Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Bye Baby Bunting - Another Finished Quilt

Who remembers this old rhyme?
Bye baby bunting.
Daddy's gone a-hunting.
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap his little baby in.

This quilt started with the light blue toile next to the center star. The variety of animal heads wreathed by laurels seemed to be perfect Shadow Star centers. I used a few there but didn't know what to do with the rest. The middle of each diamond trio was fussy cut to highlight rabbits and deer. {And there's enough for one more quilt.}

Two collaged photos show toile prints of rabbits and a deer head on pale blue background. The diamonds are quilted with FMQ orange peels.
Fussy cut rabbit and deer on Lone Star quilt

The grey-blue of the toile called for darker fabrics - almost a reproduction feel - but then came the border.

When I don't know what to use next, my usual method is to toss the fabric {in this case, the sewn diamond sections} on different yardage until something sparks. This was the one that did it for me. It's such a contemporary design and while there aren't any gold colors in the diamonds, it blends well and actually enlivens the somber colors in the star.

Printed fabrics in three shades of blue, dark red, and white prints are cut into diamonds to create the Lone Star and sit on a background of cream cotton printed with lines of navy, mustard, and grey.
Lone Star 6 baby quilt 

The triangular pieces were cut from one QST so they line up well. Of course, there wasn't quite enough so one corner square is pieced. There wasn't enough to match the pattern across all the sections but the offsets seem to work well enough.


Sewing Issues

I'm out of my favorite Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon batt and can't find it anywhere. The closest store quit carrying any Mountain Mist and only has Pellon. I decided to purchase some on sale. It's thicker than I like, not as evenly spread but shrinks up well {although it seems a bit uneven. On this small quilt the shrinkage could be from the quilting so I will test this some more.} I'm not as fond of this as MM or Hobbs.

The Lone Star is quilted with FMQ orange peels and the background is quilted with organic parallel lines.
Quilting details on Lone Star 6 baby quilt

The previous Lone Stars were quilted with the walking foot. Wanting to change designs, I switched to FMQ where my troubles began. Lots of skipped stitches. Ten or twelve in a row with no rhyme or reason why it's happening. I cleaned the machine {again}, changed the needle, rethreaded, used the bobbin hook all to no avail. This is the same thread I've been using for a while so the only difference is the thicker batting.

I decided to use the walking foot for orange peels on this small quilt and didn't have any skipping problems. On my next trip I purchased a larger Schmetz 90/14 microtex needle and tried it on the wavy lines of the background. Still not working so back to the walking foot until the machine gets cleaned and repaired.

This detail highlights the organic parallel quilting lines on the background and the navy floral lawn of the binding.
Binding detail on Lone Star 6 baby quilt

The binding is a navy lawn printed with tiny birds on branches. It made a crisp edge here, even after shrinkage. The quilt is about four inches smaller each direction after a quick wash.


Quilt Specifics
Size: 37" x 37"
Design: Lone Star
Batting: Pellon 100% cotton
Thread: cream Gutermann 50 wt cotton
Quilting: Orange peel and parallel lines with walking foot 

(after FMQ didn't work)
Approximate Yardage: 3.625 yd


Reading Update

I'm currently reading two books from my "purchased but never read" shelf: Memories of Silk and Straw and Memories of Wind and Waves, both by Dr. Junichi Saga who collected stories from his older patients every evening.

The covers of Memories of Silk and Straw and Memories of Wind and Waves both show small Japanese boats on a river near a bridge.
Two books by Dr. Junichi Saga

He lived in Tsuchiura which is in the lower left corner of the frontispiece map. Both books contain stories of ordinary people from the area: shopkeepers, farmers, yakuza {gangsters}, geisha, and midwives. Another of his books relates the stories of a local yakuza but I wasn't interested; however, Bob Dylan read it and liked it so much he seems to have included some of the wording in his album, Love and Theft.

