This is the October challenge for us ambassadors for Island Batik. We were to make a quilt using a paper-piecing technique, either English paper-piecing or foundation paper-piecing. This one is made using the latter. All the fabrics (except the backing) were supplied by Island Batik. All of the threads except the purple was supplied by Aurifil, and the batting is Hobbs Batting, though I purchased it myself!
This was one of my goals in the Q4 FAL. My list is here. This post has a lot of discussion about choices of quilting motifs, as well as some tips within it; hence it's a lengthy one!
The pattern is a new release, Outside Stars (affiliate link; I don't get anything if you purchase her pattern, as 100% of proceeds go to the designer, but if you should buy something else, I get a small commission, 4% approximately, no extra cost to you) by my friend Cindy, of Stitchin at Home.
|Blocks coming together|
It's a great design, entirely paper-pieced. I have come to have a new enjoyment (not quite at the 'love' level) of paper-piecing since I learned how to paper-piece without sewing through the paper (cue the choir). You can read my tutorial here, but I first learned the technique from Joanne of Canuck Quilter Designs. I also use templates, a years-ago invention of my own after being annoyed by how much fabric waste is produced by cutting random hunks of fabric. Cindy uses templates too.
|You can see the piles of templates here, as well as templates at the machine and on the little cutting mat, pieces in place, sewing beside the fold, not through the paper. 😁|
It took a while. Paper-piecing is by nature, not a speedy process, and I am a slower sewer anyhow. And... I started this as the September stars challenge, but then thought uh, no, the plan was for this to be the paper-piecing challenge, so put it aside for a month! Anyhow last weekend I finally had my flimsy.
|So much movement! So glad for a 70s vintage acoustic tiles ceiling in the half-storey where I sew that I can pin into with ease, LOL.|
Loaded the perfect backing, leftover yardage from my 2015 Parisville Weave quilt, a piece of unbleached 100% Hobbs cotton batting, and the top onto Avril, and got started with the white Aurifil thread we were given in Box #1, the same thread with which I'd pieced the quilt.
I knew I'd do a fancy design in the centres of the Evening Star on point blocks, and probably swoop-dee-swoops in those points, but that was as far as I'd thought. I do my best thinking when it's loaded.
|'Fancy' dot-to-dot work in the centres of the half stars with white, swoop-dee-swoops as planned using the green Aurifil they provided in the first box.|
It was when it was loaded that I 'saw' a potential to fool the eye. You know how I love that design element!
Okay, see the diagonal element in that photo where my arrow is (drawn with my finger on my phone how can you tell)? I liked that and considered somehow weaving the quilting through it and under the green-pointed star. That left an odd, half-diamond shape of background though. Do-able with lines (as Cindy did hers) or pebbles or rays of some kind there... but I also 'saw' a square there. Note that I also 'saw' circles in the entire quilt (check out the flimsy pic and let your eyes un-focus), but they aren't quite there, so I decided not to emphasize the 'almost-but-not-quite' aspect. So you can see that by stitching in the ditch, which I did a lot of, almost always do, to stabilize the quilt, and extending the line out from the star point, and then echoing it twice more, I got a square.
Filled it in with dot to dot (which makes a star on its side didja notice?! I love coherence, in quilting and in writing). Did L's inside the lower triangle. Cool! I was happy.
Sidenote. Did you notice all the mistakes in the above photo? I want to point this out, as this is the kind of thing Angela did in her Dot to Dot workshop I had the privilege of attending a few years ago. Not that I am at her level, ha.
1. the stitch in the ditch of the light purple star point missed in a few spots
2. the L's didn't stay inside the straight line echoes in a few spots
3. there's a thread (gack!) on the lower purple star point
4. the swoop dee swoops in the turquoise and cream HSTs are actually incorrectly oriented if you were to extend that partial star block into a full block
Betcha missed most if not all right? What's my point? First, that you aren't going to have your nose a few inches away IRL from a quilt, and if you are, and you're looking at it with the idea of finding mistakes, well, buh-bye, you're no friend of mine. Second, the eye sees the overall design, and looks for symmetry, which is what I learned from Angela. So, with symmetry in mind, something else I learned from her course (and I'd already bought it and taken it on Craftsy when I again paid for it to attend the basic same course in person with her, and see? You ALWAYS learn something when you take a course--but that's a whole other post topic) anyhow where was I? Oh yeah, I learned that the eye sees symmetry so if you make a mistake, repeat it, or, in my case, because I wasn't sold on the Judi modified-by-me design, I repeated it.
