Monday, September 21, 2015

Galaxy of Stars

You know what's really hot in quilting these day?  (Ha ha ha!  Of course you don't know what's hot in quilting these days!  You're my loyal family and friends that check this blog to see what's up with us and our boy, and very sweetly humor my obsession with fabric and fiber arts.)

But the answer is: mini quilts.  When you don't quite have the energy to tackle that next big project, or don't feel like digging out and finishing up some old work in progress, it's sometimes easier and more gratifying to just make yourself a mini that makes you happy.  Actually, people join mini quilt swaps all over social media these days, but I haven't joined that bandwagon yet.  Making mini quilts is also a great way for me to try out new techniques or patterns without committing to a huge project.

I came across this pattern in a quilting magazine some time ago and really loved it.  Maybe one day I'll make a full sized quilt out of it, but just one large block, with 6 stars of varying sizes, can be used to make a pillow, or a mini quilt like mine.

Of course I read the directions before getting started, but my mind just did not grasp how tiny some of the subunits would be.  The star point sections finish at 1.5 inches!  I added a small plain border so all the stars would be floating in the background, making the bright colors really pop against the dark blue.  The whole project finishes around 21 inches.

I originally wanted to play around with organic, wavy line quilting, which made me think of shooting stars and comet trails.  But I kept being drawn to the center dark blue square of the star-within-the-star, thinking it was a great focal point for quilting to radiate from, like a starburst.  Once I did a few lines, I realized it was looking more like a spider web, so I ripped out all the stitching and went back to my original plan.  I love it a million times more, and it wound up being so easy, just going back and forth without having to stop and start with every line.

I think it's the dense quilting that has made this just about the hardest quilt to photograph.  Or maybe it's the sharp contrast of colors?  Almost every photo is somewhat out of focus, and I took lots of photos.  Blurry or not, it's such a happy little quilt.  It can even be rotated for a different look.

The back is just a bunch of scraps pieced together until it was big enough to fit.  I also included scraps of each color into the binding, which were strategically placed in an area of the quilt that seemed relatively devoid of color.

So as not to bore you all completely with quilty stuff, here's a picture of JT with the mini.  I love that he's wearing that shirt while holding a square quilt!  I'm not sure what will become of this little beauty, but Simon seems to enjoy using it as a window seat pad.

Since we're on the topic of quilts and such, I will openly admit that yes, when I recently had a day off but Joseph was in school all day, I drove more than 2.5 hours each way, by myself, all the way to Lancaster, PA, and back, just because they were having an awesome fabric sale at Zook's.  I wasn't joking when I said I was obsessed with fabric!

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