The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects—great scrap quilts all!
We just finished one series and we’re off on another scrappy adventure. Today we’re sharing Buff’s version of Magic Stars from the new Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker.
We named it Magic Stars because the stars appear with a little hocus pocus—you don’t make stars at all.
This is the block. When several are set side by side, you get stars, just like magic.
The Scrap Squad is having some serious fun with this design. Today’s featured quilt is by Buff Jones, who lives in Santa Clara, California. She tells her quilt story below.
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Magic Stars had me at Magic! I received a wonderful bundle of patriotic fabrics (even tied up with a red, white and blue bow!) at a quilt retreat, and have planned to make a Quilt of Valor for some time. One look at Magic Stars and “Grateful Stars” began to take shape.
I followed my own advice (I sometimes do that) and made one block before I committed to the whole enchilada.
It was love at first sight. I only made one change, which was to substitute the gold fabric (note that it has bees and dandelions on it, go figure, and was gifted to me from my friend Laura’s stash!) that you can see on the inside half-rectangles. It made for a little more scrappy-ness and gave the block more dimension.
Tips for the blocks? I have two. The first involves the “B” and “reverse B” pieces. If you make a single template, or mark your Tri-Recs ruler like I did, one time and cut from a folded strip, you get a B and a reverse B the easy way.
Second tip: The Pizza Box! (It’s worth it just to see the expression on the pizza shop owner’s face when you ask to purchase a clean, empty pizza box, trust me on this.) Whenever I have a pattern that calls for a bunch of the same block, I put my “make one first” block in the box and stack all the pieces on top of it in the correct order.
The pizza box also allows you to get tricky directional pieces (like the navy stripe in the center, above) all going in the correct direction.
But beware of what happens when you go to the iron to press that hour glass block…
“Why are you looking at me like that, Mom? Geez…”
My pictures don’t really do justice to the beauty of this pattern, but I LOVE the amazing secondary pattern that emerges from a single block. Making this as a Quilt of Valor was a labor of love in the truest sense.
Although I am a borders kind of gal, I just couldn’t bring myself to take away from all those beautiful stars, so a simple burgundy binding and a variegated thread with a subtle star and swirl pattern completed “Grateful Stars.”
I can hardly wait to send this off to a service person with my appreciation and love in every stitch. I hope it inspires you to do the same.
Perfect opportunity for a giveaway! We’ll send a copy of Sept/Oct’s Quiltmaker and a pile of red/white/blue fabrics so you can start your own Quilt of Valor. Please leave a comment by midnight Monday, August 4 for your chance to win. We’ll announce the winner next week. The winner is Krista Y., #2.
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