Hand Quilting Is Restful

I continue a slow climb out of pneumonia.  When the doctor said “one month” as an estimated recovery time, I didn’t believe him.  I am young(-ish).  I am healthy.  I have never needed a month to recover from anything.  But, it is looking more and more like he was right.  That puts me sometime the first week of August before I can expect to feel better.

Well, OK, then, if that is the way it has to be, I’ll do what I can in the meantime … and sleep a lot in between.  Yesterday I was too tired to do much but not really sleepy, so I got out this little something started back in February.

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Hand quilting is very restful.

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And it is finished!

Oh My Stars, It’s Finished!

This started as a quiltalong in (I hesitate to say it) 2011.  I realize that is no sort of record, but it was a long time for me to wait for something I really liked and wanted to see finished.

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And now it is.

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Being sick has advantages. I can’t do much but sit and rest.  And when I can’t sleep my hands need something to do.

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It is scrappy, but controlled scrappy.  I loved the backing/binding fabric when I saw it and I decided to coordinate the front to the back again.  Sure enough, it worked!  I loved the back, and I love the front.  There are about 60 different fabrics, I think.  Enough to give variety, but not chaos.  Even though the blocks are stars, the color gives it a leaf feeling.  Sort of tricky!

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So, there you have it.  A finished Oh My Stars quilt.  I think it will be a quilt for my guest room, which I am working to rotate seasonally.  So far I have three quilts–winter, summer and this one will be fall.  Hmm…time to start thinking about spring?

 

TUTORIAL: Build-A-Baby Quilt

The block is a Carpenter’s Star, sized specifically for baby. You can cut scraps or use that charm pack that has been languishing on a shelf. Enjoy!

BUILD-A-BABY QUILT

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36″ x 36″

MATERIALS

I used 16 different orange and green fabrics to give it a scrappy vibe, but less variety, a charm pack, or even using two different colors will work.  Just know that for the purposes of this quilt we will call orange  “Fabric 1″ and green “Fabric 2.”  Hopefully that will help you keep them straight.

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1 yard background fabric–white here.  You will have some leftover

backing (1-1/8 yard)

batting (at least 40″ square)

binding (1/3 yard, if you use 2-1/4″ width)

16 5″ squares of Fabric 1

16 5″ squares of Fabric 2

CUTTING DIRECTIONS

1. From background fabric cut: 16  4-1/2″ squares, 16 5″ squares, two strips 2-1/2″ x 32-1/2″, two strips 2-1/2″ x 36-1/2″.

2. If you haven’t already got your charms, you need 16 5″ squares of each “color”–Fabric 1 and Fabric 2.

CONSTRUCTION

1. Select 8 squares of Fabric 1 and 8 squares of Fabric 2.  You will build Half-Square Triangles (HST).  You can use your favorite method.  Mine is to mark a line on the diagonal and sew two seams 1/4″ off the center line, then cut in half and iron open to create two HST blocks.  You can get more details on how to do that HERE.

2. Using the remaining 8 squares of Fabric 1 and 8 5″ background squares, make more HST blocks.

3. One more time!  Using the remaining 8 squares of Fabric 2 and 8 5″ background squares, make more HST blocks.

4.  Now you are all done building HST blocks.  You should have48 in all.

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5. Square up the HST blocks to 4-1/2″.  This ensures accurate piecing and is worth the time you spend.  You can get more information on how to do this HERE.

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6. Lay out the HST blocks and the 4-1/2″ background squares in the Carpenter’s Star pattern.  You can find a really good diagram HERE, except that I put background squares in the corner, not squares of Fabric 1.

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7. Assemble the blocks into strips and then sew the strips together to assemble the center star. Press.

8.  Attach the two 2-1/2″ x 32-1/2″ background pieces to the sides.  Press. Attach the two 2-1/2″ x 36-1/2″ background pieces to the top and bottom.  Press.

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9. Sandwich, quilt, bind and label as desired. I used some simple echo quilting around the star pattern and some curved quilting in the center and corners.  Nothing too fancy, but it will hold those layers together.  The binding is a medium mossy green to match Fabric 2.

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10. Ta-dah!  You have a finished Build-A-Baby Quilt.  Well done!

