Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Lone Star Quilt for a Grandmother

Our ecological emergency demands proactive choices, not reactive sideswipes.
~Tommy Morton

How much more true in this global health crisis? Some countries are taking effective action while others exacerbate the problem by their past and current choices. By firing the CDC pandemic staff in 2018, our president ensured we would be less prepared for this emergency. We see the result in critical lack of testing kits, ventilators, and coordinated response.

We are under a shelter in place order. I had a visit to QS planned but postponed it due to the pandemic. We were already fairly well prepared because we are accustomed to keeping emergency supplies. Fortunately there are also mounds of fabric and stacks of books in my house. My best choices are to stay home and increase my monetary donations to help those in need. I hope you all are safe and careful, too. 

Grandmother quilts are gifted to friends when their first grandchild is born so they have a quilt for all their grands to use. My SIL became a grandmother at the end of last year. That's not too long ago, right? She loves blue so I made a top using leftovers from the farmhouse quilt I finally finished for her. This week was the time to push myself to get it quilted. I'll mail it later.

Traditional Lone Star quilt of blue and white fabrics set on white background with feather quilting
Blue Lone Star grandmother quilt

What was so hard about the quilting? Nothing. I simply psych myself out at times. The star itself was easy orange peels but the background was another story. The top looked so formal that a circle of feathers seemed a requirement. Besides, SIL will love them. That was the sticking point because I hate marking - which is why the quilt went to the closet for a while.

Finally I rewatched Angela Walters YouTube videos on feathers and fillers. Then I marked an arc on the four sides with boundaries for the feathers. My official washable marker is dry so washable Crayola markers were the next solution. I've heard red and purple don't always wash out so chose the blue. It required a longer soaking but afterwards all was good.

Detail photos of quilting feathers and filling their background
Drafting lines for free motion feather arc

You can see the "wavy" arc in the top photo. After looking at it with all sides sketched, I didn't like the wave so I just eyeballed a normal curve on the go and it turned out pretty well.

What else can you see in the photo? You can see how mark a two-lane road for feathers. It gives me the center spine {the median} and the outside width of the feathers {the shoulders.} The feathers are close enough in size although each is unique. It's certainly easier than marking every one and trying to follow those lines!

The main circle of feathers uses the bump back method but those little twirls inside are normal feathers. I can only bump back when they grow from the base. If they are sewn from the top down, I have to do regular ones. Does anyone else have that problem? Can you even tell the difference? {I can't unless my nose is right on the quilt.} Do I care? {No.}

I quilted the side feathers first, then the inner twirl, then stippled the inside {because I didn't have a better plan.} The corner feathers came next. Then it was time evaluate and determine how to handle the outside.
Adding plumes to fill the corner blocks with more free motion feather quilting
Corner free motion quilting on Lone Star quilt

By this time I was bored with stippling and decided to add random motifs: clam shells, curls, string of beads, and echo quilting. I pulled these ideas from Diane Gaudynski's Quilt Savvy, The news was on all day and I just kept quilting. That's my excuse for the heavy quilting. It seemed a bit stiff when finished but softened beautifully after a wash and dry. {It also helped that the thread is YLI Soft Touch, a fine Egyptian cotton thread.}

The center of the back is a remnant of the fabric backing the Square Deal. The borders came from my stash. I usually put fabric I'm tired of on the back but I'm trying to up my game. Amazing how nice it looks with reasonably coordinated fabrics. They all have circular designs and a soft blue-green color.

Three light blue fabrics with circular printing create the quilt back.
Back of blue Lone Star grandmother quilt

The orange peel arcs that looked a bit irregular on the front appear much better from the back.

The photo shows how orange peel quilting designs appears on the quilt back
Detail of orange peel quilting on the back of the Lone Star

So many blues have been used lately that the stash is low. This binding is a remnant from my dress. With blues and blue-greens it blends the front and back perfectly.

Detail of folded quilt showing parts of front, back, and binding
Detail view of blue Lone Star grandmother quilt

Although this top has been hanging in the closet for six months, it's finally done and on its way to the best SIL in the world. She will love seeing her fabrics in a new setting and I love using some of my favorite fabrics to finish it off. Her new grandchild is a blessing and I hope this quilt is, also.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 49" x 49"
Design: Lone Star
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton
Thread: YLI Soft Touch white cotton thread and Aurifil 50 wt. light blue thread
Quilting: FMQ orange peel, feathers, stipple, echo, etc.
Approximate yardage: 7 yds

Previous post: Lone Star top.

Entertainment

If you have Amazon Prime, you can read the Newbery Honor winner, The Thief, free. It's the first book in the series by Meghan Whalen Turner and I recommended it two weeks ago. I've now reread the five current books in the series and am awaiting the sixth coming in the fall.

Poster for movie starring Lily Collins as Snow White and Julia Roberts as the stepmotherStaying home this week I watched Mirror Mirror starring Lily Collins {daughter of Phil Collins} with Julia Roberts as the evil queen. It raced through theaters but was one of my favorite versions of Snow White - more fun than scary. Best of all was the costuming by Eiko Ishioka which was nominated for an Academy Award. As quilters we love fabrics; these are glorious {although I've read they were extremely heavy to wear.} She creates structured clothes that reflect her Asian heritage... at least they do to me. This was the last movie Eiko ever costumed. A 2017 Google Doodle celebrated her. Wouldn't it be great to personally know someone who was honored this way?

