Dashing Stars is a quilt designed by Viv Poon, owner of my local quilt shop, Purple Stitches. We used the pattern to teach the recent Beginners Course at the shop. It provided a great introduction to rotary cutting and piecing – building from making simple squares to four-at-a-time flying geese. Last Saturday, in the last session of the course, we made and added binding to our quilts.
Here is a slightly bashful Beginners Course participant with her first ever patchwork quilt – a very satisfying moment for pupil and teacher alike 🙂
I usually make a quilt alongside the classes I teach. I find this the easiest way to have samples at the ready, also working on the quilt at the same pace as the class helps me to give tips and deal with snags in a timely fashion. Here are some photos of my finished Dashing Stars quilt. (Thanks to my long-suffering Husband for being the quilt stand!)
The quilt is named ‘Dashing Stars (2)’ as it is the second version of the quilt I have made – the first is the sample kept in the shop. I decided to use some strips of the extra wide backing fabric for the binding. I machine stitched the binding to the back of the quilt and then machine stitched it down on the front. The backing, the 100% cotton wadding and all the feature fabrics were purchased at Purple Stitches.
You can read more about the zig-zag quilting design I stitched across the quilt here.
The next Beginners Course starts on 1st June. The week before, on 25th May I’ll be teaching the Scrap Buster workshop. More details in the Workshop section of this blog (button on the bar at the top of this page).
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have had a good week and you will have time for a some creativity over the weekend. Bring along your project(s) and share in the latest quilty conversations across the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do use the comments box at the bottom of this page to share your projects and add your thoughts and reactions to what has inspired you and caught your attention this week.
I’ve been busy preparing for the third class of the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. This, the penultimate class, is all about basting and quilting. I’ve pin basted my Dashing Stars quilt ready for the quilting demonstration.
I decided it would be a great idea to use another quilt top to demonstrate basting. I could have picked any number of completed quilt tops from my UFO pile but no, I chose to use the #scrappytripalong2019 – the blocks needed to be sewn together, borders measured and stitched in place, the wadding cut, the backing fabrics chosen and pieced together… Oh! And a label made too! Well! It may have been a good idea… But…It took me all day Thursday to piece the top and faff about putting the backing together. Thankfully I had a piece of Quilter’s Dream Poly wadding just slightly larger than required. I pushed through, not only making the label but also machine stitching it to the backing 🙂
I’m really pleased with the pieced backing. It looks so simple yet it took me well over two hours to select the fabrics, cut them to size and stitch those l-o-n-g seams! I had a thoroughly satisfying day moving on the #scrapytripalong2019 blocks from the design wall to having a quilt top ready for basting although it really struck me just how long it takes to make a quilt! I guess when we make a few blocks here, a few blocks there and complete a quilt in our ‘free’ time we very quickly lose track of just how many hours it takes? I was amazed how the hours ticked by that day and by my consistent underestimating of how long it would take to complete each step!
We have a houseful of guests this weekend so my sewing room has morphed into a guest room. Once home from Purple Stitches I’ll be turning my hand to some hand stitching 🙂 As luck would have it I started a little Blackwork bookmark project on Monday at our monthly craft group.
I like Blackwork, I first learned it as an off-shoot of cross stitch (my go to craft before I discovered patchwork). Blackwork (essentially filling stitched outlines with repeating patterns stitched in running stitch) has a long history and was particularly popular in Tudor times. Look at this portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, her sleeves and the bodice of her dress are covered in Blackwork. I found this portrait in a great book by Becky Hogg, published by the Royal School of Needlework in their Essential Stitch Guides series.
And moving smoothly (or should that be ‘seamlessly’?) into this week’s links:
Christa Watson has been sharing how she plans out the quilting designs she stitches over her quilts. This is a really comprehensive guide given as a guest post on Amy Smart’s blog, Diary of a Quilter.
Shannon Brinkley loves to talk fabrics and colour. In this blog post she explains the virtues of ‘monochromatic prints’.
Bobbie’s post has lots of handy piecing tips. She shows us how to make the first block in a sewing themed mystery quilt. The first block is a sewing machine.