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NOTICE:  I chose a backing fabric that I loved and matched  the colors for the top with it.  If you are new to scrappy or just like a little help with color work, this is a great method.  If you love the back, you will love the quilt.

If you want more of the story about this particular quilt, which was designed and built specifically for W. Rockwell T., my third grandchild, you can read it HERE.

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BUILD-A-BABY GALLERY

…your beautiful creation HERE!

Wrong Size. Perfect Color.

I spotted this at a yard sale about a month ago.  Oh. My. Heck.  That is one beautiful shirt.  But, when I pulled it out of the pile, it was obviously the wrong size. (Sorry for the picture quality.  I am not a master of selfie photography.  Thank goodness.)

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But, it was one dollar.

And….it came home with me.

Surprisingly, the refashion was fairly easy.  The shoulders were already the right width, which simplified things considerably.  I used an existing shirt that fit well and laid it over this one to mark a cutting line.  Two quick seams and a serger later, ta-dah!  A new shirt.

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I did decide to add a center dart to make the back fit better.  It is long, but not worth redoing the hem for.  We’ll pretend it was supposed to be that way.

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I love my “new” shirt.  And, it came with a little something extra.

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As it is 100% cotton and good quality fabric, I cut charm squares from the fabric removed.  What a bonus–perfect color shirt and some quilting parts included!

Explaining The Back

Husband suggested  (read “insisted”) that I should explain the back of the Build-A-Baby Quilt just finished for the son of our Number One Son and his wife.

Number One Son and his sweet wife have been married 10 years.  They were young when they married (22 and 19) and looked forward to starting a family.  In 10 years they have had three miscarriages and no babies.

Hard.

Sad.

Very hard.

Finally, after the last miscarriage, they went through an extensive battery of tests with some top notch fertility doctors and were told that the chance of her being able to get pregnant again at all were very small, and the chances of her carrying that pregnancy were essentially zero.

Hard.

Sad.

Very hard.

So, they were faced with some decisions.

They were angry, in denial, mourning–all the natural emotions.

Finally, acceptance.

And a plan.

They started saving money.  Adoption is expensive.

$25,000 later, they were ready.

A lot of paperwork.

More waiting.

More hard.

More worry.

Finally, a  call that they had been selected.

Then a call that the baby was coming.  Two weeks early.

Because the birth mother is a smoker, that was a worry.

Plus, the hospital was several hours away.

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Later that day, the 16th of July, their tiny baby, William Rockwell T., was born: 5 lbs. 12 oz, 17″ long.

What a wait.

Worth the wait.

And that is the story of the quilt.

What?

How is that the story of the quilt?

Well, the quilt is based on a Carpenter’s Star.

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For two reasons:  1. The Master Carpenter has been with them all along and made this all possible by giving them hope and peace beyond understanding.  2. Carpenters build things and there are many right ways to build a family.

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And the back?  Well, the back is turtles, because, while it took him a long time to get here, slow and steady wins the race.

So, there you go! That explains the back.

Babies Have Needs

There is a new baby in the family. Number One Son and his wife have been married 10 years and finally welcomed a baby boy to their family this week.

He is a tiny thing, only 5 lbs. 12 oz., but strong and healthy and perfect.

And, he needs a quilt.

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Of course.

I knew what I was making but waited to make it until the baby was actually here. I am funny that way. So, the top is done and we are moving forward with quilting plans.

ps–The pattern is Carpenter’s Star, a traditional block, but it is sized specifically for baby and a tutorial is coming soon. Cut scraps or have a charm pack at the ready!

Restful Crochet

This afghan has been a work in progress for a while. With all the resting I am doing these days, I was able to finish it up.

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I love the pattern and the colors. You can find the tutorial HERE and enjoy making one yourself.  The tutorial is clear and easy to follow and resize for your own purposes.

It doesn’t have a home yet, but I am sure the right occassion will come along.

ps–My thanks again for all the kind words and suggestions for recovery. I am getting better. Slowly. But trying hard to be patient with life and with myself.

pps–Direct link to tutorial if that works better for you: http://lanasdeana.blogspot.com/2011/12/wave-blanket-pattern.html