Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Star-weaving

You all, I am so touched by your sweet remarks about our work on our home.  It's a blessing to get to share that here and feel how our journey connects with many of yours and see how you care.  Thanks from my heart!

So, do you remember this color story, created by miss Emma Lamb?


I asked the Love circle quilting bee of do. Good Stitches to make hand-pieced star blocks for our October quilt, with Emma's mosaic as our color guide.  I knew it was a rather loose color scheme, but figured "scrappy" might be the happy result.

Starbright quilt

So, what do you think?  Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I think "meh, the colors are too somber."  It might be that I'm not channeling "fall" at this point.  It feels more like winter today!  Well, fall or winter, I'm going to finish this quilt and do my bestest to make it shine.  It's to be donated to a child through Wrap Them in Love.  Maybe the colors will be just the thing for some sweet boy.

The blocks were individually English paper pieced by hand by my awesome bee mates.  My plan was to join the blocks by machine.  Not that I'd never done that before, but what better way to make myself learn?  Necessity is the mother of...

cut filler pieces

So this is where I've been the past few mornings.  First off, I trimmed all the blocks to one standard size.  Then, I used a trimmed block as a guide to cut some filler pieces out of my border fabric, Kona Espresso.

filling in

See that dark brown shape at the end of the first row?  It's filling the row out so that I don't have to cut any star blocks.

straightening out

I also filled out the edges to create straight sides. 

stop 1/4" short

Next I pieced the star hexagons together into rows with simple straight machine seams.  Using this video tutorial by Lady Harvatine, I made sure to leave the edges of all seams unsewn with a 1/4" gap.  This gap leaves the 1/4" seam allowance free so it's possible to sew the zig-zagging rows together.

Hexagons row by row

Piecing actually turned out to be easier than I thought.  Slow, but easy.  Each edge of each hexagon is sewn individually, matching up sides and pinning carefully.  Always you leave a 1/4" gap at the beginning and end of each line.  After sewing one edge of the hexagon rows, you just rotate the fabrics to match up the next edge and sew another straight line with 1/4" gaps.  All that starting and stopping is slow, but not slower than hand piecing!  And, I'm happy to report that the joins came out nice and flat.

oh, look !  Y-seams.

Last night Brandon came by and said, "I thought you couldn't do that?"  He meant the joins.  I said, "Oh, yeah, those are y-seams, aren't they.  Cool, I learned how!".  Hadn't realized they were y-seams.  I was just "machine-piecing hexagons".  Haha.  Well, there you go!  Next time I want to sew a y-seam, I'm going to do this 1/4" gap method.  It was much neater for me than other methods I've tried.

And, in case you're wondering, I would totally do this kind of quilt with a bee again.  I think everyone enjoyed making a few hand-pieced stars (we even had a guest stitcher).  And, since the stars were so big, it did work up into a nice-sized quilt top.  Now I'm off to add some more Espresso at the edges.  Catch you later!

31 comments:

  1. I think the colors are stunning! Looks just like the inspiration. And I think it's totally girly too :)

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    1. Oh, good! I had a few local people say they didn't like the colors, so I started to think... I mean, obviously the inspiration mosaic is fabulous!

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  2. Ooh, I can't wait to see it all finished. I think the espresso is just what those colors needed to make them pop!

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  3. I agree, the colors are gorgeous! I have had that machine-piecing-hexes video bookmarked for awhile. I'm glad to hear the method is working well for you.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. I'm sure the colors won't be for everyone, but no color scheme is! And, yes, I'm sure you'll have good luck with that video too!

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  4. I like the colours and the quilt is going to be fantastic - for anyone! I'm so waiting to have time to do more epp blocks and next time absolutely with diamonds! x Teje

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  5. That top is beautiful Rachel. And way to try something new.

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  6. That is looking beeeauutiful!!! I totally remember that color story because it's beens stuck in my head all year. Gorgeous. AND I just read your other post on your house and it looks so lovely. Great job!!

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  7. It did look sorta sad in the first pic but the last one it looks perfect. I think once it is all together everything will turn out great.

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  8. I love the colours.
    I have always wanted to make a quilt like this one. Maybe it's time I tried.

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  9. Hi, I personally love the colors, blocks, and your additional edges to make it straight. My thoughts on this quilt is that the border will either make or break it. I'm thinking a fun stripe or tiny chevron in the mustard family??? Just a thought!

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    1. Hmm.. a striped border? And here I thought I was done. I'm going to have to give this some thought.

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  10. I do see it "girly" with the pinks and such, but I think its perfect for the "non girly" girl who doesn't care much for the bright colors.

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  11. Hey where have I seen this pattern before hehe x

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    1. oh just realised I have the very same hand warmers!

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  12. I agree. That last picture really shows of the colors. It turned out great.

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  13. I really like the more sombre tones I am really curious about those Y seams, well done they look perfect. I'm going to check out that video to see when you close up the gap at each end. Love it with the espresso!

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  14. i'll admit, i had a hard time pulling and combining fabrics for this color scheme, but i do like it seeing all the blocks together! i think the espresso border will be very lovely and allow the blocks to pop.

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  15. I like the colours. Not as bright and eye catching as one woul dexpect, but it has a warmth to it, that will be lovely. And there are a lot of people in the world who don't do traditional pinks/boys for their kids and would love a more neutral palette for their babies.
    E

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  16. Great job on the new star..like it a lot

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  17. This quilt is beautiful! I love the colors and way to go sewing it together by machine.

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  18. Wow, this looks great! I think I now know the destiny of my chicopee stack.

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  19. Yay! This looks beautiful. :) I think the colors work really well together. It looks like from the photos that they're not as bright as the mosaic, but the subdued quality is still very nice. Thanks for letting me join in this month!

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  20. This quilt is going to make some little boy really happy! What a lovely thing Do Good Stitches is doing.
    I was inspired by your stars and I've got my own going with some Denyse Schmidt fabrics and a text background. Think I've got about 12 made so far and love the way it's turning out!

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  21. http://www.fromthebluechair.com/2012/11/how-to-piece-hexagons-part-1.html?m=0

    Hi Rachel,
    This is part one of a Hexagon method I learned from Kati at Sewing Summit that you might find helpful. There is a Part 2 on her website too.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. That's the same method I'm using, but demonstrated in photos rather than video. I like it!

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  22. gosh, i love this patchwork too! it seems fresh and innocent to me.

    and i love the y-seam ambition. i avoid them like the plague.

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  23. Wow, Rachel, it looks great (in my opinion). Maybe it is fall or winter... ok, but really good job! I like it :-)

    I have only three pieces :-( and they are closed in my sewing drawer :-(

    Have a lovely Advent time! Jolana

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  24. Rachel, I really like it! I love the colors and simplicity.Great job piecing it all together. This will make someone very happy and warm.

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