If you are in the USA and could be inspired to create a quilt to donate to one or other of the charities supported by Hands2Help you can find out more information from Sarah at her blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Bernie gives a moving description of the work carried out by a hospital Palliative Care Team and the use they make of donated quilts.
Last week I was so determined to finish the I-Spy Shadow quilt that I didn’t have time to properly share some of the ins and outs and ups and downs of making this quilt. I’m taking an hour to catch my breath and to properly acquaint you with this quilt that popped up as a ‘finish’ in my previous blog post.
I hope you can see from the photo why this quilt is a ‘shadow quilt’? The regular positioning of the light and dark background fabrics gives the impression that the feature fabric squares are floating above the quilt and casting shadows. The forty-two feature fabric squares are novelty prints with images that could be used in a game of I-Spy.
I completed the top with a week to spare to my deadline but then had a bit of a hiatus, waiting to purchase some backing fabric from a local shop and a longer wait for some Quilters Dream Poly wadding to be delivered by post. I tried to make good use of this waiting time by first making a label for the quilt; secondly (once I’d been shopping) piecing the backing and attaching the label; and also making the binding.
This is how I generally make and attach quilt labels:
I use a computer to compose the label wording and print this onto plain paper. I then make use of a lightbox or a window to trace the wording onto a piece of fabric. I use a Micron fine tipped permanent marker pen.
I usually make a border for the label using some left over fabrics from the quilt top. Then I press a quarter inch seam under all around the edge and pin the label into place onto the backing fabric. I use a machine stitch – zig-zag or blanket stitch usually – and applique the label to the fabric.
I find placing a piece of Stitch ‘n Tear on the wrong side of the backing, helps prevent the applique stitches bunching up the fabric. The Stitch ‘n Tear can be removed very easily once the applique stitching is complete.
The wadding arrived with three days to spare so I set-to immediately: Trimming the wadding to size and then pin basting the patchwork top, wadding and backing together. I decided to use my sewing machines walking foot to add a simple design of echoing arcs starting from the top left of the quilt. My thinking being that the arcs would be radiating out from the imaginary light source that was casting the shadows across the quilt. If you see what I mean?
I used a Drunkards Path template and a Chaco marker to draw an arc on the quilt and then used the metal stitch guide with the walking foot to keep the spacing between the arcs at 2 inches.
All was going well until the arcs reached the middle of the quilt. Then the quilt top started to pucker and puff away from the layers beneath it.
I took a deep breath, put the quilt back on the basting table, removed the remaining basting pins *SIGH*, re-positioned the layers, smoothing out the excess fabric and re-pinned *DOUBLE SIGH*. Tedious but worth the bother. When I resumed quilting the fabric lay much flatter and I’m happy with the final result.
I suspect the top layer puckered partly because I was quilting from one corner of the quilt right across to the other and partly because I was in a rush and didn’t position the basting pins as closely together as I would do usually. I can hear my Mum saying, ‘More haste, less speed!’
In that hiatus of waiting for backing and wadding I made a book pillow to accompany the quilt, using novelty prints and fabrics left over from making the patchwork.
So that’s the story of the I-Spy Shadow Quilt 🙂 It is listed in my ETSY shop along with the book pillow and I hope to publish the pattern very soon….
Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River for the last Linky Tuesday – Connie has been hosting this friendly link-up since 2012!
PS. I’ve just come home from a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. In the show and tell slot one member shared her I-Spy quilt! 😀
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have a project to bring to this virtual sewing day and will take time to join in with some of the blogging conversations as well as sharing what’s caught your interest through the week. You can add links via the comments section or the linky button at the end of this post.
My project for today (and quite a few more days!) is hand stitching the binding to the back of the BIG quilt. The quilt measures 76″ square so that is a whole lot of stitching waiting to be done! I’ve made the task harder by making the double-fold binding from strips of 2″ wide fabric instead of my usual 2¼”. It’s amazing what a difference that little ¼” of fabric makes in terms of bending the binding over the edge of the quilt and pulling it beyond the line of stitching on the back of the quilt. I will be making use of a lot of binding clips on this one!