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy the day, Ann

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful quilting on this Star...and I love that backing fabric with the swooping birds great work, Ann ;))) hugs, Julierose

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    1. Thanks, Julierose. It turned out well. That back fabric has always attracted me. This is the last of it except for some strings in the scrap bag.

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  2. Excellent post - what a beautiful job you did on the quilting of your SIL's quilt! We are staying in voluntarily and our youngest son has moved home from his apartment (he is one of those in the high risk groups). Take care.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I hope it helped people understand how to mark and how little marking you have to do. I'm glad your son can move in with you. It's so scary when our children {even grown} are at risk. Take care of yourselves.

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  3. thank you for the movie and book suggestions, most of all thank you for the first paragraph. I agree and more people become must become aware of the insidious actions being taken by certain people in power (I do not ever if possible say some names) I like the idea of giving a grandmother quilt! Now I have to go look for the book and movie...

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    1. I'll be interested in what you think of these.
      And as far as my first paragraph, everyone makes mistakes. Mature adults face up to them. But disbanding the pandemic team is like not hiring firefighters because nothing's on fire right now. As we know, lots of prep for any emergency. We need experts to keep us ready, to educate our leaders of the details, and to keep supply lines at the ready. We are building all of this from scratch ... and late.

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  4. Great finish! And I love the way you quilted it. especially the circle behind the star. Very effective! Thanks for the tip on the movie, I'll check it out! Stay healthy, cheers!

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    1. Thanks, Claire. It looks like we are both catching up on old tops. I'd love to know what you think of the movie. I thought it was amusing but really loved the costumes. Over the top. You stay healthy, too.

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  5. Ann what a tremendous quilt!! Your quilting here is stunning, just stunning, such beautiful detail there. Your SIL will be thrilled - congratulations!

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    1. You are always so kind, Maureen. I hope she uses it every time her grandchildren visit.

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  6. They haven't made much of a fist of preparing us here either. I love the idea of a grandmother quilt - everyone should have one. I found all information about how you achieved this lovely quilt very interesting and am wondering if I could adapt the approach for hand quilting.

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    1. The situation unsettles me to say the least.
      Grandmother quilts are one of my most clever ideas... modest as I am. It was the only way I could think of hoping to keep up with all my friends. Much better than trying to make one for all their grandchildren, etc.
      I think this could work very well for you. One thing I notice is both Angela and Diane section their backgrounds. You figure out where you want your main quilting like feathers {if you do} then quilt double lines randomly through the unquilted areas which become backgrounds. Something different in each of those sub-areas... or at least arranged so repeat designs don't touch. Does that make sense? BTW, Angela is starting a new video series on YouTube this weekend. Perhaps you could watch.

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  7. I do love your quilting on this! And the idea of a grandmother quilt is great! We are waiting daily to see if things spread here in NZ, very unsettling times.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I hope NZ avoids the worst of this virus. I've been self quarantined for almost three weeks now... with lots of fabric and books. Good luck.

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  8. The quilt turned out lovely and your quilting looks great!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. It's good to have it done and on its way before the first baby goes to school.

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  9. Ann, what a special baby quilt! The fussy-cut diamonds in the center add a little intrigue. And what a great way to practice (successfully!) a variety of quilting designs.

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    1. Thanks, Nann. That was all the diamonds I could get from that scrap of fabric. I enjoyed quilting; it took my mind off our situation. Guess that's why I overdid it.

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  10. Beautiful finish, perfectly quilted. I don't FMQ. So it appears fabulous to me.

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    1. Thanks, Preeti. In many ways FMQ is easier than walking foot.

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  11. Your analogy about the fire fighters (in the comments) is spot-on. Here we are expecting horrible numbers in the next week. Those who are selfish and keep "partying" are the reason it will get worse. Our family has several members in the at-risk group, so we're really hunkering down.
    I love the feathers. They do look like they are floating behind the star. Thanks for the details about how you achieve it. I can's seem to bump-back my feathers. My thoughts take over my brain, so my hands automatically go back to muscle memory. Besides, I get tired of every motif after about 30 seconds. I was graffiti quilting before it had a name. :) You definitely made the perfect choice in colors on both sides of the quilt. I love the mix of blues.

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    1. I am appalled by the cavalier attitude of many of our elected officials which is reflected in the behavior of the populace. We can be better than this. I have a family member recovering in isolation at home. Fortunately, not sick enough to have to go to the hospital.
      I have trouble with bump back feathers since I learned the basic ones years ago. They are the ones I fall back on when my attention lapses. I know what you mean; I get tired of the motifs very quickly, too. Fortunately I don't quilt for anyone else.

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  12. I love everything about this quilt - from the motivating idea to the last feathery stitch! Such a beauty!
    Yesterday a former neighbor stopped over to visit - and I had to stop him at the door. Despite the fact that we live in the state with the most cases and are in a state of emergency, he had no idea that it was something serious. (I know where he gets his news...)

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    1. Thanks for writing. I'm sorry to read about your neighbor. Since the viewers of that network tend to be older and that's the same demographic that is most severely affected by this virus, it's almost murderous that they minimize this pandemic. I hope you are safe.

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