Friday, September 22, 2017

Ribbon Stars: Quilt and Cushion

Woot! Woot! It's Friday, and I have not one but two finishes to share, three if you count the fact that I finally (like FINALLY) wrote up the pattern for a quilt I made in 2015. If you read my blog or Sew In Love With Fabric's blog yesterday, you will have seen the quilt, the tutorial for it, and the flimsy of the cushion, as well as the sweet giveaway.

I hauled it along on our 2.5 km dog walk the other day because I knew there was a beautiful shady forested area at the beginning of this particular part of the Greenway.
Have to have the signature quilt in a tree shot

However, I'd forgotten that there were meadows. Meadows!  The line is Amanda Murphy's Meadow Dance. Perfect!

The hop has been on all week, and there is a fabulous prize at each of the four blogger's posts, mine included which is here. Clicking on Sew in Love With Fabric will take you to the tutorial for my quilt, as well as the list of bloggers, their giveaway posts, and their tutorials. Here are a few more pics of this sweet quilt, and the pillow I also made.
Literally in a meadow of wildflowers!
I had to start working on this quilt while we had Brianne and Brady for their annual visit for eight days.  So that shows how quickly it goes together. No-waste geese and piecing it in columns with long rectangles to avoid unnecessary seams, sure helps speed things up.

NOT helping speed things up was how fascinated Bella was with the quilt from fabrics (check Instagram for her plonked in the middle of a bunch of 2 1/2" strips of it), to squaring it to trying to bind it:
Bella bum
I had to boot her off unceremoniously more than once!

The quilting, was quick: a simple wavy lines I free-motion quilted on Avril, which is a bit harder than it looks! Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts is the queen of this IMHO.
Organic wavy quilting in the blocks where the ribbon centres were horizontal, then vertical wavy quilting in the vertical ribbon blocks and the background on either side of them.

I almost used a white thread, but didn't like it on the soft grey background. I chose grey because I'd just read an interview with Alison Glass where she said she prefers not to use a white background, but a light grey, not a black but a charcoal grey, or a navy. I'm so glad I did use the light grey in the line. When it came to choosing thread to quilt it, I spied in my threads drawer a Coats and Clark variegated polyester in pastels of yellow green and pink and thought, hmm... and so it was.

I remembered to sew in my mmm! quilts label before I finished the binding! LOL No ripping this time.

I said in my blog hop post that I like interesting and fun backs. I also always quilt in one or two interesting items, the recipient's name, my name or initials, and sometimes inspirational words.
Where's Waldo? I mean 'SW'? This also shows you the dot to dot design I did in the cornerstones, and you get an idea of the way the variegated threads quilt up.

I used Hobbs Tuscany polyester batting and I am just so in love with this batting. This is my third experience with it; it is a dream to quilt, so light and airy, with great definition of quilting.

Rolled up:

Yup, it's on my new granite countertop!
When Brianne saw it for the first time: Is this like a rock?
Her dad and me: Ya think? That's why they call it granite?

To be fair we got the leathered granite; it's not glossy. One touch in the shop as I walked by to be shown a different piece, and I was done-done. Like fabric, I want to pet it every time I walk by it. And? Unlike the high-gloss popular granite finish, this doesn't show fingerprints. Bonus. And it looks like rock because it IS rock.

One last meadow pic, well two because these flowers were stunning, and the photo does not do them justice. Clearly they are volunteers, false sunflowers I think:
So tall and straight! I badly wanted a quilt photo in there, but MacGyver deterred me with his cautions of snakes and ticks lurking amongst the tall grasses and plants.

This will be for sale shortly in my Etsy shop.  I will be giving all the proceeds from the sale of this quilt to Windsor's Mosque School of Ehlul Bayt (same one to which I gave the Syrian refugees quilt) who is organizing a fundraiser to send money to help the persecuted Rohingya people of Myanmar. A piece on the PBS newshour this past week, and another on CBC, have shaken me to the core. This is shockingly like another Rwanda and I CANNOT stand by and do nothing.

Here is a great "How Can I Help?" site on Windsor's website. It can apply to all, just recently: refugees, victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Here is a PBS article about the persecution of these people.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Original design
Size: 42X45"
Fabric:  Contempo (Benartex) Meadow Dance by Amanda Murphy
Batting: Hobbs Tuscany polyester
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Coats and Clark variegated polyester 40 wt

Meadow Dance Cushion

For a completely different look and feel, here is the cushion all finished.  These are all fabrics in the same line! I just loved the Crocket Lace aqua fabric and immediately knew it would make a terrific cushion cover.
Using a bit for the front, and a 2 1/2" strip for a jelly roll quilt meant some rather stressful moments when it came to having enough for a cushion back!
Hmmm, what to do for the front?  Hey! Why not the ribbon stars, just smaller and four all nested together!

Other than the inside pocket on a bag I made a few years ago, I have never done straight line matchstick quilting on an entire quilt. The lines are 1/4" apart. Here it is once the front was done and squared up:

I used my favourite colour of Aurifil thread: 2600. It blended beautifully with all the colours in the cushion, even on the white.
Wow! I can't get over how blue-toned this photo is; took it in the shade!

Bella loved this one too, but not as much as the quilt!

The inside before assembly:

I used Warm 'n White, my favourite, go-to batting, (yes, Hobbs is a close second, both their wool and their polyester) and IKEA muslin for the quilt sandwich. Cushions are great for using up chunks of leftover batting. You can see the line faintly in the bottom fifth of the cushion where it is pieced. It doesn't show at all on the front.

