Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pasque Star Finish

You may wonder why I call this Pasque Star. I wanted a reference to the pink, and yeah, I know pasque flowers are more of a soft purple, but pasque is a reference to PĂąques, which is Easter in French, I made this quilt around Easter, it's Spring, and it just reminds me of those soft, early prairie crocus, as they are also called. (photo from Canadian Wildlife Federation)

I used to grow them in my garden in Alberta. Sadly I am too far south now in Canada for them to grow here, though here we have wild violets galore and snowdrops in early spring!

Here it is on that perfect fence for hanging small quilts, in front of our barberry that's leafing out so nicely!
Note that Island Batik supplied all the fabric for this quilt, Hobbs Batting supplied the batting, and Aurifil supplied the thread. And! The quilt was made with the AccuQuilt Go! Cube 8" dies and 2.5" strip die, both supplied by AccuQuilt!
This is the April challenge for Island Batik and AccuQuilt, to make a baby quilt using their machine and dies. My quilt is just one block, School Girl's Puzzle, sixteen of them, let me clarify. 😉
I've mentioned in a couple of places, here and on Instagram how impressed I am with the 2" HST die especially.
Yes, there is some waste, like 1/4" around the die shape, but I can live with that when it comes to a couple of things:
1. stacking your HST fabrics RST before loading onto the die, so they are already paired ready to sew.
2. the dog ears are cut off already, so you simply sew starting and ending at the points, open up, press, done. No squaring needed!!

The 2.5" die is another major game changer IMHO; with six layers of fabric stacked, aka 3 WOF layers, and a die that cuts three strips at a time, that's nine 2.5" X WOF strips with one feed through the rollers! I cut all the borders for the quilt with that baby.

None of the orneriness of this quilt is due to the materials or machines used in the making, but the maker herself! I explained in my previous post about my brain just not wrapping itself around the orientation of the HSTs within the blocks as well as with the colour positions and numbers of patches I needed to cut.... So I had, as my friend Kathleen refers to him, my friend Jack (not the alcohol, though that may have made sewing smoother! or I'd have got a totally different layout than the one I'd planned!) helping me reverse sew, as in rip, to get things right. Simple quilting was the plan. Fast was the plan, as fast as I could on a DSM as opposed to my Avril. But those squares begged (or the quilt did) for a little fancy treatment, so I acquiesced.

I didn't think it was windy when I hopped outside after lunch to do the photo shoot, but oh there was a definite breeze...
All the wonderful solids, and near-solids were SO HARD to not fill with fancy stuff, but I kept thinking, baby, Sandra, baby: dragging on floor, barf, food bits, drool, sleeping in bed with... loving... It'll be okay. In the photo above you can see how well the backing works with the front. It's Mini Dot, Hemp Blossom by Island Batik, and I just love how it's kind of frothy. It is! It appears a kind of yellow, but then you see there are bits of pink throughout and it's kind of a sand, or a salmon...just a fabulous colour. It works so well with the magnolia doesn't it??! Maybe I should rename it...Magnolia Star. Hmm, worth a thought. I just this second realized I did not sew in the corner label with all the info on it!! See? Yet another rip-it ahead...

Better shot without the breeze blowing it as much.

I used all Aurifil thread throughout but for a little white Mettler in the piecing. The pink 28 wt was used to stitch down the flanged binding. I love how the straight lines through the big 'star' through the quilt criss-cross in the centre. That part I knew I would do all along to accentuate that yellow star.

When it came to the four quadrants around that criss-cross, I was sorely tempted to go a little fancy, but I thought nope, speed, and nope, keep the quilting relatively even across the top. So I went for radiating lines from that star.

The sun was actually peeking out a bit while I was doing the photo shoot, so not all the lines are as evident. So happy I made the flanged binding work. Can you tell the pink is two different ones? Neither can I but they are; one is Bubbles in Carnation which is in the body of the quilt, and the other is Paisley Dots in a very similar light pink.

