Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Who Knew?

And... just as I was ready to design some feathers for SIL's grandmother quilt, DH came home. Inspired by Preeti’s posts at SewPreetiQuilts, I relate the following:

DH: Two guys just returned from paternity leave.
Me: Wow. Everyone in your office seems to be having children.
DH: Yeah. {Pause.} Do you have any more baby quilts?
Me: No.
DH: Could you make some?

And so I made another Lone Star from fabrics that were already out of the stash. {At least I don't have to fold and return them to their box.}

Blue, red, and yellow Lone Star quilt on yellow striped background
Lone Star quilt 4

Playing with the center was a fun afternoon. Here are some of the possibilities. I started with blue and green in the center but finally realized it looks much better with a simple navy star.

Photos show blue and green diamonds surrounded by yellow and blue diamonds to form the center of a Lone Star quilt
Possible center variations for a Lone Star quilt

Spiral quilting is quick and easy. Good choice for a quilt that should have been given several months ago. Remembering how difficult the center was to encircle {in-spiral?} I used an orange peel on the first half of that star and drew a circle around them. That was the only thing I marked.

Then I took the "off ramp" and started spiraling around.

An orange peel design surrounded by spiral quilting on a Lone Star quilt
Detail of quilting at center of Lone Star

I chose a width for the stitching and simply maintained it by eyeballing. The other trick is to not stretch the quilt as the foot goes around. I hold my hands so the section I'm working on is squared up. Hand position needs to change frequently to maintain that squaring of the fabric.

The presser foot of a domestic sewing machine used as a guide for spiral quilting
Spiral quilting the Lone Star

Variegated yellow thread that ranged from pale yellow to orange worked beautifully on the yellow background and looked good on the back, too. I'm finding a mid-range light works well across lots of fabric. Variegation helps when it crosses such different colors. {This is a written reminder to myself. I fret about thread color way more than it matters.}

Spiral quilting on the front and back of a quilt
Detail of spiral quilting

I've quilted most of my life and sewed even longer but my constant complaint over the last forty years is that I have too much fabric. How do I know? It happens when I can't remember exactly where each piece was purchased. {I know I'm weird.} I just can't work with so many choices plus there have always been quilt shops nearby.

Rooting through the stash invigorates me when there's only one or two boxes but it quickly overwhelms me when the stash grows. {Yes, I know I'm weird.} With stacks against the design wall, it seemed like a good time to reduce the bins.

These stacks of fabric wait to be put on the design wall or be returned to their boxes

I disposed of two. That leaves four {and that is still two too many.} {Yes, yes, I know I'm weird.} This fabric won't all fit in the remaining space so... it either gets made up, replaces something already in the bin, or will be given away. Since these are my current working fabrics, they must be some of my favorites. I'd better get busy.

Why mention it now? Glad you asked. Several quilters {like Nann at With Strings Attached} track their fabric by weight or yardage. I've decided to join that movement by adding the approximate yardage used to make each quilt. This will certainly be a rough estimate because we all know there will be scraps left over but it will hopefully raise my awareness of my fabric use rate. Hmmm, that's FUR. Perhaps I could calculate a monthly and annual FUR.

Quilt Details
Size: 40" x 40"
Design: Lone Star
Batting: Pellon 100% cotton
Thread: Gutermann 50 wt cotton, variegated yellow
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate Yardage: 3.75 yd

Enjoy the day, Ann


Pamela Arbour said...

I really like how that lone start turned out. I think you made the right choice with the dark blue and loved the quilting in the center. The background really made it pop. Good choice. Just remember the title of your blog! LOL I have also been thinking about logging my fabric usage for next year. I can pretty much estimate backing by the size of the quilts I finishsed this year and a lot of mine were made with string and crumb stash which I could estimate from the finished qult as well.

gayle said...

Your lone star is gorgeous! What a bright happy baby quilt!
Having just finished a quilted spiral myself, I know how much effort it takes - but oh, what a look it gives!