Map of the Lake Kasumigaura area from the frontispiece.
Map of the Lake Kasumigaura area
from the frontispiece of
Memories of Wind and Waves

I've never been to Japan although DH has but I enjoy reading blogs like Pamela's Hokkaido Kudasai and Julie's My Quilt Diary for their art as well as their insights into life in modern day Japan. These books are almost an anthropological look at a former era - from the fall of the Meiji Restoration to the 1930s and reminds me of Lark Rise to Candleford and Letters of a Woman Homesteader. The former concerns small town life in England about the same time while the latter are the collected letters of Elinor Stewart from her Wyoming homestead. I loved Elinor's book but seriously wished they'd put the letters in chronological order. {I went back and marked the chapters into that order myself 'cause I'm just that way.}

Let me know in the comments if you'd like Dr. Saga's books.

Enjoy the day, Ann

28 comments:

  1. You have really done some nice things with your Lone Stars.

    I haven't read any of those books. Thanks for sharing about them.

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  2. I googled mountain mist and it seems it's no longer available anywhere. Don't you like Quilters dream cotton? I like the care you take with design. Never heard of those books but I watched every larkrise to candleford show! I like to know about everyday life in history too.
    on batting, my grandmother gathered the unsaleable cotton bits after she helped pick cotton in alabama, and used them for batting. Sometimes old wool blankets were used but I would put her quilts over me, and finger the tiny unquilted areas for little seeds, and collections of loose batting. She had to really hand quilt closely her quilts because of the loose cotton used.
    LeeAnna

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    1. It bothers me that Mountain Mist is not easy to obtain. When I started it was the only cotton batt around. I like it because I prefer 100% cotton (safer for babies since poly melts when it burns) and it is absolutely the thinnest batt around. We don't need "warmth" in Houston plus I can work with it on my domestic machine. The original (blue ribbon) wasn't good on long arms since it didn't have a scrim.
      I also like Hobbs - 80/20 for t shirt quilts and 100% cotton for others. It's not as thin and is getting very hard to find without going to the source.
      Picking cotton is a hard job. I do remember a few family quilts with loose cotton batting like that but have no idea where they got it. And yes, you have to quilt very closely to keep the cotton from lumping. We are certainly lucky today.

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  3. That was a bold choice for the star background, but it does work wonderfully! That is the best part of making baby quilts, being able to make a choice that you might not make for a larger quilt.

    I buy warm and natural batting by the roll for all my quilts. I use it for hand quilted ones as well as free motion. It is a little thick for hand quilting, but since I don't do that many it is no big deal. I have used Quilter's dream cotton and Hobbs 80/20. Loved the dream cotton and I like Hobbs. I just buy one of those three brands when I can get it on sale. I go thru so much batting I have to try and get a good price.

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    1. Tossing the blocks on larger pieces of fabric is still my favorite method for choosing stuff. You can make digital pictures or think about colors but nothing beats seeing them work together "in real life."
      I'd love to buy batting by the roll but don't have storage for that right now. QS likes Warm and Natural, too. She quilts on a long-arm (renting time from a shop) and she lives in a much colder clime.
      I only use 80/20 for t shirts with older kids and adults. Cotton burns but poly melts. And I love to get them on sale. But I really just love to find the types I like best... and that's getting harder and harder.

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  4. Your Lone star Quilt is stunning!! Love those fussy cut animal heads--beautiful work on this...hugs, Julierose

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    1. Thanks, Julierose. You know what a joy it is to use up all the scraps!

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  5. Your specializing in Lone Star is paying off with great results! I like the contemporary fabric with the gold, sets off the star perfect.
    Thanks for sharing your process, wonderful adventure.

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    1. Thanks, Janie. I may have a few more Lone Stars. I don't see as many variations as Coins but y-seams don't bother me. It's fun to try a different pattern for a while.

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  6. The 'critter' print is cute but what I love about this quilt is the background! Fabulous choice with lots of good energy. Glad there was enough to make it work out properly! The lighter prints in the middle and then the repeat of those right at the edge where the diamonds meet the background fabric creates a lovely glow effect. I'm sure you made that happen on purpose, but wow! That's a wonderful detail!