I used Crochet Lace Black for the binding as well as the black within the ribbon centre blocks. The back is a simple envelope style:
Very true colours here in the sunshine.
I very nearly forgot to stitch in the label, but foof! with 3/4 of the last side to stitch on the binding, I remembered! You'd think I'd learn from how many times I've had to rip off binding both front and back to insert my label!

Cushion Stats:
Pattern:  Original design
Size: 18.5 X 18.5"
Fabric:   Contempo (Benartex) Meadow Dance by Amanda Murphy
Batting: Warm 'n White scraps
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Aurifil 2600 40 wt

Two tips for a Friday:

1. I found that if I just eyeballed the 1/4" lines along a seam, and then used the previous stitching line as my 1/4" guide, I could very quickly start to have lines that were veering off a bit.  So I would find the middle of a section, for example the middle of a 6 1/2" strip in the ribbon centre, and stitch down it, and then stitch the lines on either side of it. When it came to the square in a square sections, I marked the centre with a Hera marker, which was at the 2" mark, and stitched it first, then halved each section again, so at the 1" mark, and stitched down the centre. From there I worked outwards. This gave me a much more even parallel lines result.
In this 2" section, I stitched 1/2" in from each seam, then 1/4", and then used the 1/2" lines to centre my walking foot and stitch straight down the centre, which saved me marking the 1" line.
Tip 2: I found out that picmonkey is no longer free. WAAAAH! Of course I found this out on Wednesday, the morning that I had to write my post to email to Lisa for the blog hop. Murphy's Law. However, I learned how to quickly enhance and add text to my photos on my iPhone! Thank you Google. Thank you Apple. You can Google it too to find out. All the photos here were done on my phone and then emailed to myself to add into the post, which I write on my MacBook Pro.

Okay, had to: Tip 3: Connecting Threads (affiliate link) is having quite the sale! I thought the code was 'HellofaFall' LOL but it's 'HelloFall'!! There is up to 60% off fabric and a free mug with web orders over $60! Ah the temptation...and I haven't even shown you my scores from the last awesome sale... And...
Sew Sisters (no affiliation, just love for their store) is having an extra 20% off their clearance section (my favourite section of any quilt shop ha) on September 24, online only!
Happy shopping, and thank you just so much for the support when you click through and make a purchase using my links. mwah!😘

Linking up


  1. I love your cheery star quilts, and what a great idea to photograph them at the greenway!

  2. Oh so much going on! :) I have been so out of touch with everyone this summer. I just love your meadow photos. Beautiful! And Miss Bella sitting so pretty next to the gorgeous pillow cover. I hear you on forgetting the labels! I do it almost every time too.

  3. Gorgeous! I love seeing all the pictures. Still just love that cushion cover.

  4. Love this design and fabric..I love pieced backs....more ways to use beautiful fabric
    Danielle Laing

  5. I love both finishes, the quilt and the pillow! The photographs in the meadow are so bright and colorful!

  6. Two amazing finishes. How good you are to carry your quilt for a photo! Great results.

  7. Beautiful finishes in beautiful surroundings! Lorna's organic wavy lines weren't as easy as I thought they would be.

  8. I love these quilts and that pattern looks like a lot of fun. I am doing some straight line outlining on my free fall QAL. It should be on the blog early next week!

  9. So nice Sandra, both of them! Love the matchstick quilting - it takes a while but sure is worth it for the texture. Just beautiful and offering them as a fundraiser is very generous of you.

  10. You have the best glamour shots! Love the meadow pictures :) It doesn't hurt that Bella is so beautiful, even from the back.

  11. Beautiful finishes, Sandra. The weather there looks perfect; the blue skies are dreamy in your photos. I am intrigued by the finish of your granite? Leather? I want to go out and find some to pet and understand the texture! I do love granite countertops and miss having them in my current home (I was spoiled in our last home).

  12. Awesome finishes. That crochet flower fabric is something I need!!!

  13. So much to love in this post that I know I'll have to go back and re-read. Two things though: Meadows for your Meadows photo shoot. Perfect!! And I'm impressed with how you found such a tangible way to support causes dear to your heart and to nudge all of us through the blog. I will need to go back and look at your links to learn more.

  14. I love this quilt, I can see myself making this. I love star blocks and the bars in the centre break up that big square beautifully. As always your photos are stupendous. Like yourself I have been watching the refugee crisis on tv. Terrible world events. My dil crocheted several blankets for Syria.

  15. I had a epiphany while walking the dogs since I've been thinking about your Ribbon Star pattern. This would make a nice quilt along since I enjoyed participating in your Freefall QAL earlier this year. And Im pretty sure I won't have to be drawing my own templates so doubly nice, eh?

  16. Oh, you goodness, so much to consider. Okay, first of all, love the quilt and especially the photo shoot. Thanks for the link to the Windsor site, I'll certainly check it out. Your design looks especially good in a pillow size and the matchstick quilting is perfect. Lastly, WHAT?!? PicMonkey isn't free anymore?

  17. Love this Sandra... Such a beautiful pattern and quilting is so gorgeous. Thanks for the tips 😀 as always, you think of us, your loyal readers....the pictures are amazing. Such a kind, caring thing to do to make this for well deserved charity... So much sadness in the world, where will it end.
    Love and hugs from your friend across the water.. xxx

  18. Beautiful projects. I really like that lace patterned fabric you used for the pillow back. Congrats on two lovely finishes.