Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This is Going to Take a While

Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must.
~Duke of Wellington


I rarely copy a quilt although I pick bits and pieces from many quilts. Even now, I'm not trying to copy my great-aunt's quilt; I am inspired by the memory of it. Thanks to my cousin, this is the same Star block. The way the points fade to nothing always attracted me. That's the focus of this quilt for me.

My other inspiration is the wealth of antique appliqué quilts with circular motifs. I wrote about one of them here. The corner designs of this type of large appliqué block are another feature that pleases me.

Sewing the Shadow Star blocks with additional four-pointed stars in the corners
Sewing Shadow Star quilt blocks together

I thought the star blocks would be the hardest part but each section has its own difficulties. The sashing is my design {after looking at umpteen-jillion vintage appliqué quilts.} Since it's pieced, there's a seam that caused difficulties when it didn't butt against one on the star but actually overlapped it. Turning the seams the other way simply made a lump. Back to the drafting board.

For once there was extra of the green fabric but I didn't want to redraft those triangles again. So I simply moved a seam line back. {I considered making the green compass triangles longer but that made the block corners into a visible "box" and the vanishing star points... vanished.

Very close up you see an extra quarter-inch diagonal seam but I've decided not to care. I agree with Lynne at Patchery Menagerie - quilts that are too perfect rarely have life. A machine could have made them.

I'm surprised how slowly this is going. There are many fiddly points throughout - within the blocks and against the sashing. My compasses occasionally wobble after trimming and the sides of the blocks may need to be eased into the sashing but it's progressing.

Even though the templates are corrected, there are still miles of small pieces to cut. I have learned to cut a few at a time and sew them up to ensure I cut correctly. Ask me how that point was driven home. {On second hand, don't. The scrap bag is overflowing.}


Monthly FUR (Fabric Use Rate) 
One large quilt was completed this month and took 13.5 yards. Big quilts take lots more yardage, don't they? YTD = 23.5 yards.

Enjoy the day, Ann

22 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful pattern; I can see how it would be very difficult to get all those seams to lay flat and to match up...quite a challenge...cutting a few at a time seems like a good idea. Good luck on this journey...hugs, Julierose

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    1. This is why people purchase patterns instead of drafting them. It's challenging but I'm enjoying each step.

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  2. I admire your patience with the corner accent pieces. I would have just made the sashing all the white background color and called it a day! The accent corners are going to look so good.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I hope so because there have been several iterations and I don't feel confident of the result yet.

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  3. I see what you mean... angles and seams... there's always applique to reduce seam allowance, Applique the sashing stars

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    1. That's my ace in the hole if all else fails. My concern is that I rarely stick with applique for long and my results can look primitive. Ah, well.

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  4. How about trying a few pressed open seams to see if that helps reduce the lumpiness?

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    1. I tried that and it didn't work. Thanks, though.

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  5. beautiful!! I've been playing with drafting that same block, but who knows if I will ever make it! :-D I love your use of colors in the background behind the stars: it makes the blocks shine!! Hugs, H

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    1. Nice to meet someone else who enjoys drafting, Helen. I had fun choosing the colors behind the stars and like the way they fade out before the points.

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  6. How patient you are being with this, but it's worth it to get things just right. I can see how it must be a challenge to get all those little seams to work together.

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    1. Oh, I like that description. Patient instead of lazy or slow. Now that the blocks are done so accurately it seems like the rest needs to match that effort. Now I'm in for it. The seams are causing lots of problems.

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  7. Plain sashing can take a bit of time, so it's no surprise that your pieced sashing is taking even more. It's really adds so much to this quilt! All those seams would drive me batty, but I know exactly what it means to make sure the quilt gets exactly the attention it needs. Somehow it's always worthwhile at the finish.:)

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I'm starting to wonder about my sanity with this pieced sashing. There's very little room and I'm still having trouble with seam directions. But I'm persevering. Either this will work or I'll figure something else out. The end makes it worthwhile. As I remind myself, what else will I do? I'll only start another quilt and we truly have more than enough. Might as well take my time.

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  8. Quite an ambitious project, Ann, but, oh, so pretty!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I'm out of practice with this much accuracy.

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  9. Until I read the title of your blocks I did not look at it right. Shadow Star, OH! Not some kind of flowers on stems!

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    1. I've seen these stars as flowers, too. Funny how they trick our eyes.

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  10. Oh, those pointy bits are so quietly necessary to the quilt. But I can see where they're a struggle. Paper piecing maybe? One long strip with the green point and one background triangle sewn onto each end? (I'm not a fan of paper piecing in general, but sometimes it fills a need.)

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    1. They are but they are really giving me fits. I'll keep trying. I tried some paper piecing but it's really where the blocks, posts, and sashing meet that is causing the problems and it's too late for the blocks. They are done. I'll figure something out.

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  11. Such a great post heading Ann!! Whilst it may take you a while to complete this beautiful quilt I can't envisage myself even thinking of beginning one!! What a stunning quilt it will be when completed.

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    1. You are so supportive, Maureen. I need to keep it out and keep trying instead of tucking it away again.

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