Irish Stars QuiltAlong: QUESTION

When do you buy your backing fabric?

Sometimes my answer is:  “First.”  I will find a fabric and design a quilt around it.

Often, particularly with larger quilts, the answer is:  “Last.”  Usually this happens when I take a complete quilt top shopping with me.

This time, though, the answer is:  “When the perfect thing comes along.”  Over the weekend I innocently wandered into my local quilt shop to get some fabric to sash the Christmas quilt (with all the fabric I have it is still possible not to have the right one) and this fabric jumped out of the clearance section and begged me to take it home.


So I did.

It is beautiful and perfect and waiting for me to get the Irish Stars quilt finished.  It will have a long wait.  Probably a year.

How are your chain blocks coming?  I really will have the star block tutorial posted soon.  Several things have come up and I am verifying measurements for the different base size blocks.  I’d really like to get it right the first time. Thanks for being patient.


Jolly Times

In between everything else, my Jolly Christmas quilt has been progressing.


All the blocks are complete and sashing is next.

Then borders. Five of them.  I think.

Have you noticed that lately I am building quilts with alternating blocks and multiple borders?  Hmm…another stage in the evolution of this quilter.

Why Kaffe?

I have never sewn with Kaffe before.  Those who read my blog often are possibly wondering what happened.

Well, remember that we are redecorating.

Husband picked out throw rugs, curtains and a duvet set for winter.  This is not a picture of the actual rugs, but a similar one–ours have a strong chevron pattern, but close to the same color scheme.  “I like color,” he said.  Who knew?  After all, I have only been married to the man for 22 years.

My mother believes that my quilting has had an influence on him and slowly but surely drawn/pushed/led him in this direction.

Anyway, with all that luscious color, Kaffe fabric seemed appropriate, with some solids and white to give stability and organization.  All of this was scraps gradually accumulated from gifted bags over the years. I had sorted them with the vague idea of doing something someday.


All blocks are complete–assembly follows.  And border decisions.

ps–The tutorial for the Irish Star blocks will be posted early next week.  This Kaffe quilt (known as O-Kaffe) has distracted me from verifying the measurements on the different size blocks.  I will have them done soon.  Promise.


A Small Herd

My cousin and his wife are expecting, and my mother asked me to make them a special quilt:  COWS!


It is a small herd, but I love it.

If you want to make a special quilt, but not so many fiddly blocks, consider this quilt.  The ideas was inspired by Deedee and her quilt of valor HERE:


The cow block is a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts and can be purchased HERE:


The rest is 3-1/2″ squares.  The finished top measures 36″x37″.


That makes three baby quilts that are finished tops and need to be quilted.  I really need to get myself together and get that done.  Babies grow fast.

Sampler Assembled

The sort-of-Splendid Sampler is assembled.


Fifty pieced blocks–2 each of 25 different designs–and 49 alternating blocks.


How can I choose a favorite?


Right now it is 54″ x 66″, but all of your input on borders has been very helpful and that is next.  Hopefully a finished top some time next week.


Denim #5

This denim quilt, made from my father’s old work jeans, is for Young Son.  Again, the inspiration comes from the book “All About Strips” by Susan Guzman.


The sashing is composed of 2-1/2″ squares, rather than strips.  I like the scrappy look and am going to use a similar technique on the quilt planned for Daughter.


Can you tell I am really enjoying having more time to sew this summer?!  It isn’t QUITE all that I do, but sewing is happening every day.

A New Leader-Ender

Since finishing the Sweet Sixteen top, I have been contemplating my next leader-ender idea. To qualify (for me) it needs to use small squares (mostly), use a lot of pieces, and be mostly repetitive.

Well, I believe I have found the idea.  I call it Irish Stars.


It is a triple Irish chain alternating with a sort of floating star block.  You can’t see the pattern very well yet, but with a few more blocks the “chain” effect should show up more strongly.

Maybe I have found two ideas.  Is anyone interested in leader-ender-ing along with me?  I don’t mean a specific number of blocks in a specific period of time.  For some of you it might be your first leader-ender.  Some will make many blocks and a large quilt.  Some will make smaller blocks.  We could do it using either 1-1/2″, 2″, or 2-1/2″ squares.

Mine uses 1-1/2″ squares, but I might not be right in the head.

Anyway, think about it, let me know, and maybe we’ll start officially sometime next week or so.  I’ll need to write block tutorials and such and you’ll need to start gathering (and maybe cutting) scraps.

What do you think?