Ah yes it is that time again… I am setting another block for my fellow Do Good Stitches gang… and this month snuck up on me so I have resorted to a variation of an old faithful….the wonky star…
For this 12 inch block I used:
- Fifteen (15) low volume 3 1/2 inch squares
- One (1) black/dark grey 3 1/2 inch square
- Eight (8) black grey triangles – I used scraps but you can cut a 3 inch square in half to make the triangles.
Step one is to make the star points:
To make the star points you will need 4 of your low volume squares and your triangle pieces.
Take one of the squares and sew a triangle onto one corner, making sure the pattern sides of your fabric are together and when the triangle is flipped it covers the corner of your square.
Next trim the excess low volume fabric from the corner and press the triangle over into place.
Then add another triangle of fabric to the other side of the square…. sew it down … trim the excess low volume fabric and press over.
Your next step is to trim your block back down to 3 1/2 inches square.
The back of your block should look like this…. now repeat the process until you have 4 star point sections.
Lay out your block as illustrated….
Sew the block together in rows… then sew the rows together to make a completed block.
What I love about this block is that has built in negative space which allows for you to stagger the stars layout when putting the quilt top together. You can also make a couple of blocks that are just low volume squares (no star) to break up the layout of the quilt.
In the coming months I will have two different variations of this quilt to show you, as I also used this block recently at out Guild charity sew day. For the sew day we used a rainbow of solids and a white star which gave us a really fun bright quilt. If you want to see a work in progress shot of that quilt head over to my Instagram account.
I am currently finishing up a few small baby quilts which are part of a personal project I took on at the end of last year. These quilts are part of my “Quilts for Pablo” project.
This project started last year when a dear friend lost her son after only 10 short days. In her son Pablo’s memory I want to make 10 quilts for my local hospital’s Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The day that I got word of Pablo’s passing I also got a wonderful package from Michael Miller Fabric – I had won a competition that they ran and they sent me two fat quarter bundles which were perfect for my project.
This is the first little quilt I finished up. The fabric line is called Flight School and this is just one of the two colour ways I have.
The fabric just called out to be made into wonky stars and I used as much of the fat quarter for each fabric as I could…fussy cutting as needed.
The layout makes the most of the fabric, using as many 4 1/2 inch squares as had left over instead of just using white in the background. I kind of like how it turned out.
I am also using these quilts as quilting practice…I am using Jacqui Gerings wonderful book “Walk” and I am determined to use as many of her quilting patterns as I can.
Mr Wombat says that this photos is the result of cheating…as I took the photo as he was about to fold up the quilt… hence no pinkies in this shot. But you do get to see a little more of him…
Pattern: Wonky Star using 4 1/2 inch squares.
Fabric: Flight School by Michael Miller
Size: 36 x 40 inches
Another Friday finish for you…and this week is a darling little baby quilt I made using some small wonky star blocks I had floating around…
Usually when I make wonky star quilts I use 5 inch squares to make the stars , but for this quilt I used my stash of 3 inch squares and a pile of scrap pieces to make 8 inch (unfinished) stars.
Actually these stars had been sitting in my WIP pile for a while when I dug them up and started playing… I did not want to make any more stars so instead I used a pile of low volume scraps to play with the star layout.
I tried to lay the stars out randomly and used filler pieces – mainly 3 inch squares, 3 x 5 1/2 inch and 3 x 8 inch strips to fill in the gaps. I wanted the background to be just as scrappy as the stars so I did not use any really big low volume pieces.
The scrappy background also gave me more opportunities for fussy cutting, allowing me to cram in even more novelty prints (have you spotted the squirrels yet!).
My binding choice was a little different from usual with this quilt too… I went with low volume soft colours to frame the quilt instead of my usual wonky star binding – navy blue or scrappy brights. I liked how this choice lets the stars jump off the quilt instead of containing them inside a frame.
The wonderful free motion quilting on this piece was done by my friend Michelle of Mariposa Quilting. I was so pleased this quilt was not ruined by my clumsy straight line quilting.
Once washed this quilt will head off to the our local Pediatric Intensive Care unit where it will hopefully be used for a couple of good games of I Spy….
My final finishes for 2015 and first finish of 2016 has been putting the binding on a couple of wonky star quilts. If you follow this blog you know how much I love a wonky star, and I found during my recent health issues that I could make wonky stars without too much effort or thought (I seem to have good muscle memory for this quilt block!)….
What made these quilts so easy for me to make was that I used some of my huge stash of 5 inch squares and lots of scraps. For this first quilt I grabbed a pile of blue squares and my bag of white/cream scraps and got to work.
What you can not see too well in the photos is that each center of the star is made up of improv scraps. This is my favorite bit of the process… sewing all the little scraps together to make my own fabric.
For all my wonky star quilts I did simple straight line quilting, but with this quilt I used a variegated thread I found in my thread box. I kind of love how it turned out…
For my next two wonky star quilts I took some scraps of Hoffman batiks that I had been given and had some fun…
This is my favorite of the quilts… I love how the soft pink and blue play together….
Plus I got to play with novelty prints which makes me so happy. The background for the stars uses 4 different Batiks and with all these quilts the colour variation in the background adds a nice texture to the overall quilt I think.
I got to back my pink stars with some of my favorite fabric from Michael Miller. I love the mermaids so much…and this fabric was so perfect for the quilt it had to be used.
For the background of this quilt I used creams/beige batiks from a Hoffman layer cake or two. I do not use batiks much in my quilting but I love how they work as a support to the modern quilting fabrics. For this quilt I played with batting loft and used a wool batting.
The batting gives the quilt a lovely warmth and softness… it is nicely puffy. I can see why long arm quilters would choose to use a higher loft batting, as it really does make the quilting stand out.
So there are my last and first finishes. Very simple, very easy and kind of fun. Each quilt finishes at 41 inches square, a perfect size for our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
At Christmas my darling husband gave me a set of Munki Munki flannel pj’s. Pajama giving at Christmas seems to be a very American tradition..but I have fully embraced it. When I opened my Christmas package only one thing came to mind….this is going to make a wonderful quilt.
For those of you that are not familiar with the Munki Munki brand, their top designer was/is Heather Ross and collecting the pajama prints and using them for quilts is very popular amongst modern quilters. This is of course what I tried to explain to the husband when he found me cutting up my pajama top.
Seriously how could I resist these darling gnomes…
So a flurry of fussy cutting ensued and my favorite “go to” block pattern, the wonky star, was employed….
What was interesting about making the top in particular for me was that I used all flannel. I had previously back several quilts in flannel…I love the soft finish particularly for baby quilts… but I had never pieced in it.
For this top I used some flannel scraps a friend had given me and bought some more from my local quilt store… and I tried to use as much of the source pajama fabric as I could…including the sleeve and leg cuffs which were bright green.
Most of the flannel I used had a wrong and right side and it was at times tricky to tell which was which…. except for the Cloud 9 flannel which was beautifully thick and lush and was reversible.
The end result was this darling little baby quilt… and I love how soft and cuddly it is.