Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elusive stars

One problem with choosing a new cover for your ironing board in your favourite colours is having trouble finding your work in progress on it... :-D

I've been having fun making some intricate double stars from Judy Martin's book Knockout Blocks and Sampler Quilts. They are all made in different shades of turqouise/aqua/teal, making them blend into their backgrounds pretty well. I am adding these to solid squares in the same colours to make the backing for my Autumn quilt. Now, why put such a lot of work into something that will hardly show, you may ask? Well, just for the fun of it, I suppose. I like the idea of having a backing with some nice surprises in it that you don't see right away.
And actually, the work wasn't all that complicated really. These blocks consist of many pieces, and seem very intricate, so I guess I have been feeling a bit intimidated and reluctant to try them out until now - I have had this book since it first came out in 2004, but this is my first attempt at actually making any of the blocks. I redrafted them in EQ6 which let me print templates in the size I needed, without any complicated maths. Then I just cut the pieces using ruler and rotary cutter, placing the templates under the ruler as a guide. I finger pressed the seams open along the way on the small stars within the large stars, and pressed the seams to one side once I begun to stitch the larger pieces together, to avoid too much bulk at the intersections. And the great thing was that they all came together beautifully, and I didn't have to rip any seams along the way! And even better: they were all a perfect 9 1/2" when I was finished. Now when I first started quilting I did it all in "the old way" with cardboard templates, but I have abandoned that method a long time ago, preferring rotary cutting and speed piecing methods, and just avoiding complicated blocks. Now it turns out that this is a method that actually works for me, so I will definitely use this again.
I almost finished stitching the backing yesterday, but wouldn't you know it - I'm coming down with another cold tonight, so there has been precious little sewing - somehow my bed seems more tempting. But tomorrow is another day...

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