Alison V. said...

The quilt turned out so cute and I absolutely love what you did with the quilting! I really like the red paisley print you used in the stars too! I empathize with being overwhelmed by your stash -- I have felt that way a lot lately about my scrap bins that never seem to empty.

Marie said...

Oh my goodness, you are prolific. Another wonderful quilt for someone's bundle of joy.

patty a. said...

What a cute baby quilt! I agree with your choice for the navy star center and love the orange peel center quilting changing to the spiral. Brilliant!

In 2014 I decided to keep track of the amount of fabric I buy and how much I used. Why? Only because other quilters were doing it and I thought I was a good way to make myself aware of accumulation vs. usage. I have been trying to buy less fabric over the last couple of years, but my fabric storage room doesn't seem to be getting any emptier. Yikes!

Cathy said...

This says WOW on so many levels. How lucky are those babies who receive an Ann original!

I haven't bought much fabric since retirement a couple of years ago but I do track fabric out and have a calculation I use to figure it since so many of my quilts aren't made from patterns and are made from scraps.

Ann said...

Thanks, Pamela. When the right combination comes up, we just know. It’s such a positive reaction, isn’t it? Lone Stars make an excellent combination of scraps and yardage. I don’t have lots of the latter but it seems to move a bunch of it out when I find a piece that works for the sides.
Estimating strings and crumbs from the backing sounds like a good method. I hope that figuring an approximate useage rate will help me determine how much to purchase... when I get some of this spun down.

Ann said...

The yellow background adds such happiness to this quilt. All my spirals have been on baby quilts so far and that makes them much easier although it takes a lot a care to keep from stretching the bias. I did that once and had huge waves

Ann said...

Thanks, Alison. I liked the red paisley, too, and am so glad to finally use it. Much better than leaving it in the stash. I’m trying not to look as my scrap bin. I did empty it a couple of years ago but it’s overflowing again. However, I’ve decided to use the stash for a while.

LA Paylor said...

wow! Well baby quilts are a way for you to use some of that pesky fabric (I let it multiply and buy another drawer) Lucky your husbands workmates to get one of your creations. I like the way you take us through the process, show choices, and describe them. Leeanna

Ann said...

Thanks, Marie. I was delighted how quickly this one came together.

Ann said...

Thanks, Patty The star and the quilting please me, too. It’s a good feeling when it all goes together.
Accumulation vs storage is the reason I’d like to track what I’m using. I also like the awareness of approximately how much yardage each quilt takes. I like finding new fabrics and certainly want them to remain available but I don’t like turning the sewing room into a small shop. Some people do but I’d rather have the space.

Ann said...

You have such a collection of fabric. I’m sure you have loads more than I and it’s a good thing to use it. The other choice is the post-funeral garage sale where our heirs or husbands will let it go for nothing. So my plan is to use it all up before then. Ha.
It’s a trick to figure the yardage when using scraps but it’s important, too. Funny how many people think scraps cost nothing.

Ann said...

How kind of you, LeeAnna. I have so much because I bought more boxes. I should have been stricter with myself since it bothers me tremendously. Most other people don’t have this feeling and I know I’m a weird outlier.
I’m so glad you like to see the process and choices. It’s why I like the blogs I read, too. Who needs to just see a finished project with no idea of how they arrived at it?

Robin said...

I'm always afraid I'll regret getting rid of some of my fabric. You are the best to make a baby quilt so willingly and so fast.

Ann said...

That has been a worry of mine for years but now I think I will probably die before it is all used. Going to estate sales I see fabrics the original owner must have liked but they go very cheap. Better that we should use it ourselves.

audrey said...

What a fantastic quilt! LOVE the stripey gold background so much. You're the only person I know who would be able to respond to a last minute call for a quilt with a Lone Star quilt as the answer! Mad piecing skills is all I can say.:) I am still loving your circular quilting for these smaller quilts and the center is perfect for this one. I wanted to try it in hand quilting for my latest quilt in the hoop but finally decided the quilt was just too large. Will keep the idea in mind for a later quilt.:)

Mystic Quilter said...

