Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Layouts

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share with you a few more examples of the Hunter's Star. These are some photos that I took while at class at QBTY.

This first photo is a 3 color or 3 fabric version of a Hunter's Star. Laura (our teacher) made this table runner to demonstrate using the 3 colors for this pattern. It looks much different than a 2 color or 2 fabric version. Just lovely!

Here is my friend Maria modeling one of her completed blocks. She chose to make a 2 fabric version. If you click on the picture to enlarge you will see that the fabrics she chose are tone on tone. She is making a lap size version for her son in law to be! Lucky guy!

Yet another 2 color version from another student in the class. Beautiful in blue and white.

So Maria worked hard in class and was able to get all these blocks completed and up on the wall. Doesn't it look fantastic! I am telling you this ruler is the best!

Here is another student's red and white version. Just gorgeous! So I know that you all would like the link again for the ruler. Just click here to go to the site for the Petite Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler. Don't forget to look at Deb Tucker's gallery while you are there.

Also, don't forget to check out the NEW Kaffe, Philip, Brandon, and Martha fabrics that I just added to my online shop. I know you will just love them!

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 29, 2010

Hunter's Star Revisited

Hello Everyone,

I know that many you have been waiting to see the results from my Hunter's Star Class. Also, I know that some of you had never even heard of a Hunter's Star. If you weren't able to read my first post about this wonderful block, just click here and then come on back.

Well, all I have to say, is that if you decided to go ahead and purchase that wonderful Petite Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler, you have made a great investment in your quilting tools, for sure.

Here is the first 4 blocks up on my design wall!! Very scrappy and all from my stash. Now traditionally this block is done with 2 fabrics. Well, of course, I can't seem to be traditional. So I did a two color version, but made it totally scrappy. I love the effect!

Here you can see the star form. When all four corners of the block meet they make this wonderful Hunter's star. The neat thing about this method is that it is all strip pieced. You never have to cut any diamonds!!

On the back of the block, she has you press the seam open. The reason behind this is because when the corners all meet up to form the star, there would be way too much bulk and would not lay so flat. By the way, bulk is a longarm quilter's nightmare. When my customers give me something that is bulky, it is definitely much more difficult to quilt over those areas because the hopping foot just can't make it. Then the foot needs to be adjusted. It is just better if the seams lay flat, for sure.

Here you can see the corner where the star will form. Oh, and by the way, this block is made slightly larger than you need. I say this because you trim it down with the ruler and every single block is not only the right size but just perfect!! So the whole quilt should go together with ease.

Now I just need to get the rest of the blocks up on the design wall. I will continue to show you my progress and some final photos from the class too. In the meantime, check out the new customer quilts that have been loaded to my gallery.

Until Next Time...


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1930s Stars Complete

Hello Everyone,

So today I am taking my last class at QBTY for the Hunter's Star quilt. But in the meantime, I wanted to share with you my Star Crazy BOM finishes for the first month!! Yes, among all the craziness with the Sandhill Star Saga, I managed to finish up my FIRST set of stars. Without further adieu, here they are!

Aren't they sweet? I am using 1930s from my stash and Kona White. You can find some really nice 1930s here and some wonderful Kona Cottons here.

One nice thing about paper piecing the HST's is that you get perfect points every time. Love it!!

This month's blocks consisted of 2 large stars and six smaller stars. They all went together quite easily.

Here they are all lined up. Love how they look! Yes, I have started on my second set of stars for my second version of this quilt. Wait until you see that one. I just love it. But I won't be able to show you that one just yet. I am still in the process of cutting apart the HST's. But take my word for it, they are great!

Don't forget to stop over at the Star Crazy BOM blog to see everyone else's versions of this quilt too. They are just beautiful!

Until Next Time...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sandhill Stars, Part 3 The Ugly Truth

Hello Everyone,

Just a little business first... Check out the new arrivals at my shop! They arrived on Thursday and Friday. There is new Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett, and Philip Jacobs. I know you will love them!!

Thank you for coming back to hear the rest of this story. So here is what has been done so far:

  1. Karen has phoned and e-mailed, many times, the magazine. Result: Not so helpful.
  2. She found where the designer is located by Googling her name and locating her through a blog. The designer does not have her own blog or website.
  3. An e-mail was sent off to the designer, Karen spoke to her last night and boy what help she was and nice to boot!
  4. So both of us persevered. Karen more than me. The pictures below will begin our awakening.
  5. The best news though, Karen got it all figured out. She took a picture of her ONE completed star, but her computer crashed. So that picture we will have to share with you at a later date. Sorry!

