Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Orion Star

I loved the design of this quilt called Orion Star and found a bunch of batik fat quarters in my favorite colors.  This is one of those quilts that I did for the fun of it.  It is not hard and was great to take to a quilt retreat when you have noise and confusion around you.  I prefer not to have to think very hard in that venue.  I saw it in a magazine advertised as a quilt made with "Thangles."  Thangles are a method of making half-square triangles using pre-printed paper as a cutting guide.  You can learn about Thangles here and get the pattern and Thangles here.  Since I tend to jump in and get all wet before buying more stuff, I just designed it myself by looking at the quilt in the advertisement.  Mine is much smaller (about 36" x 48") than what they sell in the kit, but it served its purpose for me.  The biggest challenge was working on my design wall to arrange the colors in a way that pleased my eye.

TIP:  You can have a fancy design wall or use your bed.  I hang a flannel-backed tablecloth on my wall, flannel side out and use it.  It is easy to put up, take down and store, and it does the job just fine for very little money.

TIP:  Arrange the blocks the way you think you like them, then leave it for awhile.  Wander into the room now and then and look at it again, rearrange and go away again.  You can get a lot of house cleaning done or dishes washed during this process.  Do this for several days.  Fresh eyes see things that were missed.  When you are sure you are happy, crank up the sewing machine and sew it together.

I had gotten comfortable free motion quilting flowers with big, simple petals and that design served well on this quilt too.  More practice.  I still wasn't loving it, but I didn't want to pay someone else to do my quilt.  It takes motivation, determination, and lots PRACTICE, to get the hang of free motion quilting whether you are working on a longarm or sit-down machine.  Don't get discouraged.  It will come.

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