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    1. I purchased that background fabric a few years ago but never knew what to do with it until this quilt. Isn't it great when we have an odd fabric that just makes the quilt? And yes, I did play with the layout. Those lights did not look good when they were one row closer to the center. I wish I'd taken a photo. Moving them just a bit made a huge difference. Thanks, Audrey.

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  7. I do love how you've used the toiles to such advantage in your star. Throwing the star on potential background fabrics yielded you a unique and gorgeous result, the mix of traditional star and modern background is wonderful. I haven't read any of those books but will probably order a used copy of the Homesteader book. I'd be interested in the books by Dr. Saga if you're planning to part with them.

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    1. Thanks for writing. The mix of fabrics looks very exciting to me. Homesteader is on Kindle now if you read ebooks. DM me your address and I'll send the Saga books to you.

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  8. I do love your background choice for this lone star, it looks amazing!

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  9. That is a beautiful quilt. I haven't made a lone star, but it is something I hope to make someday. The setting triangles / background fabric is great for this quilt.

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    1. The background made this quilt, didn't it? But the animals make me smile.

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  10. Both Lone Stars are great! I like the circular quilting on the first one and the background on the second. Quilting can be such a pain sometimes but you resolved the problem and the orange peel looks great. I'm not familiar with this author. I will check it out. Thanks for the recommendations! cheers.

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    1. It's only one quilt; I wanted to try something besides spirals.
      The books aren't exciting but I enjoyed them all. Looking into the lives of ordinary people from other eras always interests me.

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  11. You make Lone Stars look so darned easy. I really like the fussy cutting and the background fabric is a pleasant surprise.

    What a wonderful idea for a doctor to record stories from elderly patients. I do like books like that as they relate to my ancestor's history so I can get a sense of how they lived. Most were emigrants who were farmers. I really enjoyed a lot of the Foxfire series of book. I enjoy historical fiction too and just finished reading two historical Irish fiction books by Jean Grainger.

    I do remember that nursery rhyme too but was disappointed last year to find out that even though I read lots of nursery rhymes to the grandkids they remember very few. I did a little trivia nursery rhyme quiz for fun while we were in the pool one day and they all failed miserably!!

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    1. I'm unexpectedly enjoying finding the background fabrics in my stash. I'm surprised to find yard-lengths there.
      The introduction of the books said the doctor took a tape recorder when visiting his patients after hours. Most of us have fairly ordinary ancestors rather than royalty, etc. I enjoy discovering how they lived, too. It's been years since I read any of the Foxfire reports. I'll look them up. I didn't know they were a series.
      My kids don't know nursery rhyme's either but I haven't tested the grandchildren. They are a bit too young so I have a chance to teach them. Ha.

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  12. That background is absolutely perfect - and it never would have occurred to me to even try it! I laboriously pin possible backgrounds/sashings to my design wall, then lay out components on top to test the combinations, but I'm definitely going to try your toss-it-on method now. You're really expanding my horizons!
    (And now I have a sudden hankering to make a Lone Star...)

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    1. It wouldn't have occurred to me either. That's the beauty of tossing the fabric. It's faster and unexpected.
      I hope you make a lone star soon. They are quite fun.

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  13. Your method of finding a fabric is the same as mine - rule nothing out. It produces lovely surprises and, I think, less predictable quilts. This background is perfect and I particularly like how this star has ended up. You are getting very good at ordering the fabrics in your stars to get the best effect too.

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    1. Rule nothing out. I like that summary. There are quick- and strip-piecing techniques but these days I have more fun taking the side roads. Only when it's all cut can I see the full range of possibilities that are always greater than my initial thought. Perhaps I learned this from reading your posts.
      There is joy for us in simply handling fabric. Why rush it?

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  14. That is a bold background. I'm glad you used it. It's a good lesson (for me anyway) that the unexpected can work wonders. I should try to be more brave in quilting. I like your attitude about the joy of handling fabric. I should stitch that and hang it on my studio wall!

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    1. It's a lesson to me, too. Tossing fabrics on top of each other works better than the pre-conceived ideas in my mind. It's such a surprise to see the unexpected.
      All quilters love handling fabrics, don't we? I always have trouble "not touching" displays.

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