Posts tagged #star quilt


Luminary quilt by Jamie Swanson for Alison Glass with Island Batik Blue Moon fabric

A few weeks ago, the Gallatin Quilt Guild had their annual retreat. Each year, we have a retreat quilt that participants can choose to make. This year’s quilt is Luminary by Jamie Swanson for Alison Glass. I decided to make mine with a layer cake of Blue Moon by Island Batik.

The quilt uses an organized improv technique. The first step was to cut all of my fabric into various width strips. It was really fun to get a good look at all of the fabrics as I cut them into strips. That one layer cake turned into quite the pile of fabric!

From there, I randomly sewed the fabrics into strip sets. I ended up with 49 strip sets. I’m not sure how many diamonds that will make, but I’m thinking I’ll end up with something bigger than the original pattern.

Once everything was sewn into strips, I started subcutting them. These smaller pieces will get shuffled and sewn back together to make the diamonds in the quilt. I only got about 1/4 of the way through this step at retreat, but I had a blast. I’m excited to keep working on this quilt.

My friend Jennae is the one that chose this year’s quilt. She actually finished hers at retreat! Isn’t it amazing? I really love the way it turned out. I never would have thought to use the blue background, but it really makes the quilt sing. Looking back at this picture makes me want to get a move on with my own quilt!

Bobbi's Signature.png


Today's quilt is really special because I made it for one of my very dearest friends. I met Joy in college, and she is one of the kindest, most genuine, and most loyal people I know. My life is so much richer for having her in it.

All of the fabrics were chosen with Joy in mind. I actually got the backing fabric within months of starting to quilt, because I knew the sheet music and ballet slippers were perfect for her. After I had several quilts under my belt, I was ready to start planning. I asked Joy for her favorite color combination, and she said blue, purple, yellow, and grey. They aren't colors I had previously considered together, but I just love the result.

I started the quilt at my guild retreat a couple of years ago. Every year, several of us start the same pattern at retreat, each with our own fabrics. It was my turn to choose, so I went with this quilt - Serendipity by Missiouri Star Quilt Company.

I chose this pattern because shooting stars have always been special for Joy. Anytime she's out at night, she searches the sky. At first glance, it's a beautiful night sky, but when she looks closely, she often sees a shooting star. The same is true of this quilt - at first glance, it's a pretty lattice, but when you look closer, you notice the stars at each of the intersections.

It so happens that I finished this quite some time ago and never wrote the blog post. It's amazing how time flies! The label says it was finished in September 2016, though I could have sworn it wasn't nearly so long ago as that. Where do the years go?

quilt label

Few things in life are as special as giving a quilt to someone you love. Especially when they like it! I have it on good authority that Joy sleeps with her quilt every night. I wish I could have gone to Texas to give it to her in person, but at least I know she can always wrap up in a hug from me when she needs it.

One of the best parts about this quilt is that the construction method yielded enough bonus units for a second quilt. I kept the bonus quilt, and it makes me happy every time I use it to know that it's the sister of the quilt I made for Joy. You can read all about the second quilt here.

Have you ever made an extra special quilt for an extra special person? I'd love to hear about it!

Bobbi's Signature.png

I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long: North Star

It's hard to believe that it's already time for the penultimate block of I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long! If you're just joining in, you can find all of the information and past blocks on my quilt along page.

This week's block is a lovely North Star designed by Kathleen McCormick of Kathleen McMusing. You can find her blog post with the block pattern right here.

Tri-Recs Tutorial

I chose to make my block using the Tri-Recs rulers by EZ Quilting, and I've written a detailed tutorial in case you would like to do the same. The rulers come in a set, but we will only be using the Recs Tool for this block. I find that these rulers are pretty slippery, so I stuck some clear bumpy bandage tape to the backs of them.

To make the star points with the Recs Tool, you will need a 4 1/2" by 7" strip of each of the star point fabrics, and a 4 1/2" by 14" strip of the background fabric. I find that these come together better if I place the entire 4 1/2" line of the ruler on the fabric when cutting the strip (rather than putting the line right next to the edge of the fabric with the line itself on the cutting mat).

Cutting the Star Points

Since the star points are mirror images of each other, place the 4 1/2" by 7" strips of fabric right sides together before cutting. The fabric for the right star point should be face up, and the fabric for the left star point should be face down. For my block, that meant the green fabric was face up, and the red fabric was face down.

