Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Star Shine and Blues-A Finally Finished At Last

My Star Shine and Blues (SSaB) quilt was finally finished this past weekend. I seem to be in a phase during the month of May with working on quilts started while I was recovering from my knee injury last October.  I'm thinking or maybe feeling after I finished the Jolly Jinny Jungle Quilt last month, the other projects from this time, are wanting to be worked on also and maybe preventing me from starting any new projects.
SSaB was started last August when I was in a mood to make a quilt with the many Cotton + Steel blues, yellows and lights in my stash which were accumulating too long in my stash.  Once again the fabric side of my memory bank finally merged with the pattern side when I realized the Hold the Pickle block which Sue of Seven Oaks Street Quilt posted in February, 2018 would be fun.  Yep, the fabric and pattern side aren't in synch but in my defense, fabric buying is done with the hope of one day finding the perfect project to  sew with it.  And when I do find a project, I like the challenge of finding the fabric in my stash rather than in the store. But then, I'm at the age when I'm beginning to forget what I bought until I happen upon it or it's thrown at me by one of those rascally Squirrels in my studio.
Flutterby (left), Red Pepper Pickle Dish by Connie (right)
I'm partial to the Pickle Dish Blocks and I loved Sue's version of a variation of the Pickle Dish Block which was to remove the Drunkard Path unit.  Back in November 2016 when I was visiting Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene (Country Threads), Connie proposed that the three of us do a Pickle Dish QAL, 'ala Red Pepper Quilts, and showed us a sample block and gave us a full-size pattern. I wasn't excited about the curved piecing and would have been more receptive if I was able to die-cut the quarter circles.  I thought by making my Flutterby Quilt would be a good substitute and once again I demonstrated my skill of being a QAL Escape Artist.
Sue's Hold the Pickle was perfect for die-cutting.  After deciding on the quilt size (60" x 72), this meant I needed thirty blocks: 15 Hold the Pickle Blocks and 15 alternate blocks which was sort of a framed four patch blocks. After much planning and deciding on which colors to use and where  (when I make another Hold the Pickle quilt, it will be just these blocks. I don't remember why I chose to do it with an alternate block but laziness may have been a factor--hard to believe, right?) I spent some time pressing, die-cutting and making a big mess (I will spare you a photo of this), I was ready to sew.

After making two of each of the blocks in September so I could test the layout, SSaB was set aside for other projects until November when I needed something I could sew in my Upstairs Sewing Room. If there's one thing that I appreciated from my accident is it's really nice to have projects which are ready to sew.  I also was very glad that the 26 blocks remaining were finally sewn together, sew many patches.
It was early February when the blocks were laid out and the top was finished.  It seems like SSaB was something I worked in stages spanning several months apart.
SSaB languished for one of the usual reasons, choosing a backing from my stash, because I'm on a fabric diet this year, which came down between a gray vertical stripe or a nice quite right blue Dear Stella print.  I decided on the Dear Stella print because sometimes you can't have it right on both sides and the one thing this print had going was that it had owls, birds and other forest creatures some of which appear on the C + S prints.  The really big hang up, though, was quilting with entire diagonal lines which I've never done before and wasn't sure how to pin baste.  It wasn't so bad after all. Once I prepped my Juki 2010 for machine quilting, much to my surprise, when I started I saw that the tension wasn't right since the quilt was puckering big time.  I ended up ripping rows several different times. Thankfully, I finally was able to figure out my tension problem and Juki might need to go in for servicing. 
I machine quilted with diagonal straight lines on the blue and yellow squares and wavy lines in between with light gray Aurifil thread. I quilted 3" apart and was easy to do by using the 3" patches as a guide.
I'm glad I decided to bind SSaB with the dark navy print since  it was needed to offset the navy prints already used in the top.  
I'm sort of regretting my idea of using navy but my thinking back then was to included all of the blues, ranging from dark blues to light periwinkle blues bordering on being a gray lilac.  I used some of these blues before in my Blue Ernie Stash Dash Quilt and I thought it turned out well. The yellow fabrics with the navy fabrics seem to fight with each other as to which one is the more dominant color; I would have preferred the yellow so the Hold the Pickle blocks stood out more. Maybe I should have placed the alternate blocks differently like away from the center. At least I did get to use all of my C + S blues.
As mentioned earlier in my post, the other projects, which used 2-1/2" strips, I started during my recovery period are now tops and ready to be quilted. No indecisions on the backing nor the machine quilting, I just need to find the time.
Also, I finally shipped my Bible Quilt to Nancy, Grace & Piece Quilting for machine quilting.  The top has been finished since March and I've been waiting for the endless snow to finally stop and I'm thinking maybe it's safe now.  I had visions of my package being strewned along a snowy highway after being ejected from an overturned USPS truck on the way to Minnesota. But then again, we sure are having a lot of rain and tornadoes in the Midwest, so I'm saying prayers and crossing my fingers.
I'm hoping to be able to start a totally new project this week, no more 2018 UFOs or any green fabrics Good Quilting friend Carol just gifted me (center photo).  Seriously, I'm thinking of calling Jinny Beyer's Studio to see if they would barred Carol from buying any green fabrics but I'm pretty sure they won't.  I have two already die-cut projects (left and right) with never before used fabric and I just love having ready to sew projects.

