Blue Bear Tracks Top Complete

I am SO HAPPY with how this quilt looks so far.

It is a perfect scrappy pattern (I added the extra inner and outer border for size) and it looks so nice in blue.

My mother says it reminds her a little of the Starry Night paining by Picasso.

Maybe a little…

Another Star Kissed Quilt: 1-1/2″ Squares

Here is a second finishing idea for Star Kissed blocks.  This little quilt is blocks that are based on 1-1/2″ squares, but I can easily see it in any block size and as a large bed quilt.

DSC01915

The sashing is the same width as the blocks and laid out in a scrappy-happy way.

DSC01917

The quilting is a panto called Cotton Candy.

DSC01918

The binding was a quandry; I almost went with white for the first time in my life, but found this polka dot in stash and it seemed to work.

DSC01916

How are your Star Kissed blocks coming?  I am getting back to work on my 2″ based blocks this week.  I plan on doing a larger quilt out of them, with an additional setting idea for your consideration.  Sew On!

Star Kissed Quiltalong: Star Points And Block Assembly

Welcome if you are new!  Welcome back if you have been here for a while!  It is time for the Star Kissed Quiltalong! This is an ongoing quiltalong with no deadlines and no race to the finish.  It is a great day to get started.

You can find all you might want to know about previous steps in the quiltalong HERE, or you can link from the button to the right or the menu above.

Today’s focus is the star points, and then block assembly.  It is possible that there will be some concern about fabric waste due to using the stitch-trim-flip method on the corners.  I chose this method so that you can get REALLY scrappy and make every point out of a different fabric if you like.  Also, those BONUS TRIANGLES are a lot of fun!  I have made many projects with them at different time and will share those ideas later.

That said, if you do not want to use this method, don’t.  You can make “no waste” flying geese if you like.  Basic directions can be found HERE.  You can make them any size you like depending on which size base square you decide to use.  It should work out either way.

DSC01845

For EACH block you plan to finish, you need FOUR pieces of background fabric, and 8 colored squares:

*If using 1-1/4″ base squares you need FOUR background rectangles 3″ x 5-5/8″  and EIGHT squares of colored fabric 3″ x 3″. The flying geese will measure 3″ x 5-5/8″ as made, or  2-1/2″ x 5-1/8″  finished (you can probably get by with 2-1/2″ x 5″ if using the no-waste method).
*If using 1-1/2″ base squares need FOUR background rectangles 4″ x 7-1/2″ and EIGHT colored squares 4″ x 4″. The flying geese will measure 4″ x 7-1/2″  as made, or  3-1/2″ x 7″   finished.
*If using 2″ base squares  you need FOUR background rectangles 5-3/4″ x 11″  and EIGHT colored squares 5-3/4″. The flying geese will measure  5-3/4″ x 11″  as made, or  5-1/4″ x 10-1/2″  finished.
*If using 2-1/2″ base squares  you need FOUR background rectangles 7-1/2″ x 14-1/2″ and EIGHT colored squares 7-1/2″ x 7-1/2″. The flying geese will measure 7-1/2″ x 14-1/2″  as made, or 7″ x 14″  finished.

The sewing steps for all four sizes are the same.  Remember, I am showing the stitch-trim-flip method for flying geese here.

DSC01846

  1. Prepare the colored squares for the stitch-flip-trim method by marking the diagonal center line.  I like to just iron mine, but you can use a ruler and marking device as you prefer.

DSC01847

2. Line up the square on one of your background rectangles.  I like to stitch from the side to the corner.  It keeps the corner from being eaten in the feed dogs.

DSC01848

3. While you are at it, go ahead and stitch a second seam 1-2″ to the outside (towards the corner) from the first one.  This created bonus triangles that are all stitched together and ready for a project.

DSC01849

4.  Trim!  Cut between the two seams.

DSC01850

5. Set the bonus triangle aside. You might want to get a box or something for the purpose.  They are so much fun to play with and turn into a future project.

DSC01851

6. Press open.  Repeat three more times.

DSC01852

7.  Use the remaining four squares to form the other side of the flying geese.

DSC01854

8. Ta-dah!  They are so satisfying!

DSC01855

9. Lay out the block.  Notice that the corner four patches are all touching the star points.

DSC01857

10.  The only tricky part of assembly is lining up those points.  I recommend pinning.  Mine still aren’t all perfect, but it helps a lot.

DSC01859

11. And, YAY YOU!  A finished block.  Admire it for a while, and go make some more.

Thanks for quilting along! In the next week or two I will show you some layout ideas and tops I have made using the various size blocks.  Feel free to share yours, too. Let me know how this is going for you and ask questions.  It is challenging to write for so many sizes and options, and your questions will help make it better for all of us.

Star Kissed Quiltalong: Corners

Welcome to the Star Kissed Quiltalong! This is an ongoing quiltalong with no deadlines and no race to the finish.  It is a great day to get started.

You can find all you might want to know about previous steps in the quiltalong HERE, or you can link from the button to the right or the menu above.

Today we are focused on the corners, those lovely little four-patches and their accompanying background fabric.