What a delightfully colourful baby quilt, when baby is old enough she/he will be fascinated by the shapes and colours.
I agree with you that we should try and use our fabrics rather than have them still on shelves or in baskets one day but I think I would scare myself horribly if I kept a fabric inventory, I think your idea of just estimating approximate yardage used as you complete a quilt is a better idea.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Such a wonderful quilt, great colours! A 'lone star' is not an easy quick make, inpsiring!

Quilting Babcia said...

Amazing baby quilt that I'd bet the parents will use as a wall hanging in baby's room. Love that bright cheerful yellow too!

Ann said...

That background makes this quilt IMO. Lone Star is pretty easy with rotary tools plus I rarely have trouble with y-seams and there aren’t too many. Just at the end when you’re so happy to be finishing!
I’ll be interested to see how you hand quilt a spiral. The almost echo quilting helps it show on prints.

Ann said...

You seem to use yours but we all collect them faster than we quilt them up. I’ve had friends that enjoy keeping an inventory but I’m not interested either. Approximate yardage sounds hard enough for me although I like the idea of finding out how quickly I use it.

Ann said...

This one was not too difficult. I was surprised to find enough yardage for the background in my stash and it’s inspired me to look for more.

Ann said...

Thanks. They’ve already sent a photo of the baby on the quilt and I’m delighted they are using it. That seems like the way to get the next generation interested in quilts.

Mel Beach said...

Oh dear...I hope I didn't jinx you with one of my recent comments wondering if this would become a new series for you?!? Although this one is just lovely and I love the spiral quilting!!

Ann said...

I’ve started liking series work; it gives me time to work through iterations. They may be small changes but they interest me.

Kaja said...

What a lovely quilt and I like that you are sticking with the lone star for a while; I hope it will be as productive for you as the Chinese Coins. I have bought much, much less fabric than I use for several years, but I still don't seem to have reduced my piles much.

Janie said...

Lone Star #4 is a beauty! And what a wonderful baby gift, I'm sure it will be appreciated. You're getting known for your quilts aren't you?
That's a good thing.

Ann said...

I'm finding several variations of this quilt in my mind so I may make a few. Since they go together fairly quickly I could get a leg up on my DH. How we do run through the baby quilts.
My piles haven't declined either. That's why I tossed two bins out. Now I'll have to reduce the stash by sewing or donating. It truly bothers me to have so much here. I'd rather pick a few at the shops regularly. But that's a task for next year.

Ann said...

Thanks, Janie. I think the parents like it and know they are already using it with the baby. That's what I prefer.

Preeti said...

Hey Ann, relating the conversations are the easy part (except for the naughty bits), but replicating your piecing skills in this gorgeous star block - now that is a challenge :-) Have a great weekend!!!

Ann said...

I always enjoy the conversations your relay and your style, Preeti. These large stars aren’t that difficult. The hardest part for me is finding enough yardage for the background. And then finding interesting yardage.

Mary Marcotte said...

That orange peel decision was a good move! It really centers the spiral and gives it something to balance it (the spiral). I love that you used a lone star pattern and regular fabrics. The baby will be able to use it as a lap quilt when he/she out grows the crib. I like this lone star pattern with the larger parallelograms rather than all those small diamonds.

Cindy said...

I LOVE THIS QUILT! Don't know if it's the red paisley or the yellow! Such a great combination of fabrics!!! I am interested in this particular pattern as it is different than other Lone Stars. I like the big chunks. Store bought or your creation?

Ann said...

Thanks, Mary. I like the way the quilting works with the center star. Those larger parallelograms make it much easier and quicker to sew up.

Ann said...

Thanks, Cindy. I will miss the paisley but this is the end of it. The Star is my own creation but Jan Krentz's book had some like it - with the big chunks.