Thursday, March 23, 2023

Star Upon Stars

Star Upon Stars
Pattern by Edyta Sitar inspired by an 1846 antique quilt from the Grand Rapids Public Museum. 
Re-created with permission.

I am tentatively saying this 12" block is the first of many, but I'm honestly not sure yet. I've never done such a labor intensive block. It took days, and isn't together yet. I had decided a few months ago to do a challenging project this year, and first bought the pattern Common Bride by Edyta Sitar. While I gathered my ideas for that quilt, I came back again and again to look at Star Upon Stars. I wasn't sure I could actually make it, though, as I had practiced those pesky stars for months, and still wasn't great at it. 

I had watched her video (link below) over and over on how to make a star. I did all the steps, and somehow still I wasn't consistently successful. I felt like Thomas Edison touting how he knew all the ways not to make electricity. Then I broke the process down to the accuracy of cutting, rulers vs. templates, seam allowances on different machines, pressing or not or waiting until the end as she suggests, and on and on. And then one day, by gosh, I made a star, and I was hooked. 

Second Colorway of a 12" Block
Star Points Flipped Around

The lovely thing about working with star points is the option of turning them one way or the other. I've gone back and forth thinking I like one or the other better, but really I'm good with either. I do think the block itself looks better with the pink points to the outside edge as above. It spreads color throughout the block, and cheers up the darker stars in the corners and edges. 

I think there is a lot of experience to gain in making this quilt, but it will probably take me all year. This trial block has had more ripping than anything I've ever done, and I would hope the next ones go much faster. I was shocked at the difference in time between learning to do the corner stars and then the half stars. By the end, I was chain stitching, and zipping through them.

The pattern is in the book above and also available at her website Laundry Basket Quilts.

The quilt along information and tutorial are below, and I encourage you to watch the star construction if not both. Perhaps it will be encouraging enough to tempt you to join, too. This week's quilt along video focuses on the corner and half stars only. Two more videos are scheduled to follow, and I'm looking forward to them.

Do you have a favorite of my stars above? I'd love a little help in deciding, and in turn I'll tell you some hints I've learned along my star making adventure the next time I'm here. Please leave me your ideas in the comments. 

Edyta is one of the sweetest quilting voices out there, and I'm so grateful she's doing this. She's a very talented quilter, and also gifted with inspiring us we can do the hard quilts as well as the easy ones. 

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

Delightfully linking up with Sarah at~

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Quilt, Hutch, Dogs

Barron's Debut

Before you wonder aloud, the Doxie girls are still with us, and doing as well as14 years old dachshunds can do.  Their days are full keeping one step ahead of this incredibly sweet, but rambunctious Japanese Chin named Barron. He turns a year old in a few weeks. He came to live with us last May, and we haven't had a dull day since.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Ocean Waves Blocks Ready

9  Kind of Blocks

Sewing has saved me this week. I find it calming, and when life gets to be a lot--and it has lately, I dodge into my sewing room at home for some therapy. To explain, I mainly longarm quilt in my studio, but I also come home to sew after work. If I have a quilt with an edge-to-edge going on the longarm, I can sew at work too, but often I'm engaged with other client work. At home I can do my own thing. It's more conducive to be creative when I'm not listening for an empty bobbin. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Ocean Waves In Progress

Ocean Waves

Getting back to sewing was good, but I still wasn't in the creative mood just yet. There's still a lot on my plate. Grabbing a kit I had sitting on my shelf for some years meant I could sew, but didn't have to think much. Pure therapy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Simply Sparkly Quilt Top

Simply Sparkly

This is a free quilt pattern available at Robert Kauffman Fabrics designed by Kay Koeper Sorenson. It has the vibe of a Gees Bend style housetop quilt, or that same style you see in many Nancy Crow quilts. 

Nancy Crow lives in Baltimore, Ohio, while Lunn Studios is just south of her. Some of her earlier pieces were made with their hand-dyed and surface manipulated fabrics. The fabric featured in the pattern is Pointillist Palette by Lunn Studios, coincidentally, and shows an ombré effect. One of my year's goals is to use fabric that's been aging in my studio, and free up space. This was an ombré yardage bundle I purchased from Craftsy years ago when they had the Boundless line.

Friday, March 3, 2023

The Sabbatical Is Over

Sanibel Bridge in the fog

A Long Time Away

Our roles in life change fairly often--perhaps more as women, but more so as care givers. While our families are young, we look forward to the day when each child becomes independent. Ours all did, thankfully, and afterward there were several carefree years. I had time to grow my garden, sew for myself, and quilt for others. I look back at that now as a blissful, golden period. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Summer Quilt Catch Up

Simple Summer Quilt

Life has been anything but simple for nearly 2 years now. I know I'm in good company across the planet when I crawl out of bed after midnight because I can't sleep--again. My neck and shoulders are sore from canning apples and making applesauce all day. My head is full of swirling thoughts like, How the heck are we going to get through this mess? (Certainly not by depending on the government!) 

My last post was early August when I was still working on the quilting of this summer quilt. I needed an uncomplicated project to stitch on, and I loved having something in the frame to pick up for even a few minutes at a time. But August turned into a difficult month healthwise here, and funneled us right into September and a local outbreak of Covid. We were included as well as many friends and family, but thankfully all came through without serious complications. I was out of the studio more than a month, though, and feel like I'm still catching up on sleep.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

7 Year Blogiversary & 700th Post

A Quiet Celebration

If this past year has taught me something, it's that we should celebrate milestones, and keep with traditions in our lives. So you and I will celebrate this together. (Cue the horns!) Seven years is nothing to sneeze at. It's ancient in the world of blogging! I know I'm here, though, because of you all, and because I'm still fully in love with life! And the things that make me most happy are quilting, surely you knew that, my garden, and sharing my enthusiasm for both. Helping people learn is important, too, but encouraging people to just try something is the big one. 

I hope we all continue to be friends. You are important to me, and the many back channeled conversations that go on among us makes my--and I hope your life rich. Thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful journey!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Bees & the New Summer Quilt

A Simple Summer Quilt

This has been a good summer. Those of you who know me well will think I'm nuts for saying so, but after last summer, well, it is good. To top that, this has been a doozey of a week, and without explaining the gory details everything panned out well. The involved party is recovering, and it's almost nice to have a slow down for a few days. For one, it's given me time to sit, to stitch, and to write. I really want to tell you about this new quilt for summer--for just me.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Easy No-Knead Bread Recipe

Easy No-Knead Bread Recipe

I am a gluten free gal with a gluten loving husband, who needs a homemade loaf of bread once in a while. Carefully stirring the ingredients vs. kneading and tossing flour helps keep my kitchen as gluten free as possible, and still delivers the goods. And remember, there are hundreds of simple bread recipes out there if this isn't just what you're looking for, but it's a good place to start. Experiment!