Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Simple Border Variation for Lone Star Quilt 7

The logic of nationalism always flows downhill, toward the gutter.
~ Adam Gopnik

Of course I had to use the last few toile diamonds - rabbits paired with squirrels this time.

An old-fashioned quilt of cotton prints in light and dark blue, red, pale yellow, and white sits on a reproduction print of small fuchsia flowers on mustard. The border is a large-scale Jacobean floral on white and the binding is pink stripe homespun.
Lone Star 7 baby quilt

The row where the diamonds split into points is the lightest round in this quilt. It's not usually my favorite locations for lights but the background is dark. I used the rest of this Australian print, combining it with a funky greyed chartreuse floral. when it ran out. The subtle variation works well... at least IMO.  

The centers went together easily but there were a few possibilities for the outer points. The lighter diamonds on the left or dark ones on the right. 

Two collaged photos show the effect of different fabrics in the outer rows of the stars.
Looking at different diamonds in the star points

When the large diamonds were sewed it was time to choose a background. My favorite is the large scale floral on white but there was not nearly enough. I tried combinations of grey-blue and mustard, alone and together to see what worked. Close up the mustard seemed too dark but fortunately we have digital photos. It's a winner.

Dusting off my math skills, I calculated the size of the corner squares and subtracted the width of the outer border to determine a cut for the inner border. 13 - 4 = 9 + 0.5 so 9.5" square and 4.5"x13.5" rectangles. You'll notice I deliberately chose to extend the border beyond the start point - to make it larger and to avoid having to match those points with the binding. Ugh.

Next I multiplied the total width of that corner square by 1.41 {square root of 2} to get the hypotenuse of the background triangle. (13 x 1.41= 18.33) After double checking that each leg of that triangle congruent to the width of the square, I halved the hypotenuse to find the height of that triangle. (18.33 / 2 = 9.165 or about 9.125") 

Subtract the width of the outer border here to get the height of the inner triangle. Add seam allowances and cut. 9.125 + 1.25 = 10.375" square cut QST.  Then outer borders 19.625" by 4.5". Edit: Math calculations added. Use your own diamond side lengths for your work. 

It's just math; the real magic is how well these two fabrics worked together.

Three collaged photos show arrangements of a cadet blue printed with wildlife, the fuchsia flowers printed on mustard, and the Jacobean floral in different places on the background..
Auditioning background fabrics

Same old, same old quilting design. It works well across all the fabrics and repetition increases my muscle memory and skill {hopefully}.

Orange peel quilting in the center before spiraling out.
Orange peel quilting in the center before spiraling out

The binding gave me a few problems. I was sure red was the answer. Wrong-o. No dark green in the right tones could be found even after pawing through the stash. No blues worked either. Finally this little pinky-purple stripe called me. Kaja sent it to me last year. It seemed like a waste to use it on the binding but it's perfection. Thanks, Kaja!

A closeup of the quilt highlights the spiral quilting and the pink stripe binding.
Quilting and binding detail, Lone Star quilt 7

After a quick wash and dry the batting shrunk up more than usual. Or perhaps the striped binding makes it appear scrunchier. I wish I'd washed it before adding the binding.

The folded quilt shows the front, back and binding. The back of the quilt is the same fuchsia flowers on mustard that is the background of the Lone Star on the front.

There was enough of the mustard print for the whole back, something that rarely happens around here. And there's enough for the back of another baby quilt. Oh, good. These fabrics are moving along! Don't misunderstand. They are all lovely but I've been saving them for the perfect quilt - that  mirage in the distance we always look at longingly.

Amounts like this {3-4 yards} continually wait for the spot that needs that exact yardage because "we can't waste any." ROTFLOL! But leaving it to molder in the stash is another waste.  My new story is to use them up now. There will be more lovelies tomorrow.

The Superior thread was a gift from a fellow conference attendee and it is the best thread I've used in a long time. I know it's available online but I need to see if there's a local source... and if it comes on large spools.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 37" x 37"
Designs: Lone Star
Batting: Pellon 100% cotton
Thread: Superior MasterPiece 50 wt golden brown cotton
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot

Approximate Yardage: 3.75 yd

Me Made Update

With the kinks worked out, a second shirtwaist dress made up fairly quickly. Now that the neck is tighter in back, the sleeves don't bind when I move. I've needed summer dresses for a while but couldn't find anything appropriate in the stores - washable, modest, lightweight. Houston summers are meltingly hot and humid.

This time I pleated the skirt instead of gathering it and deepened the pockets. I'm pleased with the matching of the plaids on the front placket and sides but somehow forgot to match the sleeves.

Large brown and blue plaid cotton dress.
Brown and blue plaid shirtwaist dress

The plaid has been in my stash for donkeys years. It's a thin tight weave that should wash and wear well. Done is great but well done is the best. 

Clothing Specifics
Style: Shirtwaist
Pattern: Out of print McCall's 
Fabric: Lightweight woven cotton plaid
Yardage: 4 yds 45" wide
Thread: Superior MasterPiece 50 wt brown cotton

Enjoy the day, Ann


Julierose said...

