I’ve been having fun making patchwork panels for some more linen placemats. I love working without a plan, and using up some of my scraps. Because I usually work with large blocks of color, I am creating a mountain of scraps. I will confess that sometimes I throw away small bits because the thought of that scrap heap gets a little overwhelming, not to mention messy. But, of course, I feel a little guilty about it. Then I read this post from Dinning Room Empire, Naptime Quilter about collecting scraps to give away to other quilty friends–such a great solution. How nice to feel generous instead of guilty!
Still, one of these days I’m going to make a scrappy quilt. While I love the idea of having a signature style–the kind where you can look at a quilt and tell who made it–I don’t want it to prevent me from trying something new. After all, half the fun of quilting is the endless variety. I am always inspired by Denyse Schmidt. She has one of the greatest signature styles out there–there is something about her fabric and color choices and compositions that makes her quilts instantly recognizable as hers even though they range from modern to more traditional. I’ve noticed that the quilters I most admire have a strong style but aren’t afraid to innovate. Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did is another great example: some of her quilts are made with tiny scraps and others with huge blocks of color, yet her signature style shines through in all her work. Just thinking about this makes me want to delve into my scrap heap!
At last, here is the finished framed star quilt! I went with aqua binding, and I think it adds a nice cheerful touch. Binding is almost my favorite part of quilting. I love how it pulls a finished quilt together and I really enjoy the hand stitching. I started out crafting as a knitter and sometimes I miss sitting on the couch and working on a project. I bound this quilt while watching the US Open round of 16–perfect.
I am very happy to be linking up with SwimBikeQuilt 100 Quilts for Kids and–more importantly–to be donating this quilt to Peaceful Paths. This organization in Gainesville, Florida, (my hometown) provides support to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.
This quilt has been an unexpected pleasure to work on. Although it would have been a lot simpler to have known the final design from the beginning, the false starts were a great learning experience. I think the final design has a sort of superhero/super star vibe that is perfect for kids.
For the quilting, I extended the lines from the star to the edges and then stitched in the ditch around the square frames. There is a little puckering at the bottom of the quilt where the frames and the rays from the star intersect–grr. I don’t think it will be very noticeable after the quilt is washed, but I would love to know how to prevent this from happening. (This is why I love quilting in a diamond grid–nice and smooth every time!) The backing fabrics are two Denyse Schmidt prints from Jo-Ann Fabrics. I wasn’t sure the prints would work, but I really like how they look with the quilt top. All that’s left to do is the binding. I am leaning toward charcoal. Too dull? I also have a gold honeycomb print in my stash that might be good?
This quilt top is finally starting to come together but not at all how I expected. I thought I would branch out from solids and simple design when I decided to use the star block from my guild exchange. I had fun making a bunch of stars in blues, reds, and a little hot pink. I made a few tries at piecing them together–and came up with a design I thought would work. A strip of the new stars next to the UFO star placed in a log cabin sounded good to me. Then I made the log cabin (or is this properly called a housetop?). It is so simple and fun. Here it is with the strip of stars. They just don’t seem to fit with the bold log cabin. So, I think that strip of stars will find its way into my own UFO pile (not to mention the extra squares I cut and the scraps created!)
Here it is without the stars–the outer square is a really pretty French blue–not as dark as it appears here. I think this plainer design is perfect for a charity quilt, since I don’t know who the quilt will belong to. I also like that it will be great for a boy but could also appeal to a girl.
I really love how this is ending up. I am not sure how I feel about my inability to work outside my comfort zone. Either I have really strong feelings about design or a limited imagination. At least, I can say I know what I like!
I made several blocks in a pattern that matches the UFO block that I chose from my Modern Quilt Guild exchange. The blocks were super fun to make. I don’t often make traditional blocks–so I was pleased to see that my seams lined up! So far so good. Except then I had to find a way to piece them together so the UFO block (which is slightly larger and hand pieced) won’t look like an alien among the new blocks. First I tried a sort of scrappy approach with bone white and gray.
I didn’t think the pale colors worked with the bold colors in the stars.
Next I placed the new star blocks in a strip and tested some darker colors next to it. I like the charcoal and mustard yellows. I think I might finish the top by placing the UFO block at the center of a log cabin with more mustard and maybe some hot pink? I really need to finish this top up so I can get it quilted by our guild meeting on September 3. Yikes!