I’d like to introduce you to one busy lady. Darlene Zimmerman is a quilt historian who designs fabric for Robert Kaufman, quilting tools for EZ Quilting, is the author of several quilting titles and lectures and teaches nationally. And she still found time to design and make Bloomin’s 30s for our Small Quilts issue hitting the newsstands this week.
Spring is here! With summer not far behind! In celebration of spring I created the small quilt Bloomin’ 30s for Quiltmaker’s Small Quilts publication. Don’t you just love those sweet little blooms? You can accent the flowers with buttons, embroidery or tiny yo-yos in the centers.
My first quilts were small wall quilts. I didn’t have the time, money or expertise to attempt a large quilt at first, so I started making small quilts with my sewing scraps. Small quilts are fun to make for several reasons: 1) they don’t take very long to make and finish, 2) you can experiment with colors and fabric choices you’d be afraid to try with a large quilt, and 3) you can experiment with blocks, settings and border treatments on a small scale before committing time and money for a large quilt.
When I finally attempted my first large quilt, I did not realize the importance of accurate 1/4″ seams. As a result, the pieces didn’t fit together as they were supposed to, and alas! my blocks varied quite a bit in size. Somehow the quilt was put together and finished, and I didn’t let a few problems discourage me.
Over the last 18 years I have designed quite a few quilting tools with EZ Quilting by Wrights and Simplicity. Having learned everything I know about quilting the hard way (making mistakes), I try to design tools that take all the math out of quilting and make the cutting easier. The tools help me to be more creative as I can easily change the size of a block or unit just by changing the size of the strips I am using. The tools also help me cut accurately, as I love to piece miniature quilts with 1/2″ finished triangle-squares and other tiny units, using the same tools, seam allowance and techniques used in larger quilts.
To help others with the basics of quilting and finishing techniques, refer to my books Quilting: The Complete Guide and The Quilter’s Edge. You’ll find them easy to read and generously illustrated with step-by-step photos. Find these and my other products on my website.