Image

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?

EBrown_NightStarBack

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!

 

Image

Night Stars – October – 54/40 or Fight

I finished the October blocks true to form… at the end of the month.   I think it is the cutting that always slows me down.

This month I broke down and bought the Tri-Rec tools to cut my fabric.  The last 54/40 or fight block I made was for a QOV and I wasn’t happy with the outcome.  I think I tend to shave material off of my thin plastic or paper templates.  Since these angles are a little fussy, I added to my ruler collection.

The great thing about the Tri-Rec tool is that you cut off a small ear on one corner of the triangle that is used to align it to the edge of another.  The piecing was very quick.

I find you can never have too many shoes or rulers! 🙂

I need to adjust my seam allowances still.  Every block turned out 1/8″ too small.  At this point it is better that I am consistent.  I will adjust on the next quilt, right?

I like the look of the 8 pointed stars better than the four point bursts.  What about you?

Image

Night Stars – September – Ohio Stars

I’m feeling lazy tonight.  My children are tucked in, and I have no energy to do anything.  I’m even posting this in my pajamas.  

I started this set of blocks early, but didn’t finish them until the retreat I attended at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  

One of the fun parts to quilting is that it is a timeless, functional art.  I love seeing old well loved quilts in museums.  The September Blocks for the Night Stars quilt are Ohio Stars.  Quick internet research says that the block dates back to the 1800’s.   It is a simple quad triangle 9 block surrounding a central square.  It also said that it is known as a variable star, or a lone star.  It doesn’t remind me of the Texas Lone a star at all.   
Why was this a popular Amish design? Does anyone know?

  
I used traditional methods for piecing.  I have to admit, I wasn’t paying attention, and stitched the wrong side of all of my triangles on one block.  Lucky me, my mom was visiting to set up her latest quilt on the longarm.  While it stitched, we frogged.  Thanks mom!

 The more I work on this quilt, I think it would look great in civil war prints or the Kansas Troubles line.  (It would need a new name though)

Happy quilting!

 

Image

Night Stars – August – Spinning Stars

“How did it get so late so soon?”  Dr. Seuss

I finished my Craftsy summer blocks for August.  They are all spinning star variations.  The construction is straight forward, with the triple triangle units as the focus point.  Honestly, I didn’t make it through the whole tutorial this time. Kimberly Einmo did point out in her video that the important thing is to keep the bias edges on the inside seams so that they are not exposed on the outside edges of the block, preventing easy distortion.  Good tip!

I used traditional ruler cutting and piecing.  The only block I was not happy with was my center “on-point” square surrounded by triangles.  Either my cutting was off, or I mishandled the edges, stretching the fabric.  It did not make the perfect square it should have.  You can’t tell after it was all put together, but I knew!

I feel good to have finished them just slightly late!
I plan to make up for lost time this holiday weekend.  I will be sure to cut all of my September blocks which are Ohio Star variations.

IMG_7289

Image

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!