My original quilt plan was a simple white border around the quilt, but it didn't make up the required size, so I added the grey to bring it to the 40" minimum. As I mentioned in the flimsy post, the quilt nudged me to let the quilt patches flow into that white border. So obvi, as they say, the grey one had to be a bit fancy too, the quilt said...  What's another deviation from the original plan?
I saw spineless feathers on my friend Lynn of My Purple Patch post yesterday, and knew they would go in that final grey border. I can't believe I haven't tried these before, me, who adores all things feather in the quilting department! They are a snap, once I practised with my fingertip, and a Hera marker, (which didn't work as well since it's not got a round tip!) and realized how wonderfully they turn corners.

I am hereby renaming them however. Spineless has a negative connotation, so I am calling these flowing feathers. I actually quilted them, as you may have seen on my Instagram feed, after I'd finished binding the quilt! Why? Well, the flanged binding always takes a bit more of a bite out of the final border. It's not good for points for that reason, as said flange cuts them off. Doing it after the binding was done meant I could centre the feathers and not have any round edges cut off!
Trying one of those artsy-fartsy swirly quilt shots in the sun...

Here's how it looks on the back.... make that looked...
I thought I could get a better back texture shot on our bed since the sun was out and at a higher angle. Do you notice a missing quilting line? Yeah. I did too. All those photos I'd just taken! Gack! Yet another hiccup with this quilt. Did I retake them? Nope. Did I rethread my machine (I'd been doing grey feathers remember) and go back in and lay down this quilting line? Yes.

See my mmm! quilts label? That is the third last one, and yes I've reordered from Ikaprint. More bumps and burps along the way with this step too:
Did I remember to baste it to the finished quilt top? Nope.
Did I have to rip out a couple of inches of binding to insert it? Yes.
Did I, after inserting it, and stitching down the binding, remember to hold it out of the way while I quilted the flowing feathers? Nope.
So did I then have to carefully rip, re-sew and anchor a few flowing feathers? Sigh. Of course. Ornery is this quilt's second name. Terrible twos. I even thought Colicky Baby after discovering the missing quilting line!
And no handwritten label. Ugh!

Still, I love how it turned out. Here's the entire back, lovely quilty texture, lovely and soft thanks to the oh-so-soft Hobbs all natural 100% cotton batting.

People have asked me more than once if the batiks from Island Batik are stiff, as are some. Nope. They are wonderfully soft. I sleep under my suitcase quilt each night, remember, and it's so soft and pliable.

One more spring shot of this quilt which will be for sale very shortly in my Etsy shop! And very soon I'll have a free tutorial for you here on the blog if you'd like to make one of your own. I can see many colour options possible with this quilt.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: An original design, 'Pasque Star'
Size: 40.5"
Fabric: Island Batik
Backing: as above
Batting: Hobbs Cotton all natural no scrim
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: Aurifil 100% cotton 50 wt top and bobbin; binding stitched down with Aurifil 28 wt.

Linking up:
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts


  1. Despite all your troubles, it's wonderful! I like your flowing feathers. I don't like feathers because you have to backtrack on the pattern. I might give this a try.

  2. All of that and a flanged binding? That's what I call over-achiever!

  3. So pretty, Sandra! I love the pink and yellow with the gray. I'm glad you made it through all the challenges to get to this beautiful finish!

  4. Beautifully finished Sandra and great story telling! The colour combo is gorgeous.

  5. Thanks for the mention! This was truly ornery for no good reason up to the bitter end....the colicky baby that keeps on giving. Maybe it should play with wild baby and get tired out! Love the binding and the flowy feathers. Talked to my machine people, still arranging a date. Did I say yesterday??? I am just hoping to get it to the island before I go to PA so I can hop right in when I get back. Congrats on this gorgeous finish and I love its picture with the bush!

  6. It’s beautiful and it does remind me of the Pasque flower in your photo. I feel a bit sad that such a pretty quilt fought you, so I hope there’s joy in a beautiful finish.

