Our Island Batik Ambassadors challenge for the month of September is called “StarStruck”. It may as well have been called “Star-crossed” the way my year has been going. You see, I had a great pattern to show you. It’s a quilt I designed for Quilty magazine, and it was going to be in the Sept/Oct issue. Then Quilty folded.
Fortunately, the editors tell me my quilt will be published in Easy Quilts, but not until next autumn. Unfortunately, I can’t show it to you until then. About halfway through September, it occurred to me that I had planned to use that quilt for my StarStruck challenge. The scramble was on for a Plan “B”.
Several years ago, I published a book called The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric. The book describes my system for pre-cutting and using fabric scraps. From time to time on this blog, I offer “TQable” block and quilt patterns, meaning those that can be made from one or more of the precuts in the Thrifty Quilter system. This little quilt is totally TQable.
To make this 42″ x 54″ quilt, I chose a Fat Eighths collection from Island Batik’s “Mountains Majesty” collection, and 3/4 yard of a light off-white. I am just a little in love with that blue and green snowflake piece, and deeply fond of several others.
To make the Guiding Star quilt, you will need:
59 6.5″ assorted medium and dark print squares
4 sets of four 3.5″ medium and dark print squares
8 3.5″ x 6.5″ off-white rectangles
6 2.5″ x Width of Fabric strips for binding
Step one is to make eight 3.5″ x 6.5″ Flying Geese units with the “Stitch and Flip” method. If you’ve never done this, I explain it in this blog post. In the post, I drew diagonal lines on my squares, but nowadays I just use my little ruler and cut that corner off before stitching. To be honest, it may save me all of 30seconds per unit, so so if marking that line helps your accuracy, keep on marking.
Then, sew pairs of Geese into a 6.5″ star point unit. This detail shot shows the four 6.5″ x 6.5″ star point units sewn into the quilt.
Once the star point squares, lay out the quilt in a grid, seven squares across and nine squares down. You can place your star anywhere in this grid. Rearrange squares as needed until you have a balance that is pleasing to you.
Now you are ready to sew the squares into rows. Once I have the squares laid out as I want them, I like to pin small tags to the upper left corner of each square telling me which row that square is in, and which place in the row. This way, if the layout is disturbed, I know exactly where each piece goes when I lay it out again.
I remove the tags as I sew the squares together. The first block in each row keeps its tag until the rows are sewn together.
Once your quilt top is sewn together, layer it with your batting and backing, quilt as desired and use the off-white strips to bind it.
Guiding Star was quilted by Kathy Brown at the Creative Needle in Shelby, MT.
All fabrics were provided by Island Batik. Batting provided by Hobbs, and the thread is Aurifil 50weight cotton thread.
To see what my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors have been up to, check their blogs: