Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stars for Project Quilting!

I jumped in for another round of challenge fun at Project Quilting! The theme posted last Sunday was "Stars Over America" and (as I understood it) required the use of one color and as an option you could also add red, white and/or blue.

Here is the version of little mini quilt wall hanging as I submitted it to the challenge! It's named "Twinkle, Twinkle," after the kid's song. :)

I say "as I submitted" because I still intend to add one more element, but absolutely ran out of time! (I was doing the last bit of machine quilting just 5 minutes before the noon CST deadline today, so I hurriedly took a photo with my phone's camera and uploaded it to Flickr, then ran over to my computer to add it to the Project Quilting group. I'm still not sure if I managed to sneak in under the deadline. I hope so!

After my speed quilting this morning, I'm taking a little breather, but I intend to add on 5 little stuffed stars hanging from the bottom on the same blue yarn I used along the edge of the mini quilt. THEN it will go into my little guy's room. :) I'll be sure to share a final picture of it!

I chose all the fabric from the stack I still had sitting out! All but 1 piece of fabric here was also featured in the Windy Days quilt I have up for vote in the McCalls Quilt Design Star contest! (Are you voting every day still? RIGHT HERE! Thank you!) Can you pick out which is the new addition? :) (Hint -- it's not a blue!)

When I read the theme "Stars Over America" I knew I wanted to do some foundation pieced stars. I wanted to do stars years ago but then got distracted with other projects and never started, so this was my change! I decided to make this even more of a challenge for me and NOT let things be symmetrical and carefully measured. I drew the stars freehand on graph paper and then created foundation patterns based on those sketches. Here is a peek at a few of the star patterns. (I don't draw on the seam allowance, I just remember to leave excess all around the edges of each piece.)

Foundation piecing patterns

Each of the 7 stars is a little different! Here is a peek at all the finished stars before I tore all the paper off.

And here is the front view of all the finished stars! I grouped the 2 smallest stars together in one block and then "crazy-pieced" the stars into rectangles. (Late night photo w/ flash turned my tans bright yellow!)

I was inspired to use yarn along the edge of my project by Love Bug Studio's log cabin entry (she used a fuzzy fiber along the pin edges). My 1st chance to make it out to a shop to find some yarn was last night, about 15 minutes before the store closed! I couldn't find the perfect shade but then I remembered Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts mentioned tea dying one of her fabrics for this challenge, so even though I'd never done it before, I thought I'd give it a try! I left a long length of yarn in hot concentrated tea for about an hour and then dried it with towels and then a hot dry iron since I was in a rush to sew it on! (Another horrible late night, kitchen-lighting-photo of the yarn I bought and the tea-dyed yarn, but the difference is still clear!) Thanks for the inspiration ladies!

Experiments with tea!

The last thing left to do this morning before the noon CST deadline was the machine quilting! I went freeform with this as well, another 1st! My only plan when I sat down at the sewing machine was to echo the stars and use a bluish-grey thread for quilting the blue fabrics and a light tan thread for quilting the stars. I ended up machine quilting lines approximately 1/4" apart, echoing the stars and using mostly parallel-to-the-edge quilting in the thin border. I underestimated how long it would take to quilt (just over an hour) and finished the last bit just 5 minutes before the deadline!

Here's a closeup of the bottom right corner so you can see the echo quilting and the couched fiber a bit better. (Ahhh ... natural light, so much better!)

Twinkle, Twinkle quilting closeup - front

And on the back you can clearly see the different color thread for the stars.


Be sure to head over to Project Quilting and see all the amazing quilts created last week! Vote for your favorite on the left sidebar and then see how to enter into the public contest too!

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