Monday, April 16, 2018

Giant Rose Star Quilt

The Kite Shape:
Working with 60 Degree Shapes

The kite shape was never on my bucket list of "Have-to-make that!", but likely because I didn't know its capabilities. I hadn't had much experience with it, and needed to know how it related to other shapes in the 60 degree family. 

Did you know the kite shape is a combination of a hexagon and a small triangle married together at one of the six sides? Many of our first shape experiences are as children, and most of us did not encounter it. It's rarely included in shape sets or math books, and we have limited exposure.

Why Didn't It Fit?

My original project started when I made this block using Marti Michell templates that did not fit the dimensions of the hexagon project I was working on. That was a problem I needed to solve. How do the measurements of a kite shape fit in with other 60 degree shapes?

I spent some time creating paper templates from Marti Michell templates, and physically manipulated sets G & H to see how they were related. It was then that I realized I needed some far more basic work than this, and didn't want to be hemmed in by the limits of these small template sizes. I started looking for a block I could make with just one size of the kite shape.

EQ7 Rose Star Block 

When I came across the Rose Star blocks created by many template and pattern makers, I was intrigued. Many involved using several shapes, but I wanted to only use one for this learning project. Searching EQ7 Block Base gave a slightly different version of a Rose Star altogether as a hexagon created with 6 kite shapes. In the end, I moved lines around in EQ7, and came up with my own pattern using only one kite shape.

There were so many design possibilities by changing the colors around.

Go Big!

Using my 8.5" Creative Grids Kite template I knew machine piecing would be a snap, and I pulled some cheery fabric from my stash. The birds and flowers are Alexander Henry from 2011, and some other non-directional prints I thought would be easier to use on my first try. The center was fussy cut as I thought it would need a little zing. As I continued to cut and place more shapes, I realized the center needed more color than zing, and replaced part of the aqua with orchid. 

I admit this was not an intuitive quilt to lay up on the design wall. I continually referred to my print out to find my place.

Cutting big shapes goes fast!

All went well until it came to adding the flower print as the outside round. I thought the color was too light with a pastel center, and trekked to the store to find something darker.

I found a wonderful stripe! (I love stripes!) Texting back and forth to quilting friend, Tish, she was kind, but firm. She hated it. Stay with the white print!

I still wasn't sold, but I finished it out, and sewed it together.

Then I found this violet and blue print hiding in my stash, and thought, "Yes!" And there was just enough, too! Don't you love when that happens?

I liked the dark frame much better. Can I say it made it feel as though the wheel wouldn't roll away?

A top and bottom border brought it up to size at 56" x 66". I was so excited to get this underway that I put my other projects on hold. I marked the top, scouted for two kinds of batting, and decided it was going to be an experimental project with long arm quilting as well. I'll catch you up on all that the next time with so much to show. See you soon!

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~

Sew Can She
Show & Tell Monday
Cooking Up Quilts
Moving It Forward
Monday Making 
Design Wall Monday
Freemotion By the River
To-Do Tuesday


  1. I like it! I am glad you stuck with it, because it turned out really great - and the purple is perfect for it!

  2. Wow, so big! It's difficult to determine the size on the computer screen. Even when you said you used an 8.5" template, it didn't dawn on me to true size. Such a good Story Problem you solved. Wonderful!

  3. Love the bigness. I am not sure I could have figured that all out. I can figure out a LeMoyne Star large, but those hexagon/triangle shapes- Yikes! The whole design and process are impressive.

  4. When you said big you meant it. I love all the movement in the top. The colors are spot on especially the outside (border?). Congratulations on all the hard work you did to get it this far. Looking forward to seeing the quilting.

  5. Woohoo! It's great and uses only one patch. Nice going, Julie.

  6. You never cease to amaze me! Your curiosity takes you on wonderful quilting journeys. One just never knows what you’ll brainstorm next!

  7. I wondered why I have a kite ruler...and now I know! Thanks for all of the hard work, I love the design variations, especially th one that looks like tails whipping around the center.

  8. I'm always fascinated about my first thoughts seeing your initial picture in the posts, and then reading where the process took you. Here, my first thought was, "Those colors! I just love how she makes each part pop without making things seem too bright." And then I go on to read the post that is more about the shapes! Your posts take me in and make me think, every time!

    I do love those stripes, but as I was reading I wasn't sure how my eyes liked either of them. I loved the fabrics though (and that stripe really is a spectacular print!). When I scrolled far enough to see the purple my head was yelling, "YES!!!" It is perfect! I know I always say this, but I so appreciate you sharing your process!

  9. Thank you for linking this week to Show and Tell Monday / Bambi


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Pink Doxie Mama