Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blue Ribbon Stars

She's done! And just in the nick of time for the Q2 FAL with Adrianne at On the Windy Side.  This was #6, a bit of a mystery project, a secret, on my list.  I had in mind a star quilt out of one of Pam & Nicky Lintott's jellyroll books.  But then I designed a quilt for H2H, and then, I thought, what if I make it a bigger block and use this for the blue secret quilt?

There were definitely some quilting pains along the way, but you wouldn't know it to look at these photos.  Here is the flimsy post.

Lots of texture, even with Warm 'n Natural, a flat batting
I laid it down by the patio doors in the sun to see the texture, and that was when I knew I just had to get it outside in the late afternoon sun for photos.

I hopped in the SUV, and zipped up the street to the Kingswood Inn, a historic stately home built in 1859 by the man for whom Kingsville is named.  I knew the quilt would look good on the old stone wall.

 I'm so glad I did; within 10 minutes of me getting back home, the sun had gone in behind clouds. 
So happy with the way the feathers turned out
I knew I wanted swirls to contrast with all the angles, but I had some issues with them.  I don't think they're circular enough for one, I can't seem to echo evenly for another, and I was having troubles overlapping them because I wanted these fairly large.  I also tried doing what Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts has done in a few of her beautiful recent quilts: putting a ring of pebbles in the swirl which makes me think of bracelets.  She calls it Bubble Swirl.  Doing the pebbles was one of my meltdown moments. They didn't seem round enough or right enough.  However, from a few feet away, they are looking okay methinks.  Once this baby is washed up and crinkly, I think they'll look even better.

In the centre of the quilt I decided to emphasize the woven effect I was going for by flipping the ribbon blocks.  So I did the same FMQ designs I'd done in those vertical ribbon blocks, straight lines and ribbon candy.  I then flowed it into more swirls.  I think it turned out pretty cool.

There are six stars; I did three designs, two of each.
This is a design of Judi Madsen's; I did a flowing feather centre
Angela Walters' Dot to Dot designs, the centre from her Craftsy class, the star points from Shape by Shape book
The above star shows the quilting I did in the top and bottom row of stars, a kind of radiating idea I had.  Originally I wanted the small swirls to flow into the larger ones, but it just didn't look right.
More of Angela's designs, love the spiraling square
The back
Funny, you don't see the piecing of the main backing here! There were several joins.  I pressed almost every seam open, so maybe that is the ticket.  I didn't quite have enough but that worked out perfectly because then I could piece in a label with some odds and ends from the front.  I am a huge proponent of labelling quilts with lots of information, and of making the label, if at all possible, an integral part of your backing.  Tutorial on that here.  And here is a shot of the backing once I had it all pieced before layering:

Those labels came from my Auntie Phyl.  She is a seamstress extraordinaire, and I mean that to its full extent.  She has always liked quilts, but never got into it.  She reads my blog.

Here is the label...drum by now, Auntie Phyl, you understand that this quilt is going to be winging its way to you in the very near future!  She had a very auspicious birthday back in December, which I missed (insert embarrassed and sad face here).
Her initials, hidden in the quilt
Mine are in there too.  I like to do that; it's a way of proving ownership of a quilt, and a secret touch for the person to whom it is gifted.  Sometimes I tell them, sometimes I don't and let them find it themselves.
Do you see who was curiously watching the entire photo shoot?
She's still peeking...look at the cluster of trees to the left of the rolled up quilt.
Once the quilt is washed, I'll post a photo.
One last breezy shot
Quilt Stats
Pattern:  original design
Size:  60"X64.5"post-quilting, but pre-washing
Fabric:  from my stash and from my scraps
Backing: Hill Country Spring by Sentimental Studios for Moda, purchased this spring at Fat Quarter Shop
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads:  Sulky 40 wt rayon for the feathers, So Fine #401 for all the background, and a new-to-me-but-I'm-so-in-love-with-it thread, Gutermann 40 wt variegated 100% cotton for all the stars and ribbon blocks
I didn't do very well this quarter, but there were some other unexpected makes: the Pyramid Pouch for Moda Bakeshop, and the Grande Scrappy Tiles pattern I tested for Cheryl.

Linking up with
Show and Tell Tuesday


  1. Oh Sandra this is absolutely amazing! Yay! So glad you let the cat out of the bag, Auntie Phyl will love it! The setting is beautiful, and methinks it's a bunny photo bombing the shoot? Hard to make it out. But a WHITE bunny? Odd, in summer?

  2. Very nice quilt, I really like how you showed how you quilted each section, great eye candy and inspiration. I am reading your post on my phone and could not tell what animal was in the picture.

  3. Woohoo! And your photos capture the quilting perfectly. Absolutely lovely!

  4. Oh, love love love this quilt! Love the pattern, love the colours, love the quilting. It may have caused you grief as you quilted but I wouldn't have known from looking at it. I think you are being too critical of your swirls and pebbles. We're always our own worst critics.

  5. I love the different quilting motifs you did in each star! And the swirl quilting! It's a lovely quilt!

  6. This is so beautiful, Sandra. Blues are my favorite. I love all the stitching. I am sure Aunt Phyl will love it!

  7. Beautiful Sandra and love the intense quilting . My boredom threshold is way low for the quilting and my machine way too basic . Blue is probably my favourite colour , it is fabulous and your aunt will love it

  8. This quilt is stunning. It sparkles from your beautiful quilting. I love it.

  9. YAY! You got it in right under the wire :D It is just gorgeous, Sandra! The close ups of the quilting are great to show the perfectly awesome designs you chose :) Your aunt is sure to love this quilt to pieces! BTW, I think your bubble swirls look fabulous!

  10. Congrats on the finish-I love how you quilted the stars, nice work Sandra!

  11. That is a beautiful quilt, Sandra! I love the variety of blues, and your quilting is wonderful. Are you going to write up that pattern and sell it? :)

  12. I think your swirls looks wonderful. I struggle making quilting patterns larger, too - the wobbles and human-ness seem to stand out more to my eye and I find myself making the motifs smaller and smaller... The photo shoot location is awesome and what a sweet rabbit!

  13. Oh, Sandra! Your quilting is absolutely beautiful, and your photographs show it off so well. No bobbles are visible from here. This quilt is sure to be treasured.

  14. Standing ovation!! I don't see any of your quilting wobbles you write about. It's just beautiful, Sandra, and just under the wire. Congratulations!


  15. Love your quilt, but I love stars , put them in most of my quilts, Hugs Friend

  16. This turned out just wonderfully! I can see a little of what you mean about the swirls, but I think it just gives them more character - and they look great against the straight lines from a distance!

  17. This is a beautiful quilt and your quilting is fantastic! I'm helping Adrianne with the FAL and I am to say that I am visiting as part of the 2015 FAL Cheerleading Team.

  18. The stitching on this quilt is gorgeous Sandra! Your aunt is absolutely going to love and cherish it!