy. thank you for sharingyour work with us. – thank you.- it’s inspiring. i know it will inspiremany of you at home. – okay, thank you. – thank you for joining usduring this two-part seriesof “magic inch quilts.” and i hope you watch next time or watch us onlineat nancyzieman.com.
bye for now. announcer: be inspired by a fresh approachto quilting taught by weeks ringleand bill kerr in their bookmagic inch quilts. learn their secretsto piecing small strips of fabric to create quiltsthat will delight both beginningand veteran quilters. it’s $15.99 plusshipping and handling.
to order this book,call 800-336-8373, or visit our website atsewingwithnancy.com/3020. order item number miq, magic inch quilts. credit card orders only. visit nancy’s websiteat nancyzieman.com to see additional episodes,nancy’s blog, and more. sewing with nancy, with nancy zieman,has been brought to you by:
baby lock, madeira threads, koala studios, clover, closed captioning funding provided byriley blake designs. sewing with nancy is a co-productionof nancy zieman productions and wisconsinpublic television.