This first picture shows you my first 1/4 block. What I didn't realize at this point was that this quarter block was just too small. How can that be? I did everything right or at least I thought I did.

This second quarter block looks okay too. However, if you note at the edges I lose the quarter inch that I need for the red diamonds to maintain their points.

Here are the too blocks together. Doesn't look too bad here, points all match up nicely. But pictures are deceiving. Next the Ugly Truth...

One block is definitely larger than the other. Now I know you may be thinking, wow there is a lot of bias in this quilt. Yes, that is right. You also might be thinking that starch would have been a great idea. Did that, many times. So what is the answer?

Here is Karen's block. You can see the one on the right is looking pretty good.

Here is a picture of the block not looking so good. Sorry for the blurriness, this is the only one Karen could send. If you notice at the top of the block, the triangles are not meeting correctly to form that 1/4 inch that we need.

So you are all probably wondering how Karen got it all figured out. I was too. I felt badly that all week I was not able to work on it and Karen kept plugging away. So here is what she did. STARCH from step one! Before the strips were even sewn at all she starched them. Then in every step along the way, she applied starch. Karen was meticulous with her 1/4" seams, but we both always are, but she checked and rechecked.

The result a perfect Sandhill Star!! Yay, Karen!! I am sorry there is no picture to show here, but Karen promised me once her computer is up and running she will forward it to me so I can share it with you. She also wanted me to impress upon you that this is absolutely NO reflection on the designer. The designer confirmed with Karen that the directions in the magazine were definitely not accurate. The designer has offered her support to us throughout our quilt making journey.

I am anxious to start on my block again and this time get it right!! I truly hope that this little mini series has been helpful to you. It has been to Karen and I. Remember, this is how we learn, from our mistakes.

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 22, 2010

Sandhill Stars, The Saga Part 2

Hello Everyone,

So the saga continues. My friend Karen and I have worked diligently all day on this quilt and really like what this will become. We are still happy at this point.

I have all my bands cut up into their segments. Just love them in the 30s fabrics!!

Karen's bands are all cut into their segments in her Civil War Repros. Also, gorgeous!

Ahhhh... The first diamond is born and the points all are matchy, matchy. A big hooray from me!!
This is where Karen's started to go awry. Her's were not matching at all and we were both perplexed. We followed the directions. Double checked the seam allowances. Double checked the cutting and the angle. Hmmm... what is wrong?? Karen decides to set this aside and start to join the strips together all over again. Basically from square one.

I persevered. Voila! Love the way this looks. But the worst is yet to come. The instructions unfortunately are not well written and as we begin to find out measurements are off. The squares that we will be setting in don't appear to be the correct size and the large diamonds aren't matching up.

So it is at this point we pack it up and call it a day. Later that night I tried to set in the squares with the measurements given. Not going well. I will have to upload a picture of this. Karen decides to send an e-mail off to Quilter's Newsletter and make a phone call on Monday morning. The response did not offer any positive information.

So Karen is now the one pressing on (so to speak) as I have not been able to get back to it just yet. She goes over every little step with a fine tooth comb. Very meticulously, measuring and sewing.

She now has a diamond!! This appears to be correct with all the correct measurements. The question is will the set in squares work?

They do for her on this quarter block... Yay! But there is a picture that I couldn't upload that shows them not working. Argh!!! We really, really like this quilt and this block and we will continue to persevere, I promise.

Several things to keep in mind. These are really small diamonds. The strips sets that we started with are only 1.25 inches wide, unfinished. The completed quarter block is only 7 inches. So these are smaller for sure and there is definitely less room for error.

Stay tuned! My next post will hopefully show you a correctly completed block. Please send good vibes our way! Thanks! Oh and by the way, thank you all for your wonderful comments and helpful suggestions. Very much appreciated!!

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sandhill Stars Part 1

Hello Everyone,

I am sure quite a few of you will remember me posting about the quilt in the picture below. If not, you can read about it here.

First, I need to ask, has anyone else out there started this quilt? Well, my friend Karen and I , both really wanted to make this and set aside a date to begin. She came over last Saturday and was here from 9 am until 6 pm.

We both really love this quilt and are both making it in reproduction fabrics. Mine is in 30s and hers is in Civil War repros.

Karen had some time before coming over and had picked her selection of fabrics for this quilt. But I hadn't had time and she helped me pick some selections out. The above photo is the selection for the first star in this quilt.

Above you can see the "mess" we made when all my 30s fabrics were pulled out to make selections for 8 more stars. This was definitely a fun part, for sure!

Here you can see that I have pieced all my bands together which will form the star block.

Above you can see Karen's bands all pieced together. Nice right?