Line up the Recs tool with the left and top edges of the fabric. The 4 1/2" line on the ruler will be slightly above the bottom edge of the fabric. Cut along the right side of the ruler and cut off the notch in the top left corner. Removing the notch is essential for lining up the pieces when we sew.

Rotate the Recs tool so the angled side is lined up with the newly cut left edge of the fabric, and the blunt tip is lined up with the bottom of the strip. Cut along the right edge of the ruler and remove the notch at the bottom right.

Repeat this process to make two more cuts. You now have 4 mirror image sets of star points.

Cutting the Background

Fold your 4 1/2" by 14" strip of background fabric in half right sides together. This will allow you to cut the mirror image pieces necessary to go with the star points.

We will cut the background just as we did the star points. With the top and left edges of the Recs Tool lined up with the fabric, cut along the right edge of the ruler. Cut off the notch at the top left corner so we can line up the pieces when we sew.

Rotate the Recs tool so the angled side is lined up with the newly cut left edge of the fabric, and the blunt tip is lined up with the bottom of the strip. Cut along the right edge of the ruler and remove the notch at the bottom right.

Repeat to cut two more pairs of background triangles. You should now have four sets of mirror image background triangles to go with the star points we cut earlier.

Sewing the Star Points

Match the background triangles with the star point triangles. Since we were careful to cut mirror images, half of the background pieces should work with the left star points, and half of the background pieces should work with the right star points.

Lay the pieces right sides together along the angled edges to sew. The notches in the corners will line up with the bottom edge of the adjoining triangle. Check that the notches are lined up at both ends before sewing.

Sew with a scant 1/4" seam allowance. I find that I need a scanter than usual seam allowance when sewing these. It's a good idea to start with one star point and make sure it comes out right before chain piecing the rest.

Gently open towards the background fabric. Press with a dry iron only, being careful not to distort the unit.

Trim off the dog ears. The star point units should measure at 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" to finish at 2" by 4" in the block. Don't worry about the little notches in the corners. Those will be inside your seam allowance when you sew the pieces together.

You've finished the star point units! Now you can assemble them into the block as described in Kathleen's pattern.

Other Tips and Tricks

Now that the star points are finished, I have several tips to help you with the rest of the block. For the center square-in-a-square unit, I drew the diagonal line on my corner squares. I stitched just to the outside of the line to make sure there was enough fabric to fold over and reach all the way to the edge of the block.

Adding the stripes in the corner blocks was a little bit fiddly, but so worth it. I do recommend taking your time with this part. I pressed the seam open from the front of the block, only going about 1/2" at a time.

Once it was pressed, I flipped the block upside down to trim. I lined up the 45 degree line on my ruler right on the center seam.

I prefer to press my seams to one side whenever I can get away with it. It created a little bit of bulk in this block, but it wasn't too bad.

I started by sewing the pieces into rows. I pressed everything towards the star points. So, for the top and bottom rows, I pressed the pieces to the inside. For the middle row, I pressed the pieces to the outside.

Next I sewed the rows together, being careful to nest the seams between units. I pressed the rows towards the inside. Here's a view of my block from the back so you can see which way all of my seams are going.

This was a fun little block. I always enjoy stars, and this one is really unique. Many thanks to Kathleen for designing it!

The Rest of the Gang

As always, the 10 other quilt along hosts have each made their own versions of the North Star. Check out their posts to see the block in other colorways, and to get some more tips for success.

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting <---- That's me!
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece


This week's prizes are a Binding Baby from Shari Butler of Doohikey Designs and a PDF pattern of your choice from Jennifer Fulton of The Inquiring Quilter.

To be eligible to win, post your completed block before the next block is released. The official deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 4, 2017. Enter by sharing your block in our Facebook group, on Instagram with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal, or by joining the linkup on Kathleen's post.

quilt along prizes

We also have a fabulous grand prize package. Here's a look at the wonderful sponsors we have lined up for that. To be eligible to win the grand prize, post a completed quilt top that includes all 12 blocks by 11:59pm Eastern Time on January 15, 2018. The final block will be released on December 5, so you'll have plenty of time. It doesn't even have to be quilted!