  7. It's amazing how onry a quilt can be once it gets going that way. I think it turned out beautifully and especially love the flange binding as the final touch. I hope adding the label goes smoothly and easily!

  8. Truly so pretty, and the curvy feathers, maybe even I could manage them without a spine. Lovely colours and perfect for a baby to grow up with.

  9. This is a really beautiful quilt Sandra. I love the pinks and greys. I like the simpler quilting on this quilt. The spineless feathers look awesome going around the final grey border which frames the quilt very nicely. Sandra I can grow Pasque flowers. They are one of my favourites. I now you are a bit further south than me but maybe you can grow them as well.

  10. Beautiful quilt, love the colours and the quilting is perfect for this beauty. I like the artsy photo, I haven't tried one yet.

  11. Pretty quilt, Sandra! That backing is really pretty (and now I see what you mean that it would work for my design). Funny how some quilts just don't come together as smoothly as others, but this one is certainly a beauty!

  12. Sandra, it’s magnificent! I love a quilt with a story of inspiration behind it.

  13. Beautiful. I love the pops of brighter colors with the soft gray and pink, as well as the story behind it's name!

  14. Beautiful finish and an enjoyable story to go with it. The colours make it soft and cuddly looking. Really like the feathers in the border and the flange binding.

  15. Sandra, this is just so soft and pretty. I love the colors and I'm glad you added the gray border; it just seems perfect for this quilt. I'm glad you are enjoying the GO cutter. If I turned out as many quilts as you do, I'd get one of those in a heartbeat. They are obviously a great tool for a prolific quilter, which you definitely are.

  16. Such a lovely quilt when all is said and done. It was wonderful to have you mention the PĂąques flower.It's one of my favourite spring flowers. They do grow here because I just divided mine this spring. I live on the north side of Lake Erie (Waterford) They are the first flowers in my garden each spring besides the bulbs.

  17. Challenges aside, this is a gorgeous quilt! I love the flowing feathers and I never thought of quilting the last border after the binding, but it's a great idea. I'll have to try to remember that one!

  18. Just delightful, Sandra. And now that I know about the name (not the naughty Baby names) I can really see the flower. I feel for you having all that trouble in spite of the easy cutting, even though your alternative names had me laughing. The flanged binding was so worth the extra work— and the feathers. I had just seen those on a tutorial the other day and chickened out on doing them. Now I see I must give them a try. Doing a border after binding makes so much sense. I do that when I need a line a quarter inch away from the binding because it’s so hard to see where it needs to go before the binding is on. I’m glad you needed that gray border to bring the quilt up to size because it frames the quilt in such a lovely way.

  19. Congrats on a beautiful finish! Sorry it was a bit of a wayward child during the whole assembly process, but you ended up with a very well behaved quilt at the end.

  20. Hi Sandra, what a great quilt. Pasque flowers are so lovely. I do get one that comes up each year in my garden.

  21. You do such lovely work. If you feel as though you can talk about it, I could sure use some support with hemangiosarcoma.

  22. Well gosh, I do not know how to change the Unknown. My email is greying.gracie@gmail.com
    I certainly understand if Naala's thoughts are too painful to discuss. But if you can, please.

  23. Beautiful spring quilt, well worth all the struggles. Amazed to see a flanged border with your time pressures, but it is the perfect touch. Love your spineless feathers.... perhaps you can think of spine-less as in thorn-free for a nicer connotation :D I have used them before, but never thought about how easily they would turn corners. Thanks heaps for the pointer.

  24. gorgeous quilt, I loved it in instagram, and love it even more in the blog. Beautiful baby, not colicky at all.
    You have a barbery. I bought dried barberies. No idea what to do with them!

  25. What a gorgeous quilt and binding! So pretty. Those colors compliment each other perfectly. Your photography is very good as well.

  26. Lovely colors and a great block design for a baby quilt! Enjoy your finish :) xo Melanie



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