The half star blocks down the sides of the quilt have her design; those at the top and bottom have the same dot-to-dot design as do the full stars.😇
Here's the entire quilt.
The modified Judi design also echoes the swoop-dee-swoops I did in the aqua star points, as well as within the pinwheel purple star blocks.
A little bit of curves within an angular quilt and mostly angular quilting motifs is pleasing. There is also another 'I am not sold on this motif' decision I echoed rather than ripped. Notice the dot-to-dot lines in the star points? I think it emphasizes their long skinny points, and I like that. Prior to deciding upon that design, I thought I'd do another Judi design that works well in Evening Star blocks where you treat the entire star as a unit, not separating the points from the star centre. I tried it in these.
You may have noticed I did a flanged binding. I love it, but it annoys me because it cuts off points. If I leave extra batting and backing, as in not trim even with the quilt top, then I only have 1/8" seam allowance there, because I would need to allow for the approximate 1/8" wide flange, right? Still, I figured the eye would not immediately notice the lack of points...
my own tutorial, modified to make a 2 1/4" as opposed to the original one which makes a 2 3/4" one, calls for only 1 1/4" width of the main fabric, so I had enough! I love it paired with the purple 'Cherio' batik too. I love the folds you get when you sew 180" of binding! Doesn't take much to make this girl smile.
The backing, an older no-longer-available one, so okay to show, fits with the water batik, though not exactly with the stars (maybe starfish?!) or the name, Fallen Sky, but it's all my favourite colour, water and sky, and it tones in perfectly with the fabrics on the front.
|I stitched the flanged binding down with a beautiful YLI variegated plum thread|
The texture shows up pretty well on the back, and that's on a dull, rainy day. Yes, I took these outdoor shots this morning, and it's still mizzling as I type! (Think that's an English expression of my mum's that just popped into my head---okay I had to Google it, now I know why these posts take me hours to write, and yup it means 'rain lightly'; supposed to end by Trick or Treating time.)
The fall colours are at their pinnacle here right now. I must look like an idiot, mouth open in wonder as I walk or drive, often exclaiming in a soft whisper how glorious it is.
And I pulled over another time, in Kingsville, at the soccer fields.
Oops, nearly forgot to show you my label, which I decided to make myself, a 6" Evening Star.
Pattern: Outside Stars by Stitchin at Home
Size: 43" before quilting; 42 1/4" square after quilting
Fabric: Island Batiks Batik Foundations Bundle: Marbles is the deeper aqua, Marble-Aqua-BE is the swirls lighter aqua, Cherio-Iris and Lavender are the purples, Neutrals- Buttermilk is the background
Backing: leftover 'Tropical Dreams' by SPX Fabrics
Batting: Hobbs unbleached 100% cotton
Quilted: on Avril, FMQ and dot to dot
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Aurifil cotton white; quilted with Aurifil cotton white, Aurifil 2890, and Exquisite polyester 1324, YLI variegated plum 40 wt; Aurifil cotton white in the bobbin for all but the purple which is paired with The Bottom Line polyester.
Stitch Count: 111 331
Think I'm going to get MacGyver to fashion me a wallhanging-size quilt holder so I can switch out these three similar-sized Island Batik challenge quilts, Beothuk Star, Lift Up, and this one, Fallen Sky, on a monthly basis!
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation
Dizzy Quilts (for the Q4 FAL)
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Devoted Quilter
The Madd Quilter
Hope you'll come back tomorrow, November 1 for TBT: Throwback Thursday, which happens the first Thursday of each month where we post and link up the stories behind our pre-blogging quilts.