How to Make A Really Scrappy Lone Star Quilt

Really Scrappy Lone Star TuturialTraditional Lone Star Overview
The Lone Star is a traditional diamond shaped block – traditionally you do planned colors so it makes a cool radiating star pattern. For an example of that, here is a cool tutorial! It requires really careful piecing, because if all your bias cut seams don’t match up just right, you lose some of the effect. The strips are all the same length and width and you have to carefully calculate your strip piecing and color placement to get the perfect effect.

Another option is the slightly scrappy lone star, which Better Off Thread has a nice tutorial  with examples for that effect! While her version uses a variety of colors with random placement, the strips are all the same length and width.

HOWEVER, I didn’t use either of these wonderful tutorials, because what I wanted to  do was to make a lonestar with different width strips, for an effect that is truly, madly, deeply scrappy.  So far my quilt looks like this – it has about 33 pieces per block which means it has about 2,770 pieces so far! Here is before I added the blue strips along the outside edge to square it up.Scrappy Lonestar

And one block looks like this – a strip pieced diamond with 45 degree bias cut edges. Using my math below, you’ll create a diamond block. You can certainly use smaller measurements for a smaller block!

Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial
So this tutorial is going to be how to turn a pile of string scraps of a million different lengths like this:
Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial

Into the quilt above! The quilt isn’t done yet, but I have made enough of these things to explain the process!

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Charley Harper Mosaic Goldfinch Finish

Here is another one that took me a few days to get ALMOST done and then a year to actually finish.

I think of it as a ‘she’ though obviously it is a male goldfinch. I posted a tutorial for how to make a cardinal version – I have a half finished cardinal version as well – as well as some glamour shots of the unbasted top out in the wild.

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Can't decide whether to give him legs or not...

I did an orange peel quilting on it, using this tutorial though I kind of wish I had actually drawn on the circles so it was more precise. Or maybe the organic shapes are better with the scrappy neutral fabrics? Who can say! I wanted a double wedding ring style effect- highlighting the circles more than the petals formed, which I didn’t accomplish, and that’s ok.  It was fairly easy except for the occasional mishap. Womp womp.

Wompwomp. It's been a while since I caught the backing in the quilting. Almost done.

Here is the original clever little birdie from the mosaic in Cincinnati.  I love the inquisitive face! We have several goldfinch that hang out in our garden. I think the females are so pretty too, though not as easy to capture in a mosaic!

Charley Harper Mural in Cincinatti - perfect for mosaic quilts

For the back I used some of Birch Fabrics beautiful Charley Harper line of fabric – they have a new one coming out this fall!?! For the life of me, I don’t know why I was so stingy and didn’t just get another yard of fabric to finish the back,, but after much puzzling, I decided to copy the fabric design to expand it out. I’m happy with the effect! And somewhat impressed with how closely I was able to match the colors with solids from my stash.

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!
And bound in a beautiful gold fabric I am addicted to from Joann Fabric. It almost reads as a solid but has a little floral print. Very subtle and I keep coming back to the cheery color

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Finished that Scrappy Trip

Some years ago, everyone on the internet, ok, maybe just the quilters, started making scrappy trip along quilts. They are fun and fast and a great way to use up scraps, how could I resist?  I made one using the ugliest fabrics I had and then made another using the ugliest fabrics I had that matched this muted rainbow color scheme. I then lost interest in finishing the second one and made this awesome Eric Carle Quilt instead and the scrappy trip sat for a year and a half.

Except it didn’t just sit! We actually used it on the bed on colder nights as a back up blanket, which Matt hated because “the safety pins are cold” but for some reason we did not grab one of the 9,000 other quilts that are cluttering up my house.

Anyway, today, I killed the beast! I mean, I quilted the last 25% and bound it up.

We've actually been using this #scrappytripalong on the bed only 75% quilted and unbound for about a year as a "back up" on colder nights. Matt who never complains has asked multiple times for me to finish it because "the safety pins are cold and make me

I’m happy with the quilting, which is from a Nan Moore quilting book. Nice open loop de loops and paisley type shapes. Very comfy. Fast but more interesting than a meander.

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

The backing is a fairly heavy satin-finish cotton sheet. Just something I got at a discount type store once with the idea of using as a whole cloth quilt. To me, this is a double sided quilt, a fancy whole cloth shiny purple on one side and an economical use of ugly scraps on the other.

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

I still had some of the ugly pinks left so I used those for the binding. I do love them all together. Up close you can see all the silly fabrics that I used up. I have sooo many ugly scrap fabrics I have gotten for free other the years. I am actually making my way through them though!

