10 Karat Gems

I started the year strong in Quilting.

  1.  I completed custom quilting on a Queen Size Swoon Quilt for my mother.
    (Pictures later.  She gets to show it off first!)
  2. I completed piecing and quilting the King size Star Trek quilt (seen in this post.)
  3. I pieced the backings, and quilted some quilts for a good cause.

Then, after all of that big stuff.  I needed a couple of bite size projects.  I had two small wall hangings pieced that just needed quilting.

I’ll post the first one here.  Let’s call it Sewn Machine.


The is a paper piecing pattern, by Kristy @ Quiet Play, called “Geometric Sewing Machine Pattern”. I downloaded it from Craftsy HERE.

The pattern makes a 16″ block.  I decided to border mine with crazy pieced sashing to mimic the many angles in the design.  I used fabric from a layer cake, Wilmington Essentials line call Magic Colors 10 Karat Gems.  I purchased it a couple of years ago because I loved the rainbow mix.  They worked pretty well for this fractal design.  I have plenty left for some coordinating work.

If you are used to foundation peicing, where they tell you how large to cut your pieces to begin with, you may have a slower start with this pattern.  I call this freestyle paper peicing.  You have to determine how large your piece needs to be.  However, I do have a method to the madness.  I really don’t mind it, and for other similar projects, this let me use extensivley from my scrap stash.

If you fold your paper back on the sew line, and work over a light box, you can better estimate the size of the fabric you need.  Let me know if anyone would like a video demo.

I think all my new wall hanging needs is a hand embroidered needle and presser foot.  Here is a peek at it hanging on my wall, along with my other finsihed project, A Kaffe Fassett dresden plate.  They add some needed color to the area!

These gems are finished! 









Night Stars – A Backwards Glance

Do you remember my post indicating a “Star was Born”?

I started working on this quilt as a free Block of the Month (BOM) offered by Craftsy.  I even chose to work from a kit, since Craftsy had a great deal on it.   After finishing the quilt (mostly to schedule), I decided to use it for longarm pattern layout “practice”.

The Night Stars quilt is a pattern by Kimberly Einmo.  The top is constructed with batiks from Anthology Fabric, and a black background with a mix of blues.  I liked the pattern as it gave me an opportunity to practice making a center medallion layout, which I had never tried before.  This is also the first quilt I have made with a black background and batting.

The quilting layout is custom, and used 4 different quilt pattern designers.
– Curls and Pearls (Found at Wasatch Quilting)
– Marilyns Lone Star set (Found at The Quilter’s Quilter
– Partial Pearl String (A carry over from a double wedding ring design)
– Enchanted Feathers – Susan Mallett (Found at Intelligent Quilting)

I used patterns from all four of these design sources to create the quilt fills. The layout of the quilting is my own. I never imagined what the result would be.  The top is colorful, and uniquely filled, but the result of the fills on the black batik back is stunning, and essentially made my quilt two-sided.  Friends have said it has both Indian, and Spanish tone.  I quilted it using my Handi-Quilter Avante machine, and Pro-Stitch.

I decided to follow what Kimberly Einmo suggested in her class regarding teal and yellow threads.  However, I chose a variagated thread for the star fills.  I am very glad that I did!

The back is my favorite part! What do you think?


As needed, I mirrored or rotated fills to give the patterns good flow.  It resulted in framing of the stars with flowers and feathers!  The center medallion,fill found at an Australian source: The Quilter’s Quilter, is my favorite part.

I decided to enter the quilt for consideration in two shows;

  • Home Machine Quilting & Sewing Show – Salt Lake City, UT / May 5 – 7, 2016
  • Quilt Odyssey – Hershey, PA / July 21 – 24, 2016

This is my first try at entering a show, and have been waffling back and forth between feeling like my quilt is “good enough” to enter for consideration or not.   I’m sure I will get some good feedback if they accept it for the shows, and doubt I would ever have trouble finding a home for this dark beauty!



Lone Night Star – November

I am not sure where I have been for the last 2 months…
I have sewn, but not as much as usual. Since Thanksgiving we have visited family, celebrated a birthday, and generally enjoyed the season.  During a long weekend off from work, I have managed to reorganize my sewing room and finish the center of my Night Star quilt.  The center block, a Lone Star, is constructed using diamonds and triangles.  I like it.  The way the pattern uses all different colors and organizes them in color wheel order is very striking.

The important thing to remember during construction is to assemble the small triangles to the diamonds first, then add the larger triangles.  If you don’t do this, placement is much trickier.  I’m thankful that the Craftsy class mentioned this.

My end of year resolution is to assemble the quilt top.  Can I finish before he bell tolls?




Night Stars – July – Sawtooth Stars

I signed up for the Free Craftsy 2015 Summer Block of the Month.  The pattern is Night Stars, by Kimberly Einmo, and has a large star in the middle surrounded by a variety of different traditional stars.  July’s class focused on sawtooth star variations.   I had lots of practice with these on my last QOV quilt!

They look nice, but I was frustrated since all of my blocks came out about 1/8″ too small.  This isn’t usually an issue for me using a scant 1/4″ foot.  My theory is that the batik fabric (new for me), plus the thread thickness I was using was the culprit.

This table I found online supports my theory.
*  Remember, higher numbers represent finer threads.
** Some of these threads are 2 ply, some 3

Equivalent Thread sizes… 
Aurifil 50/2 – 25
Aurifil 40/2 – 20
Gutermann 50/3 – 17
Connecting Threads 50/3 – 17
Coats & Clark/Star 50/3 – 17
Mettler 50/3 – 17
King Tut 40/3 – 13 “

I have ordered some 40 wt. and 50 wt. Aurifil thread to see if it makes a difference.  All of my July blocks were stitched using 100% cotton, Gutermann 50 weight.  If the chart below is correct, the Aurifil thread may be a little finer.  A fellow class member used the Aurifil 50 wt, and her blocks were slightly large, so my first test will be with Aurifil 40 weight thread.

After I see the results in practice for August, I might have to put some of these under a microscope and rap get some photographs (just for fun).  Stay tuned!