Not long ago, I got an idea for a quilt that I am hoping to make in time for a small craft exhibit in February. I envision multiple stars, from simple to complex, with both repetition and variation of the elements that make up the stars. Clear as mud, I’m sure, but in my head it’s (mostly) clear. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that I do not have the skills I need to make what is in my mind. I’ve also generally been a bit intimidated by star quilts because of the accuracy that they need. Accuracy is definitely not my middle name.
My current work in progress is an attempt to build some of the skills that I will need for the quilt I want to make later. I saw the book Diamond Star Quilts when it came out, and when I heard the author describing the progression of quilts in the book as skill building, I thought it might just help get me where I want to be for my future star quilt. This quilt is based on the first sampler in that book. It’s also an attempt to use up some older fabrics that no longer really fit the kinds of quilts I now make, or which have just turned out to be hard to use.
Here’s where I am now with the quilt — the top is done, and it’s sandwiched and ready for quilting. A number of the fabrics in this quilt have been in my stash a long, long time. Two of the fabrics I remember buying when I was making a quilt for my mother-in-law, and that’s definitely more than 20 years ago! I used the grey background fabric both because I thought had enough of it (a critical factor!) and because it
doesn’t play well with other greys in my stash. It has a bit of a green undertone and never seems to work with other fabrics I want to use. I also threw in a fabric or two that I still can envision myself using .
My original plan was to make the three smaller stars using the grey fabric as background, then to evaluate whether I had enough grey for the large star and the other background pieces in the pattern. The sampler is designed to build skills, however, and as I was making it I forgot about whether I had enough background fabric and decided to make the large star 3rd (as in the pattern), to make sure I learned what I needed in the right order. Realizing after making all the star points for the large star and cutting the background pieces for that that I almost certain did not have enough grey for the rest of the background pieces in the quilt led to something of a redesign. The resulting quilt feels a bit more like me. I also have the star points and background cut to do another half star sometime…perhaps another quilt or a quilt back.
One thing that I am really quite happy about with this quilt is that my piecing has become more accurate. Feathered stars may still be a bit out of reach, but I have definitely improved on my scant 1/4″ seams and matching of points. And although the color scheme isn’t really one that excites me at the moment, I am excited to try out different ways of quilting the stars.