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

Charley Harper Bird Pixel Quilt – Plus Tutorial

Charley Harper Tutorial

I’ve long been obsessed with making Charley Harper quilts for years now – I love his artwork! However, I can’t seem to make my self finish one of them! Here is a an early process shot of my goldfinch quilt and here is the finished top from last fall. Miraculously, I made the back and basted that yesterday, so hopefully photos soon of that coming along! May be a few years before I can decide how to quilt it – but I’m thinking orange peels?

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt
I also started a cardinal version last fall at the #OHCraft Retreat that the amazing Kara puts together every year – maybe I’ll finish it at this year’s retreat?

Anyway, a few people have asked me for a pattern for these quilts. I don’t have anything fancy to share, but I will share details on my process that should make it a lot easier for you! Continue reading

Mad Farmer’s Medallion

I am calling this beast the Mad Farmers Medallion after the Wendell Berry poem series (here is another) It needs another border (can’t decide what) and I can’t decide how to quilt it, so it’s going to sit in the corner till it figures itself out. It is Wednesday, so I am linking with other Works in Progress today.

Mad Farmers Medallion Pink Scrap QuiltIt was an attempt to use up my gray and pink scraps. I have a SERIOUS amount of scrap fabric, partly due to always being the first to pipe up when someone is tossing them out, and partly due to my modest little quilt business and the wedding signature quilts I make. I got 3-4 pink quilt orders since  last fall and was getting an unholy amount of pink scrap build up.

The center is leftover triangle corners from this Princess Pirate quilt. It’s bordered in velvet that is leftover scraps from a dress my mom made in about 5th grade — at least 20 years ago. Winning at scraps?

Mad Farmers Medallion Pink Scrap Quilt
I used to claim I wasn’t a fan of pink, but let’s be real, I love it! I think I was too punk rock to admit it at the time.  But I think this quilt is pretty punk rock?

I am taking a break from custom quilt orders, in part because it stopped being fun, and in part to use up some of my glorious (terrifying) scrap collection. This quilt was definitely inspired by “15 Minutes of Play” by Victoria Findlay Wolfe — though I must admit I spent more than 15 minutes working on this quilt so far!

I highly recommend the book version and the blog – she shares a few basic techniques, but is mostly focuses on inspiration and ideas to get you sewing.

Twelve Sisters Quilt

Coral Twelve Sisters Triangle Quilt

I’m entering this hot off the presses quilt into the Bloggers Quilt Festival  along with this other recent rainbow finish. It’s just under a queen size and scrappy.

I’ve been watching the new Cosmos (I still love the old one), and they just revisited the Six Sisters constellation stories. This is one of my favorite constellations, though I can only remember a few so it’s not that huge of a declaration. It’s loosely inspired from the “Seven Sisters” quilt block, though there are twelve stars total, hence the name.

I wanted to use the Hex n’ more ruler to make a “star within a star” quilt. I swear I have seen these in traditional quilts, but I couldn’t find pictures of them. I must be searching for the wrong thing. Does anyone have a name for what this “six pointed star in a star” pattern might be called?

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Converging Corners Rainbow Quilt

Converging Corners Rainbow Quilt
Occasionally my guild, the Columbus Modern Quilt Guild - has a block lottery where we all make a block (or two) and each block you bring gives you an entry – a name is pulled and voila! The winner gets a quilt! Our February block was the Converging Corners pattern by Film in the Fridge - I definitely recommend this block as a great option for group quilts.

I was pretty excited to win this beautiful rainbow of block at our February meeting! I decided to make 15 more blocks to make a 5×6 layout. I also made up a border to add a few inches. It’s just under a twin size now. I don’t love quilting huge quilts, but I love having them when they’re done! As soon as I was done with this one, I wished I’d done two more rows to make it 6×7. Future me is always wishing past me had worked just a little harder…

I’m entering this quilt in the rainbow category of the Bloggers Quilt Festival, which is a great excuse every spring and fall to spend hours admiring quilts if such things interest you – you are also welcome to vote for my quilt starting May 24th!

I quilted it using an allover feather pattern – lordy it took so much thread! Most of a spool. I also went through several needles, since the scrappy piecing plus the scrappy flannel on the back was a lot to sew through.

This is my second time quilting with feathers, and I kind of wish the feathers showed up better, but it’s probably for the best they are subtle. I used a pale yellow thread.

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Hot Air Balloon Wedding Quilt

Hot Air Balloon Monogram Quilt

This was fun. It’s raw edge applique. I just put the fusible webbing under the edge of the design so it is softer, especially with the layers of applique with the monogram over the balloon.

Looking at it in pictures, I think maybe I should have done a darker stitching around the balloon. But in person, it stands out more and I liked the softer effect. I saw a quote that said the tragedy of making things is that by the time you finish something, you are better than when you started it so you are always disappointed with your work. But I love the soft gray/peach/navy palette and know it will be perfect for cuddling under after the wedding guests have signed it.