Here is Karen pressing her bands and still has a smile on her face. Note that we are still happy at this point in the process of this quilt.

Well, needless to say, things started to go awry here. We found the directions to be not too well written and frustration began to set in. This is why we really need to know if anyone else has attempted this quilt. Please, please let me know, we need some HELP!

The interesting thing is that we both consider ourselves accomplished enough that this quilt should cause minimal or NO problem. Au contraire, this was not the case. So as I go on talking about it, I am beginning to feel the frustration build. So I will save more photos and hopefully more tips about this quilt until next post. In the meantime, my January Newsletter is online for your reading pleasure.

On a side note, we really do love this quilt. Are we nuts or what?

Until Next Time...


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hunter's Star

Hello Everyone,

So how many of you ever wanted to make a Hunter's Star quilt? How many have made one? Well, I fall into the first category. I have always wanted to make one, but just never got around to it. But this past November, while on my quilting retreat, one of the ladies was busily making one all week long. Terry had a neat little ruler that made it really simple to create the Hunter's Star block.

We were all very intrigued and almost everyone at the retreat ended up purchasing this ruler. It is called the Petite Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler from Deb Tucker. It allows you to make this block in any size from 5" to 8". She also has a larger ruler too.

Anyway, so my favorite LQS, Quilting By The Yard, was doing a class with this ruler. So I rounded up the girls and we took the first class last Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and I just can't say enough about this ruler. It really gives you perfect results and you strip piece the whole thing!!

Here you can see me using the ruler to cut my first trapezoid. You first cut the strips and then just align your ruler and cut.

Then using the lines again on the ruler, you flip it and cut again.

Until you have your trapezoids cut and then you join them to another strip. This strip will form the diamonds which will become the stars.

Here are my trapezoids all joined to the "star point" strips. Kind of looks like prayer flags a little.

You press them open and then align your ruler again and cut them apart. This is what forms the star point.

In this photo, you can see where I had cut them apart and now have joined the other side of the trapezoid to the opposite "star point". Everything does get trimmed up later.

I did get to the point where I made one block, but I am saving those results for later. We have one more class next week and I will let you see it then. But I highly recommend this method! Very speedy and accurate!!

In other news, lots of new goodies in my online shop!! Kona Cotton fat quarter bundles, roll ups, charm packs, NEW Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and Martha Negley fabrics as well. Just go HERE to check it out.

Also, my newest Podcast Episode #9 is out. I talk about the value of having the correct quilting tools and highlight some of my favorite. Just click HERE to listen or go to iTunes to download.

Until Next Time...


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dreaming of Butterflies

Hello Everyone,

Just before Thanksgiving, Stephanie of Loft Creations, asked me to test another wonderful pattern of hers. I am one of her Supremes... I love it!! Anyway, I have been anxiously awaiting to share this with you. Here it is, my Butterfly Love Wall Pockets...

I made it with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Kona Cotton. Nice and bright and cheerful!

I did a decorative blanket stitch with variegated thread around the butterfly.

Love the rick rack and the colored buttons!

I pieced the back too! This was given as a gift to my niece at Christmas. The intent was for her to put her books and drawing/notepad and pencils in, so she could quickly grab them when she wanted too. Perfect little gift for her!

Anyway, this was a great little pattern to make. The directions were clear and concise. Stephanie also gives directions for a smaller size too. So what are you waiting for hop on over to her site and pick up one for yourself!! They are great gifts!

Until Next Time....


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are You A Trimmer? I am...

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another installment of the Star Crazy BOM. So here is my current status. I have made all the HST's for the first month. Yay!!

I have trimmed all the dog ears. Yes, I am a trimmer. Lots of reasons to trim.

These are all the little remnants. It is like confetti. Although, I think this was only a portion. I was throwing some in the trash as I went along and then realized it would make a great photo with my new camera.

Once they were all trimmed and de-papered, I pressed them open. I just love how they all look in the 1930s repros. This version, I think, will be a favorite and may make it onto our guest bed.

Here is a little close up of all their beautiful trimmed edges. So now for a few of the reasons to trim. First they look pretty, right? Second, they go together much easier. Third, there is less bulk in the seam allowances. Fourth, it really gives you a perspective as to if they are really squared up.

Those are some of the reasons I like to trim and have them look as nice and neat as the one above. Probably another reason is because I can be a little of that type A personality, always having things just so.

So, the question of the day is, do you trim? If so, why? If not, why? Easy.

Oh, and don't forget to head over to the Star Crazy BOM Blog and follow along with all of us who have joined in making this quilt. There will be many different versions. If you want to join in the fun, head over to Nedra's and send her an e-mail.

Until Next Time...

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