Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Four Star Quilt

I'm finally getting around to posting about my four star quilt, which was finished last year but with Christmas / illness / work / life in general I never seem to get on with it!! Anyway this quilt is something of a 'major make' for me in terms of admiring for ages the picture I have of the original design by Pam and Nicky Lintott (called starlight express), and because I found it difficult to make and it was certainly a challenge! The photo appears in a couple of quilting books I have but with no instructions on how to make it. I have spent quite a bit of time staring at the picture, trying to figure out whether it was english paper piecing or machine made. I think it probably can be made both ways but I had a hunch that it could be done on the machine so with some research on the net I found this fab video that explains the process very well.


I have made an eight point star with strips cut at 5cm width, whereas the video is a six point star and a jelly-roll strip width of 2.5" - but the theory is the same.


I had been collecting fat quarters from various places for some time, the colours in my mind were peach, coral, teal and navy. Every time I saw something that caught my fancy I would pick it up, soon enough I had a decent stash to choose from.




Cutting, piecing, slicing and arranging was good fun (once I'd worked out the angle I needed - that made my brain hurt - 45 degrees). When I came to sew the strips together and match the seams I struggled with accuracy, I did stress a bit as I really wanted this quilt to be perfect. I ripped out many seams that weren't good enough and did them again allowing myself only a bit of tolerance.  I kind of came to a stage where I would let my seams be 2 or 3mm out just so I could move on, but I can't tell you how much I wanted them to be spot on!! The angle the seams meet at makes matching quite tricky, well for me it was tricky.

can see a few mis-matched seams in this photo. Deep breath Sam .



It did take a while to get all 4 blocks done but I was super chuffed with the result.



Quilting stage - always a little anxious as it's not my favourite part. I chose to do free-form quilting and even though I know how to do it, making it happen was challenging. My shoulders tense and I hold my head at a bizarre angle while I try and move the quilt under the needle - not too fast, not too slow. Some areas of quilting are better than others, once again not perfect but I'm learning to live with it :0)



So I'm nearing the end and decide to make a label, which of course delays the finish but I think is well worth it. I'm not too experienced in stitchy writing but love the effect, do you think it's ok for my first attempt?


So ta-dah!! My finished quilt on my bed. I do love it even with all it's un-perfectness. We have been living with the finished quilt on the bed for a good few weeks now and I love it more and more. I have washed it too and I find it gets better and softer with each wash.





Lots of photos with this one, but a long project over times means many photo opportunities!! 

Looking back, remembering how I felt before I started this makes me feel good that I made the effort and took the time to have a go. I admired the picture of the quilt in my book for so long, and now can admire my own one. Even though I gave myself headaches trying to get this as good as I could - and not making it perfect, it doesn't matter anymore that some of the seams are off and the quilting stitching is spaced out more in some areas than others. I've pushed myself and my sewing skills and am very happy with the result. I hope you like it too :0)

'till next time...

  

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