Records indicate that I started my Irish Stars quilt about June 1, 2017.
In just under a year there are 181 blocks complete of 361 total needed to make a queen size quilt out of 1-1/2″ base squares.
My goal is to finish the second half in the next year and have the entire quilt complete before I turn 52–October 2019. Realistic?
How is your Irish Stars quilt coming? Mine is coming. Slowly. It is just going to take a long time.
But, I have passed the 1/3 mark with 130 of 361 blocks complete.
Only about 1-1/2 more years and I should be finished. At least at the rate I am going. Everyday people think I am joking when I say something like that, but fellow quilters understand.
Many of you reported on your progress, and some sent pictures.
Neralie (a beautiful name) in Australia has already finished a small one! And she has another planned. It took my breath away to see one finished. Amazing!
Ruth has been cutting and cutting–two days worth. Her color scheme is so pretty!
Meloney is sewing blocks–she has 46 of 81 chain blocks complete. Her color scheme is very controlled and will be striking.
Randy’s also has controlled colors…and she has a very nice design wall.
Claire created this solids-only beauty at her Fall Retreat using 3-inch squares. It finished at 45″ x 45″.
And here is part of Mel’s–looking good on her design wall. Even with such a tight color scheme, it is anything but boring!
If I missed your picture, I’m sorry. Don’t be afraid to point it out and I will try again.
Now, back to sewing!
How is your Irish Stars quilt coming along?
Mine is…coming…slowly. But, I knew it would. One does not finish 361 blocks in a day, or even a week, or even a year. I am at 82 blocks, and loving every one of them. It is very satisfying to see my small stack grow larger.
Anyway, please feel free to comment below or to send pictures (weddingdressblue at gmail dot com). I will share all pictures received in a post early next week so we can continue to cheer each other on.
Remember: NOT A RACE. Just like-minded people sewing along together.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to The Irish Stars Quilt Along Part 3: Triple Irish Chain Block. If you are new or nearly new, you might want to check out the IRISH STARS QUILT ALONG tab for more information. Don’t worry. You aren’t late. You got here right on time. It is THAT kind of quilt along.
The Triple Irish Chain block is just a lot of squares. It is the arrangement that makes all the difference. Remember that this tutorial is for a single block. Refer to Irish Star Quilt Along Part 2: Size and Scale to decide how many blocks you need to make for your quilt. The number will vary between 4 and 180. Yep, really!
MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK:
21 base squares 1-1/2, 2 or 2-1/2″
4 background squares to match the size above.
- The only thing you HAVE to do in making this block is to make sure your background squares (white in my case) are correctly positioned: in the CENTER position on each side.
- Grab 2 squares and sew them together. You will do this a lot of times. I keep my stack of squares to the right of my sewing machine in a little space where they are very handy but out of the way of my regular sewing.
- I get asked how I make the decision of what to sew together. Basically I try to keep good contrast between colors and not have the same fabric appear twice in a single block. That is about as far as the “theory” goes. Trust yourself and keep it lively.
- You will make 2 rows in the pattern: color, color, BACKGROUND, color, color.
- You will make 1 row in the pattern: BACKGROUND, color, color, color, BACKGROUND.
- You will make 2 rows of color, color, color, color, color.
- Lay them out in order as shown and sew together, nesting seam allowances in opposite directions.
- Cut accurately. Press diligently. Watch your seam allowance. That is all that is really needed to be successful in working with small pieces.
- Ta-dah! You have completed a block. Remember that your base square size determines the size of your block: if 1-1/2″ then a 5-1/2″ block, if 2″ then 8″ block, if 2-1/2″ then a 10-1/2″” block. This is size-as-created including the seam allowance. They will each be 1/2″ smaller when finished
- I am storing mine in a perfect size container. It is very satisfying to watch them pile up. The nice thing about scrappy leader-ender quilting is that it is practically FREE! Other than the time to cut the squares, you are using thread you would have thrown away and fabric you would have thrown away. How worthwhile to make a quilt instead!
Welcome to the Irish Stars Quilt Along!
So many of you responded positively to the invitation to leader-ender-along with me that we are going to go ahead with it. This will NOT be a traditional quilt along where we issue a specific step on a specific date. Rather, we will all be producing blocks at a rate that suits our sewing style and our goal. We’ll do it together for a while (time undetermined) until we have completed some quilts and it has served its purpose.
In order to prepare for this quilt along you should:
- Study up (or refresh your memory) on what a leader-ender quilt is. As far as I know, Bonnie Hunter invented the term and still is considered the guru: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/leaders-enders-whys-and-hows.html
- Decide on your base square size: 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″. How to decide? Well, what do you have the most of, either already cut or easily cut from your scraps? That is how you will know. We will NOT only use squares this size. You will also need some background fabric (can also be scrappy, but should be in one color family and a good contrast to your base square color–I am using whites). You will also need some fabric of other sizes for the stars. Some have asked if the stars can be scrappy also. Yes, they can, because anything can, but mine will not be. I believe having the stars each made from a single fabric will help the eye to have a resting place. You could even make all of your stars a single color–yellow, for example–and NOT use that color in your scrappy squares. So many decisions.
- Gather your fabric and start cutting your scraps. In the next few days I will post again with tips and suggestions for deciding on a goal size for your quilt.
Thank you for your enthusiasm. Let’s get scrappy!
ps–My thanks to Susan for the great button–feel free to grab it and share on your blog or to invite others to participate.