Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seeing Stars

 I love stars, and star quilts! Perhaps it's because I inherited this beautiful block hand pieced by my great grandmother, Roxie Reynolds Brown 1885-1924. This is a pattern sometimes known as Snow Crystals.

Early on when the quilting bug bit I decided that I wanted to make these 8 pointed stars, referred to as Leymone Stars. I remember in 2001 collecting almost 200 fat quarters of purple fabrics with the plan of making a huge quilt just of Leymone Stars. I went to the Houston Festival and purchased Marti Michell's templates and started cutting out hundreds (or was it thousands) of little purple diamonds to make 6 inch stars.  And then there was....realization...not only did I have to cut out the diamonds but also the setting squares and triangles...enter in procrastination... sigh. Truth was, I was a beginner way over my head!

Fast forward to this year, 2013 (yes, I can do the math too - 12 years later!) I decide that I truly need to be working on some UFOs and I had such history with those purple prints....surely it was time for them to come out to see the light of day.

What changed you ask? Simply that I found a method to strip piece and eliminate the y seam...how be it, I was having to adjust the method a tad since my diamonds were now considered "fussy cut" and the real beauty of fully strip piecing wasn't a walk in the park as it should had been had I started out with this method.  Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained.  I'm proud to say with the use of a fantastic ruler by Deb Tucker, The Rapid Fire (TM) Leymone Star ruler, and her pattern Pop Stars I have pieced a project that was long over due. Now it enters the line of "quilts in waiting" (as in waiting to be quilted) hopefully it won't be as long as the piecing!

Eager to try her method "the right way" I quickly pieced her pattern Crown Jewels and actually quilted it all in the same weekend (It was Labor Day and I was working for myself GRIN)


Thought you might like to see the close up on the quilting.

I've always been one to want to share my new discoveries so I arranged to have a few friends and their friends for piecing classes this past week.  Here's how a longarm studio gets turned into a classroom.

Thursday's  class had 4 lovely ladies. I was so pleased that after a long day in the saddle they each were able to complete the center block of Crown Jewels (the snow crystal block)...And of course, my ever famous professional quilt model, Pixxie had to share "her block" when it came time for bragging rights. 

A day to catch my breath and then it was time for Saturday's class of 6. Table "A" had some "smokin' needles" and they were the first to complete their center block (one of them had to leave early for a previous engagement so she really was a speedy on the machine!)

By the end of class everyone had a center square. With detailed instructions in their pattern and ruler to be able to finish at home.

Sunday afternoon came and I found myself with lots of hands on demo parts and pieces...I'm a "see one do one" type of teacher... hum... this looks nice...

But I wanted something a tad different...but still with no Y seams...I remembered a class I took in 2004 with Nancy Johnson-Srebro and went to find my autographed book "Stars by Magic"  Her method uses squares and rectangles....

yep. A design change...that's what I'm talking about...add a little twist of shocking pink and by the time its quilted and bound in hot pink I think it will find a place in my kitchen!

Time for my final class, Tuesday's class had 3 ladies with my friend Annette returning from Saturday. Unfortunately Trish had to leave early so she's not included in today's photo....Pixxie missed her.

I just sent out "class photos" to all the ladies and I'm getting reports in that several from the earlier class have already finished their piecing! Way to go girls!  I told you once you got the hang of it you'd be addicted!  I know I am....

Now what to do with my parts and pieces from teaching.....guess what! I do have a plan, but it's going to take more - can't wait until another Sunday afternoon to do a little quilt therapy with the hum of the sewing machine!

Congrats to all my "students" for choosing such gorgeous fabrics for your quilts, and for your hard work with this slave driver of a teacher! You were all so much fun to work with, love the fellowship of quilters!  But I think we wore Pixxie out (grin)

Me? I'm still seeing stars!


Beverly said...

Can you tell us what line of fabrics was used in your bright star (that you added the pink to)? I want to make a color wheel and those would work wonderfully well.

Karen E. Overton said...

Hi Beverly, I work from my stash

The bright poka dots is a fabric line called Fizz by P&B Textiles 2005

might be a tad hard to find