DSC01838

For EACH block you plan to finish, you need EIGHT pieces of background fabric, in two different sizes:
*If using 1-1/4″ base squares your four patch should measure 2″ and you need FOUR rectangles 1-1/2″ x 2″ and FOUR rectangles 1-1/2″ x 3″.
*If using 1-1/2″ base squares your four patch should measure 2-1/2″ and you need FOUR rectangles 2″ x 2-1/2″ and FOUR rectangles 2″ x 4″.
*If using 2″ base squares your four patch should measure 3-1/2″ and you need FOUR rectangles 2-3/4″ x 3-1/2″ and FOUR rectangles 2-3/4″ x 5-3/4″.
*If using 2-1/2″ base squares your four patch should measure 4-1/2″ and you need FOUR rectangles 3-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ and FOUR rectangles 3-1/2″ x 7-1/2″.

The sewing steps for all four sizes are the same. DSC01836For each block you should have completed FOUR four-patches.  See HERE for more information on the patch sections.

  1. Sew one smaller rectangle to each four patch section.  Press open.

DSC01839

2.  Attach two of the longer rectangles to the “top” of two sets and two of the longer rectangles to the “bottom” of two sets.  This allows the finished block to have a symmetrical look.  Although, you may not be bothered by them facing in different directions, but I like them to be even.

DSC01841

3. And that’s it!  Duplicate as many times as necessary for the quilt you plan to build.

Thanks for quilting along! I’ll be back next week, or so, with the star points and block assembly.  Let me know how this is going for you.

 

 

 

Irish Stars COMPLETE

8723 pieces later, we have a quilt. It only took 25 months.

DSC01571

It is an odd feeling.  Not quite like having a baby, or like having that baby leave home, but something like it.  I have lived with and worked on this quilt nearly daily for over two years.  And now…
DSC01575

The quilting itself was a major quandry–I tried for weeks to come up with a custom quilting alternative that I could do with my current skill level, and couldn’t.  I considered sending it out, but that is money not convenient right now, and it didn’t feel quite right giving it away at the end.  I could have just put away the top and waited for a few years for my quilting skills to improve.  Handquilting would have been very hard because of the abundance of seam allowances.  What was left was an allover quilting pattern I could confidently and competently finish.

DSC01577

So, that is what I did. As is perhaps true of all quilts, it isn’t perfect.  But, I do like it and am glad to have it complete at last.

DSC01576

People keep asking, “What are you going to do with it?”  Right now, I am just going to enjoy it.

Irish Stars Top Complete

On Wednesday…

I did not work in the garden.

I did not vacuum.

I did not do the dishes.

I did not do laundry.

I did not read a book.

I did none of these things.

DSC01550.JPG

What I DID do was assemble the Irish Stars Quilt top.

DSC01539

When there are 323 blocks constructed primarily of 1-1/2″ squares, it is slow going.

DSC01548

Seemingly tiny mistakes matter, and have to be picked out and done again.

DSC01549

But, in the end, it is worth it!

323 of 323

The blocks for the Irish Stars quilt are finally complete:  323.

DSC01485

I started piecing in June of 2017, approximately two years ago. The original plan was for a 19 x 19 layout (which would have been 361 blocks), but fatigue and good advice suggested it was possible to finish at 17 x 19 and still have a quilt 85″ x 95″ and NOT square, which can seem awkward on beds.

DSC01484

It seemed a worthwhile suggestion and a functional compromise.  Obviously, as quilters know, done with the blocks is a long ways from DONE-done, but it is one step closer.

Layout considerations coming soon.

Stars Finished

The green binding seemed a unlikely choice, but I LOVE it.

DSC01435.JPG

White is never a binding option in my book, black was too black, either red or blue would disappear…yellow also oddly didn’t really do it for me.  Then the thought of GREEN….YAY!

DSC01434

So, the quilt is complete and delivered to its forever home.

DSC01433

It is such a happy quilt.  And I am happy it is finished.

Shine On Finished

Do you ever notice that, in some ways, the maker of a quilt knows very little about what is REALLY looks like?  We are always close to it and see it in small pieces…

Anyway, maybe this doesn’t happen to you, but it does to me all the time.

When a quilt is complete and I step back and REALLY look for the first time, it is…well…hard to describe.

DSC01414.JPG

But, I really like this quilt.

Bold and bright and scrappy, but somehow simple and graphic. (See the feet of my quilt assistants in the corner…they were looking, too.)

DSC01410

Probably over-thinking it.  Its real job is not to please (or not please) me, but to keep a little boy warm and happy.

DSC01411

So, Shine On is finished.  I know I said there would be a tutorial, and there will be.  But possibly not for another month or so.  School is consuming…

I Never Would Have Believed It

In June of 2017, I started my own Irish Stars Quilt.  The goal was to make a queen size quilt using 1-1/2″ squares.  The bucket of 1-1/2″ squares was positively overflowing and I knew I would cut as I went along. (It would involve a total of 9749 pieces, if I calculated correctly.)

DSC00574

But, this week I realized that the bucket…was nearly EMPTY.

dsc01395.jpg

Obviously, I have done some cutting as I go along, but still, the stock has fallen short. And I still have a long ways to go.

Unless I change plans.

The true queen would have been 95″ square and contain 365 blocks (19×19 layout of 5″ squares).

DSC01396

Right now I have 133 star blocks and 141 chain blocks.  IF I change plans and go for an 85″ square quilt it will be only 289 blocks.  I would be REALLY close.

DSC01394

So…what do I do?  Change plans?  Be happy?   Press on?