I introduced this quilt in the last post, stating that I made it to celebrate 5 years of meeting with a special group of women. Each star is unique to the members of the group. She picked the colors. I made the stars to reflect each lady's color preferences. No two are alike! ;-)
This post will focus on the the making of this quilt.
The Wonky Star block pattern comes from Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine (May/June 2009, Uneven Star by Virginia A. Walton) but the layout and setting is my own design.
For the longest time, the stars were just an idea in my Sweet Leaf Notebook. Here's the page that held the idea for 2 years until I could make it in fiber and stitch. I needed a "map" to follow as I made each star to the color specifications.
It's a little hard to tell, but the dark background is actually a patchwork of a variety of different blacks. So I had to collect just the right blacks for this project, too. This photo shows the blacks a little better. This is the top before I added the borders.
The next task was to start making the stars. I really wasn't sewing much at all this past year, so I was lucky to get 1 star done a month. Then they sat on my design wall for a long time while I contemplated how they might come together ...
At Quilt Camp this fall, I was able to add the title Seven Sisters. I had originally printed the words in a pleasing font on the computer. Then I traced it to Wonder Under and fused it to an orange fabric, cut it out, then fused it to the quilt top. I stitched around the edges of the letters with red thread, but I decided it looked kind of sloppy, so I kept stitching, filling in the letters completely with thread--free-motion embroidery style. I didn't bring any stabilizer with me so I used a piece of muslin. It puckered a little, but it seemed to work. Then I trimmed the excess muslin off the back. Tedious, but necessary work.
Next step : Rainbow strip piecing for the narrow inner border.
Rainbow Strip Sets made with the remainders of the Batik Jewel Fat Quarters.
I did the borders and binding after I got home. That was my first chance to use my new custom-built sewing table, made by DH.
At first, it was very stiff--as quilts often are when are the fibers are squashed by the quilting. Kind of like sleeping under cardboard, as my Unca Ray says. The remedy is to wash it. That's why I LOVE the Hobbs 80/20 Batting. It crinkles up and makes the quilt look like an antique after that first washing. Soft and supple. Yum!
It still needs a hanging pocket, and the official label. Still mulling that over ... How to tell this story! And how to let each Lady take a piece of it home ... The ladies get to see the real thing at the end of the month.
Ah--It does feel good to quilt again!