By Louisa Robertson
My final quilt for Scrap Squad is based on Spinning Stars by Kate Colleran, the cover quilt of Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb issue.
This looks like my kind of quilt—the block has interesting piecing and a strong diagonal line to create secondary designs.
The small star in the corner of each block is a vital part of this pattern. However, after the quilts I’ve done in the last year I could not summon up any enthusiasm for more triangle corners or Flying Geese, so I turned to Electric Quilt design software, looking for an alternative.
There I found another block, the Lemoyne Star, that could be made the same size and would cut easily from strips, using diamonds instead of triangles for the star points.
A selection of plaid fabrics was near at hand. I cut pieces and made a sample star.
Diamonds and the smaller triangles are cut from 1.75″ strips. The larger triangles are cut from 2.25″ strips.
As I stitched, I finger-pressed all seams clockwise from the centre. (I have found that small blocks are more accurate if I can resist the urge to reach for the iron until after the block is completely assembled.)
I liked the block, but the plaids did not inspire me. Digging deeper into stash I found some beautiful batiks, including a set of pieces in several shades of blue that would be great for this project.
I paired warm colours – golds, yellows, oranges – with the blues to make the stars, adding assorted lights for backgrounds (most, but not all of them, batiks). Dark blues and greens would be used for the triangles on the sides of the diagonal band sections.
I decided to make a small quilt using only twelve blocks. The stars were made quickly and I turned to the diagonal sections.
I was working with scraps which is always less efficient than starting with yardage, but I was still able to use some of the strip-piecing methods described in the instructions. I made short strip sets using 2.5″ strips and cut segments from these.
Once the twelve blocks were made it was time to play with them on the wall. I soon discovered that there are many ways of putting these together. Here are a couple of the layouts that I considered.
I showed my blocks to friends at a sewing day. We tried several versions, and then someone turned two corner blocks by 90 degrees and agreed that we had found the winning combination.
The border was a good place to use my favourite “dancing triangles.” This pattern repeats the triangles and fabrics from the blocks. I had set aside enough of one of the blue batiks to make the final border.
I quilted with a swirly bubble edge-to-edge pattern using a variegated thread that repeated the blues and golds from the fabrics.
The Batik Spinning Stars quilt and my year as a member of Scrap Squad are both complete. I have half a dozen lovely quilts and innumerable wonderful memories of my time as part of this team.
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