Friday, January 17, 2014

Love of Lone Star

This post features my first Lone Star Quilt and I learned so much in doing it.  I used a pattern from "Lone Star Quilts and Beyond" by Jan Krentz, and strip pieced the diagonals in the points.  This made it so much easier, but dealing with the wonkiness of bias remained a challenge throughout.  I found that it is very important to create a template, pin the points securely to an ironing surface, measuring and adjusting to fit the template.  Then starch and press.  This made them go together very nicely.

Another challenge in Lone Star quilts are the Y seams.  See the U-tube directions of Kaye Wood on this subject.  When the seams are done well they lie flat and lovely as in the following close-up of the same quilt.

I love Asian fabric and I had these wonderful birds.  I chopped the fabric to pieces, cut out the bird motifs and attached them with needle-turn appliqué.  If you like handwork you can spend a lot of time doing this.  I wasn't exceedingly precise because my plan was to quilt over the edges to blend them into the background.  That plan worked out very well.

I mentioned that I love fussy cutting so I put the center together with eight triangles cut exactingly the same.  It is important to sew the center points carefully to the place where seam allowances come together.  If you press the seams all the same way they nest together on the back and form a flat, unseen flower.  This presents another problem if you have open seams at the Y-seams.  Somewhere you have to let the seams change direction and press.  Some people say this is a no-no, but others find it doesn't affect the finished product.  I have done it many times and am comfortable doing it.  After all, you want both the center and the Y-seams to be perfect.  Here is a close-up of the center kaleidoscope.

At this point I was just beginning to learn to machine quilt.  I did 1/4 inch lines in each diamond, breaking thread in every one.  It was insane, and I thought I would wear out the quilt turning it four times for each diamond.  The borders were also done with 1/4 inch straight lines.  The black background was medium stippling.  I am told that is a very difficult way to start, but I didn't know it at the time.  By the time I finished this quilt I had just about decided I never wanted to machine quilt ever again.  That has changed as you will see in future posts.

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