Saturday, October 29, 2011

To answer some questions...

Quilter's Newsletter Magazine did a nice writeup, but printed my poor quilt on its side!

Since Mary wanted to know a little more about this quilt, I will try to remember as much as I can about it and tell all.  This may be difficult--I've slept since then....

The rules of the contest included the size--the quilts were to measure ~40" on a side.  With that as my guiding factor, I started thinking about block sizes.  I knew that I wanted the quilt to appear to be 3-D, too, so that would require some oddly-shaped blocks.  So, I started with four 10" 8-pointed stars on the bottom.  That left 30" to work with on the sides, so I did five 6" and six 5" stars on the sides.  Unfortunately, that left 29" at the top for the little stars, so they had to be 4" plus a smidge.  I'm sure none of you do this, but I tend to use bad language when dealing with these little difficulties, LOL, so the air may have been slightly blue in my studio for a day or two.

At about this time, one of my weekly quilting groups was in the middle of a Friendship Block round--we took turns deciding what we wanted, and then the group would make us a block in the pattern/colors/size that we specified.  One of the ladies had us make a 4", yes I said 4", Mariner's Compass.  We all told her she was lucky to have any friends after that one, LOL.  But, having made one and kept the pattern, I thought it would make a splendid center for a 14" Mariner's Compass, so that's what I did for this little quilt.  I wanted the Compass to show up as though it was floating in space.  This was easily accomplished by adding a half inch around the block.  And I chose the fabric for the background and for the slanted stars, black with small figures, because I thought it could look like stars in space, and the slanted stars would look like holes in the surface showing the stars behind that surface.  When I worked on the slanted stars, I adjusted them so that the large center block would be roughly in the center of the quilt--that meant that none of those eight blocks had the same templates, which meant I needed to number each piece and each block differently to be sure they would fit.  I drew all the blocks on graph paper for accuracy.  They all had to be hand-pieced.  Once the quilt was together, I chose the border fabric.  I thought it complimented the quilt nicely.  Mary also asked about the fabric choices overall.  I happen to like the scrappy look, so for the outer stars, I picked out 8 greens that seemed to look well together, and mixed and matched, trying to keep the blocks as different from each other as possible.  I don't remember for sure, but think I quilted it on my Pfaff 1475CD.


  1. I look at that quilt and I don't see "scrappy" (maybe I don't know what that really means?)

    I see fine art.

    Thanks for the story; this blog is a great read!

  2. To me, scrappy means that there are lots of different fabrics used, which adds a lot of texture and interest to the work. Imagine this quilt made with only 4 or 5 fabrics. Flat, boring, blah.