This month everyone has been working with the amazing Deb Tucker's Studio 180 tools. This also includes the blog hope, so check out Island Batiks instagram for daily updates.
I was excited when I opened my fat quarter bundle of Sunny Meadow which is a collection of bright rainbow colored batiks with dragon flies, leafs, vines, branches and small flowers. Its a beautiful collection that gives the feeling of a sunny summer days. I was given the Corner Beam tool, which makes a kite like diamond that fits in a finished square block.
This was probably the first time I went into a quilt with literally no idea of what the end result would be. I usually plan everything out before I even cut one piece of fabric. I instead cut a few pieces of fabric, and made a few blocks, to try and get use to the tool; and then I kind of decided I liked one size, and the block lay out, then made another block size, and then just kind of kept adding to the quilt.
If we start back at the beginning, I opened up the bundle of fabric, decided I would make those the center of the block, and use the cream fabric as my background. I then cut out all my back fabric and center pieces. I don't typically sew traditional piecing or traditional blocks, so this was a huge step out of my comfort zone. I set up my fabric, cut, cut and cut; then set up my blocks and sewed, sewed and sewed some more. Chain piecing was my best friend while working on this quilt, again, something I don't do often.
I made a finished 5 inch block and a finished 2.5 inch block. This way I could have a 10 inch and 5 inch finished star block. I made a ton of the 10 inch blocks, but felt like it was just too much. So, I took those 10 inch blocks and cut them diagonally from corner to corner.
This was the end result of that. I then added these pieces to the outside of the already 10 inch block. Now, if I did this again, I would make these blocks a bit bigger, maybe the finished 6 or 6.5 inch block (all together the 12 or 12.5 inch block). The reason I say that is because I lost a lot of the depth of the corner blocks, which turned out fine, but if you want more of a circular feeling, then I would recommend sizing up the blocks you want to cut diagonally. I was using what I had already pieced, and was in a way improvising the blocks.
For me the hardest part was deciding on the lay out. I tried so hard to make sure the fabrics didn't touch or get too close. I also failed to keep most of my points, but you know what I am okay with that because a finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt. It turned out beautifully and I am happy even if some (or almost all) of my points are missing. I feel like if I had made the correct size blocks around the outside of the center block, I probably would have all my points, but again because I used the 10 inch blocks, and cut those up, I believe thats why I lost a lot of my points.
I then added triangles to the 5 inch blocks, so I could add them to the sides/ outer edge of the quilt. This took some math, but I just used a piece of scrap fabric and cut up triangles and a 5 inch block, to eventually figure out the size I needed. I believe I cut a 6 inch block, cut diagonally and sewed those on the side of the 5 inch block. This made my triangle side pieces.
I then laid the pieces out and figured out my corner triangles as well, again, just did some math and used one of my larger rulers to figure it all out.
After a lot of math-ing, and my brain was then on completely empty, so I started to put the top together.
The top was done! I was so proud of the finished top. I love how the 10 inch blocks stand out, but then you get the corner pieces that are a more scrappy version of the block, but just slightly smaller and lastly, the 5 inch blocks along the outside edge. It came together so well, and for not planning it out, I was pretty dang happy!
Sewing the back up was another project in and of its self. I wanted to use up some of the scraps I created while making the front. I used my squares that I cut for the smaller 5 inch blocks, and I used the strips of fabric I cut off when I accidentally cut too large of a strip of fabric, and then I sewed that all together. Karen from Just Get It Done, on youtube, calls this the "after quilt." Its the quilt you make after the original quilt is done, and then you use it as your back. I did add some of the grey basic batik fabric to square the entire back up.
I wanted to sandwich the quilt with a lighter weight batting as this would be a perfect summer or picnic quilt, so I went with the Hobbs cotton batting.
I spray basted my quilt together, and using my new sewing machine, free motion quilted with a meander design. (Ill do another post on this soon, but I had to purchase a new sewing machine, but just purchased the same Juki TL2010Q).
I really enjoyed using the new sewing machine as it was so quiet and worked so wonderfully. It turned out great. Now, I do want to say, if you do this design and decide to quilt this block, I suggest you pay attention to where all the points come together. I broke 2 needles, because of the bulk in those areas. It had nothing to do with the needles or my machine, it just was a lot of bulk all in one area. In some areas I had almost 8-12 fabric points coming together. This just was too much to quilt through. This is also why I picked a simple quilting design and stayed in the background area, and not in the pretty fabric.
I always sew my binding on the front and then hand sew the binding to the back. This is actually one of my favorite parts of quilting, beside free motion quilting, as I love quilting as well.
I loved the way that this quilt turned into so many colorful and bright stars. Just like our amazing firefighters and first responders on our military base. So, I was lucky enough to take this quilt to our fire station and snap a few shots with the trucks and equipment. I can't thank those men and woman enough, for keeping us all safe. I have had to call them in the past when one of my ovens sparked and burned out, and I have to say they really know how to keep you calm in such a scary situation.
Thank you again to the RAF Lakenheath Fire Department for letting me barrow your trucks and equipment for a little photo shoot. Thank you to Island Batik for the amazing beautiful fabric, thank you to Hobbs batting for the perfect cotton batting and lastly thank you to Deb Tuckers Studio 180 for the corner beam tool. This quilt was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed exploring a traditional block and traditional quilt design. I hope you all love it as well.
Now, serious question for you all, what should I title this quilt as? I wanted to call it something with a star in the name, but then again maybe not. Anyone have any great name ideas? Leave them in the comments below. Also, don't forget to do the blog hop and join in on the giveaway! Good luck.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back soon so you can hear about how I ended up with another Juki sewing machine!
Stay safe, stay healthy and be kind.