Monday, July 4, 2011

Stars of all Sizes Quilt

Happy 4th of July Quilt: Stars of All Sizes

It was hard to make something "manly" with absolutely no flowers, but I loved the end result.  This quilt was a Christmas present I made last year - Stars of all Sizes.  My little star is shown above at Christmas time :)  ((His daddy wore that outfit as a baby!!!))

To piece it, I took discard 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper and cut them into many sized rectangles.  I drew stars on each with a ruler.  First, a horizontal line across the center.  Then I diagonal  line from the center left to the bottom right.  Then two diagonals on the top for the top point, and four more on the bottom for the center triangle and bottom two points.

After I cut the paper into the pieces, I replace each piece with fabric.  Once I had the fabric for that star cut, I would sew together that block.

I found that this was a very inaccurate way to piece because I hadn't accounted for seam allowances.  But, since it didn't matter the end size of each block, or the mis-figured shapes, they just ended up smaller.

I  started cutting the outside edges much larger for the end-effect of a small star in a big background.  This resulted in a lot of wasted background since the background peices started overlapping terribly the bigger the block was.

I also started using bunches of strips sewn together for my star pieces and for accent squares, creating little vinettes for each star - shown on the left.

I drew every star different every time.  Then I arranged the stars into the future quilt, and started replacing each paper with a fabric star when the block was completed.  On the right is a picture of the paper quilt with some stars replaced.

For the quilting, I wanted to dress up my solid brown sashing, so I chose to quilt stars.  It turned out to be quite a challenge.  Here was my plan, drawn on the computer.  And that's about as good as the actual quilting.

The finished size was about 68"x60".  I used Sandy's cheater binding method (fold the back over to the front and topstitch).  That saved quite a bit of time at the end, and I had NO time left at the end.  It took 30 hours to piece and 10 hours to quilt.  In the end, there were a couple disappointments (there always are).  First, I thought I would like how randomly placed the stars were, but I wish it lined up better.  I just threw sashing in and hoped for the best.  Second, I wish I'd used flannel on the back.  A nice soft functional flannel, maybe thicker batting, so that it would have been more blankety.  I didn't have time to wash it so I don't know if that would have helped.  But I was very happy with everything I learned and I still love how the vinettes turned out.

Happy Fourth of July!  Who is Your Star This Year?

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