On a side note, you know the saying that old men sit around talking about the weather, well I'm thinking quilters who blog might be prone to doing this also.I can't  believe how long it took me to write this post because I need to take some photos outside which usually this is the time of year for doing this. I was waiting for the rain and clouds to go away so the Sun can make an appearance, which it did here and there, but then I wasn't ready to run outside to take a photo because I was still in my pajamas.  Today, the Sun is shining for more than five minutes and it is so welcomed and thankfully I'm not in my pajamas.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation NTT


  1. I like SSaB and I think the navy binding was a good choice. I love the greens, but then green is my favourite colour.

  2. SSaB is a great quilt and a good twist on the Hold the Pickle. I have to admit I do love that Red Pepper block though, curved piecing and all. You made a Bible quilt! I've always thought it would be fun to make one. We definitely have the same quilting brain juice, I think!

  3. SSaB is terrific and Ilove the variation. I can’t wait to see your Bible quilt! I often thought of one, but not quite ready to commit. I hope to sew today on a new to me featherweight today. I tested it before I drove to PA. Good for you for the fabric diet, it seems to be going well. I need to get motivated on the other diet, but now that the surgery is done, I am back on the plan!

  4. Hi Rosie (I'm sure you've been called that before as I know I sure have been)! Oh this color combination is just one of my very favorites!! In fact, we just pulled out all of our blues and yellow to decide on the next quilt. HAHA - another new term to laugh over and enjoy - QAL Escape Artist. I like your decision to include navy in your fabric choices, and the navy binding does pull it out nicely. That's okay right?! Nothing wrong with navy - the whole quilt really shines with those pretty yellows. I see butterflies when I look at the distant shot - tilt your head a bit to the left and you'll see them too. Very cool!! I've been waiting to take some photos too - wait until you see the crappy one showing off my one and only finish tomorrow. Unless I can get a better one after work tonight - which could possibly happen. I'm already looking forward to your next project, friend. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Blue and yellow is such s happy combination. I think “French Provencial,” but I’ve never been there so what do I know. You have really pared that pickle dish pattern down to a pickle dish for the rest of us—you know, the ones who shy away from tiny points and curves. You’ve given me a lot to think about with having projects ready-to-sew on hand. I always try to finish everything up, except for one hand sewing project, which may not be a good idea because you just never know...And now a word about the weather. Ha ha. It’s sunny today but blowing like crazy, so not a day to photograph quilts! As Roseanne Rosannadanna would say (yes, I’m that old), “It’s always something.”

  6. I love the blues and yellows! Such a great color combination. They don't feel like they are competing to me at all. I like your wavy line quilting. Lovely finish!

  7. Congratulations on a lovely finish - Love the sunny yellows and the crisp blues. They work well together. On the other hand, the rain and photographs do not work together. Hope you have good weather for the next photoshoot.

  8. Well, this is a fun post to read. Should I tell you that Pickle Dish is one of my favorite patterns of all times? Should I tell you I have one started with fabrics from my grandmother (hello UFO)? Should I tell you that I really want to make Hold the Pickle blocks? Are we related? We seriously must be. Anyway - love your quilt with all the blues, yellows and other good things! Can't wait to see what Nancy does with the Bible quilt! I live close by - might have to go see it in person!

  9. The SSaB quilt is stunning! I love it and I think the navy and yellow look incredible together!


I appreciate your comments but due to traveling and my ineptitude with typing on either my iPhone or iPad, my response may be somewhat delayed. Thank You for your understanding.