Irish Stars COMPLETE

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

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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…
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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But, in the end, it is worth it!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.)

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

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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.)

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

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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).

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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.

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

Vintage Stars Top

This idea was my first plan for the Shine On quilt, but I decided I wanted different sizes of stars.  Plus, there wasn’t enough of this color combination to make the size quilt I needed for Shine On. This idea was worth completing, though.

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It started as a bag of vintage (late 60s?  early 70s?) fabric squares that a friend bought at a yard sale.  They were not well cut and not all the fabric was usable, but there was a cheeriness to them that appealed.

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Adding the bright white stars and some solids squares scattered throughout seems to keep the vintage feel and make it modern at the same time.  I like it.

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Final size 60″ x 72″.  Started with 4-1/2″ squares and 2-1/2″ stitch-and-trim squares for the points.