Monday, April 11, 2016

Star Tutorial

Warning - Photo heavy post.

Here is a step by step photo tutorial for making the pieced star block. There is time involved in the pinning process at certain stages, but the results are worth taking a few extra minutes at these stages.

After cutting all your pieces, lay out the star points on top of the background wedges.  This will keep you from stitching the star point to the wrong side of the wedge.  Trust me, I learned the hard way!

When you made your templates, mark the dots, these will line up and you will stitch right off the edge.  Sew all the star points to the wedge section and press towards the star point.

Sew the sections together and your stitching will cross over the first seam.  This is how it goes together and it will lay flat when finished.

Press again towards the star point and this is what the outside will look like.  The 1/4" is there for setting this into the background.

Take the background sections and finger press it in half.  This will give you a crease to line up to the pieced star section.

Here is where you need your pins.  Using the best quality sharp thin pins, (I like IBC silk pins) start by pinning to the star points.  You can see how the seams line up to the points and the crease will line up to the point in the center.

Now start filling in the sections by pinning in the middle of each section.........

 and continue to pin in the middle of each section ....... 

And keep pinning..........

And pinning.......

Until it looks like this.  Yes, seriously, using all these pins will ensure an excellent result.

Now slowly start stitching the curved seam you have just pinned. 

And you will end up with this.  Press to the outside.

Now it's time to inset the center circle.  You could take the quick way and applique the center. Or you could insert it by using, yes, a lot of pins.

Again, fold the center to get creases to line up with piecing, and start placing pins.

Pin each section.....

And don't worry about using too many pins.  Yes, this really is how I do this piecing. 

S-L-O-W-L-Y stitch around this seam ......

Target the dots you have a the seam sections.

And press to the center. 

There you have it.  A beautiful 20 1/2" unfinished star block.

Any questions, just ask. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I'm a Cover Girl for APQ

My project is featured on the cover of June 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine! See my project, as well as other featured projects from this issue.  Wow, do they ever make my quilt look good.  Just pinch me!!!

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2016 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. 

It's currently hanging up at a LQS in my area,  Fabric Etc, in Bellingham, WA

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2016 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. 

Here is the quilt when it was just a top.  I love pinning them to my old weathered fence for photo shoots.  This top was finished in July, what a surprise.  I always seem to be inspired by holidays or events and feel the urge to start something new.

I'd purchased the templates for this star block in late June and after making one star, I made another and another, varying the prints and color placements.  Just like potato chips, I couldn't stop after one!

Then came the secondary block. I originally thought these pieced star blocks would be set on point, but after playing around, I liked the idea of adding some appliques to lighten up the whole piece.  The background fabric is Primitive Muslin - color 22 by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.

Plus it was a great way to use up the scraps that were left over from the piecing.  I used every patriotic print that I had, and I think this one was from the very first quilted piece I made.  A red, white, and blue table runner for my mom, and I even hand quilted it with red thread.  What was I thinking?  But I digress........I love using the blanket stitch for my machine applique, and you can enlarge all these pictures.

Here is the piece on my long arm while I did the quilting.  Batting is Hobbs wool, one layer. A lot of ruler action going on.

The back looks pretty good too.  Solid light backing makes for a great secondary pattern on this piece.  I love running my hand over the backing to feel the texture.  Using wool really enhances the quilting. 

Hot off the machine, not even trimmed or bound at this point.  My quilts get washed and blocked out before sending them off for photo shoots, it just makes them look that much better.
It has been such a great experience working with Elizabeth at American Patchwork and Quilting.  She keeps me in the loop, gives me plenty of time to get the quilting and binding done and has been so professional with all my dealings with her.  They send me proofs of the layout so I can double check things, they pattern test and truly do a fabulous job.  Hats off to them.

So if you haven't got this delivered to your door, please take a look at it when you see it at your LQS or on the news stand. There are great quilts in this issue, and the secondary color choices might surprise you. We gravitate to our favorite colors and sometimess it's the "other" option that sings to us.

I will be posting a detailed, step by step tutorial on the star block, Give it a Whirl, so stay tuned.

Keep stitching,