Love that cheddar background--totally unexpected..and the binding looks great...hugs, Julierose

Scrapatches said...

Beautiful Lone Star! I like your fabrics and setting. Scrunchy quilts are the best ... <3 Pat

patty a. said...

Another wonderful lone star quilt. The way you used the two fabrics for the background was neat! Nice job on the dress. The sleeves don't stand out that they don't exactly match.

Angie in SoCal said...

LOL That math paragraph will surely have some of us perplexed. Good thing I still remember some of my algebra and geometry facts. Mainly I just lay them on the fabric and outline the space I need, add the seam allowance and cut the piece. Doesn't work if one doesn't have a lot of fabric. Love your baby quilt. I love how you did the background! Fabulous colors, too. Nice dress, also.

Ann said...

Thanks, Julierose. The cheddar reminds me of my childhood bedroom wallpaper. I'm constantly surprised when a quiet binding works better than a pop of accent.

Ann said...

Thank, Pat. I agree with you. Scrunchy quilts just feel comfy.

Janie said...

Great background and border variation in your Lone Star #7!
And your shirt waist dress is fabulous. Sewing is satisfying in lots of different ways isn't it?
I agree that letting fabric just sit is wasteful, old fabric smells bad and looks bad.

KaHolly said...

A remarkable finish. It’s always so motivational and empowering when you walk us through your process. Didn’t your shirt dress come out great!?! I haven’t sewn clothes in a dog's age. I used to love simple shirt dresses for summertime comfort.

Ann said...

I love finding combinations from my stash that I never realized existed. And I'm hoping to get ahead of the baby curve for a while. Like you, I find it easier to repeat a design for a while when making these. This dress fits so well I don't care about the sleeves.

Ann said...

I went back and added some numbers although it might still be mush to some people. It's usually easier for me to do the math and in this case, I wanted the outer border to line up across the points. Also, I'm perennially short of yardage of any one fabric. Thanks for writing, Angie.

Ann said...

Thanks, Janie. It surprised me that these went together. Purchased almost a decade apart. I've been hesitant to sew clothing again but this dress may have changed my mind. There is way to much fabric in my sewing room.

Ann said...

How kind of you to write, Karen. I haven't sewn clothing for years either but decided to make some dresses this summer when it was so hot. Of course, summer's over before I got around to it but it's still hot.

Preeti said...

A lovely finish. I have yet to make diamond-pieced star. One day when I am ready (or chasing a squirrel) I will refer to your blog for inspiration, especially the part where the star shine sin to the border.
Wish you were modelling the dress :-p

audrey said...

Ooh, I like this one! The busy, lighter print border is a wonderful change-up and great use of that fabric. You are really getting these figured out and how fun to see the many different versions. That's one of the fascinating things about this craft, how simple changes can make such a huge difference in look, feel and vibe. Great series work here. Love your shirtwaist dress too. Plaids are wonderful.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

A lovely 'lone star' quilt! You lost me on the maths, but, I agree, the background & border work so well together. Having enough of any one fabric is my main problem when it comes to backgrounds & borders, as a scrappy quilter (and high $$$ for fabric here in NZ) I only buy small amounts mostly.

Ann said...

They are fun to make although I have trouble finding enough yardage for the background. Ha. And I prefer the dress on a hangar. :-)

Ann said...

I like it so much, too. Very old-fashioned but the borders are delightful. Lone Stars don't seem to have as many variations as Coins but it's a treat to make many with one small change each time. I need to try this with baskets.

Ann said...

I almost didn't add the math because it confuses some people. There are several good books that go through it in more details. It didn't matter much until I added that outer border and had it intersect the star points. Fabric is getting more expensive here although not as expensive as other countries. But, like you, I prefer to have smaller amounts and more choices.

Kaja said...

You have a really interesting combination of fabrics in this one. I'm enjoying poring over these stars and appreciate the photos of the different combinations you tried. As with the Coins, I think repetition reveals more about the way things work - this one feels quite sophisticated in your use of colour and print. If you had bought the dress, you probably wouldn't have thought at all about the sleeves and no one else will notice.

Ann said...

The fabrics for these lone stars have been fun but I keep wondering how the design could look different. It seems much more static than Coins. I think fabric placement in Coins can change the design and even hide the structure while Lone Stars are always that star. Still, it's makes a pretty baby quilt. Changing the background on this one made a difference. I need to study this some more. Thanks.

Mary Marcotte said...

This post took a while in loading, so I read through then looked at pictures going backwards. Suddenly the whole quilt appeared and WOW! It is truly stunning. I love your boldness in choosing background fabrics. They really make the stars sing.

Ann said...

What fun to see a big reveal. I like the background on this quilt but wonder if it's a baby's. Too bad it's not large enough for a throw. It's fun to work through small changes with each star.

Mel Beach said...

Having the star float out into the border is a great design decision and I appreciated you sharing your math. And you sure are on a roll with your Me Made attire!!

Ann said...

I'm glad the math helped someone. The border looks better than the plain backgrounds but wasn't much harder since the points float. Hooray for not having to worry about that part.