The blocks on this quilt are the 2014 Lucky Stars Block of the Month from Elizabeth Dackson of Don’t Call Me Betsy. The program was $15 for a total of 12 paper piecing pattern delivered on the first of the month.
Once I finished the 12 block, I had two I did not want. Also, after all the time I spent on making each block I really did not want to have a 36″ x 48″ throw to show for it. I wanted a nontraditional layout and thought a constellation representation would be a neat concept. I researched many constellations and considered something easier to recognize, such as the Big Dipper. I thought that might be a little too on the nose so after many clicks and hours decided on Cassiopeia. The zig zag layout worked well with the amount of blocks I had.
Each block comes with instructions for 12″ and 6″ blocks. I made the 12″ blocks every month. After laying out my existing stars I could tell I needed more interest in the negative space. I made 10 of the 6″ blocks using only the stars that did not have nine thousand seams coming together in the middle.
I have this one pegged as my entry for the Dallas Quilt Celebration although I am not sure it is technically good enough for that show, which I will get into down the way. I am going to enter it into the State Fair and I do think they will like it.
This quilt feels for me like a cross between modern and traditional. The stars, with the solids and super sweet placement of one print make it modern as does the layout. I feel like quilting is a modern interpretation of quilting; however it is not as graphic as I was hoping. I love making swirls and pebbles but sometimes feel the end result is too sentimental.
All of the stars came together great. Some of the cutting instructions were incorrect – sometimes the dimensions would be wrong and sometimes the pieces to be cut were mislabeled. In the end, I would add 1/2″ to the dimensions and that worked out much better. I do not mind wasting a bit of fabric to ensure piecing rage does not ensue from the pieces being too small.
I also made sure to label all my pieces as shown on right!
WHAT I DID
I think the best decision I made for this quilt was to establish a palette to use for every star. The wicked accent fabric and only print used in the stars is Beadwork by Mark Hordyszynski for Michael Miller. Cut small it looks like sequins. Everytime I posted the stars someone would ask about this fabric. It was a sleeper at my LQS and I actually went back a couple of time to buy more and it was always there!
After selecting this print I decided to use all solids with a bit of the print in each star. At the time, I did not use/own many solids so this was a skill builder for me. I uploaded a picture of the fabric to playcrafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 to play around with the palette and get ideas. I ended up getting whatever solids my other LQS had but using the palette builder gave me a firmer idea of which solids to pick.
I picked out the wire mesh background fabric from my stash. I thought I was buying Architextures when I got it but it ended up being a weird novelty fabric line from Windham Fabric called Bye Bye Birdie. I only figured that out when I realized I would need like four yards to make my constellation dream come true. I finally became one of those psychos who spends all day trying to find an old fabric to finally scream with elation upon finding it on Etsy. I got it from WarmKittyQuilts and she was awesome.
I quilted this using a swirl technique outlined in Angela Walter’s book Shape by Shape. This was a great resource. I know some modern quilters do not like heavy free motion quilting and admit the overall look of this became less modern but I had fun quilting it. Shape by Shape gives you ideas from becoming sooooo booooored while quilting!
The stars are stitched in the ditch for stability with varying levels of success. Around each of the stars that are in the constellation I did more elaborate free motion quilting using a ruler to extend and accent the lines of the stars. I should have marked the outer areas around the stars because sometimes I came to close to them with the swirl pattern on a pass. I would have liked to extend the lines more on the bottoms stars.
I made the back pieced with all my left over fabric plus some number fabric I purchased specifically for this back. I also used my cast off blocks. One was from a block that ended up too small and one was a cast off. The other unused block I threw away!
Final verdict: This is going on my bed after it makes the rounds. I need to work on stitching in the ditch or maybe switch to stitching right next to the seams on both sides.