Tuesday, May 21, 2013

… my harlequin star quilt

(i just want to say that i started writing this long-overdo post before i saw the lovely and sweet shout-out from rachel over at stitched in color. seeing that made me get just a little misty-eyed and reminded me of why i love our blogging community so much, even when some of us don't regularly keep up with the blogging part so well [ahem]. thank you, rachel!)

harlequin star

i would like to say that i am able to finish quilts without pressure of a deadline, but yeah, i'm pretty sure that is not true. that's, in fact, the opposite of true. fact is, if there's no deadline, there's a pretty good chance of me never finishing something. so i was pretty glad the seattle modern quilt guild had a deadline last week to submit star quilts for a show that will go up at island quilter in june.

and this quilt was so fun to make! i had no real agenda other than to make a lonestar-inspired quilt in bright, exciting colors.

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

i used this quilt, from treasury of american quilts as a jumping off point. i loved the way the lonestar points used a checkerboard pattern instead of the traditional radiating colors. and the more i looked at it the more it seemed to me to look like a harlequin, so that's where my design process and color selection took me. i used a variety of solids from my stash, including kaffe fassett shot cottons, and robert kaufman kona cottons and essex linens.

harlequin star

once i finished piecing the lonestar itself, i wanted to set off the brightness by using just blacks and whites for the background. i initially created the small half-square triangle blocks to be the square inset sections for the star, but quickly realized that a) y-seams are crazy difficult and b) i didn't even make those sections big enough to fit anyhow. so i stepped back and realized that i didn't want to waste the work i had already done and decided instead to move all those pieces to the border and create simple, larger HSTs for the inset pieces. and i tried a bunch of methods for piecing the y-seams until i discovered one that worked well for me. not so difficult after all, really.

harlequin star

i quilted it with relatively tight straight-line quilting (all lines are about 1/2" apart) on my janome. the quilting follows each point (or wedge) of the star into the center point and back out again. i really love the effect. and, as i recently learned, this kind of straight-line quilting is definitely my thing. even though i was on a very tight deadline (i left myself about three days to quilt and bind) i was glad i didn't flake out and do simpler quilting as i've done in the past.

harlequin star back

the backing is a whole cloth cynthia rowley for michael miller print that keli helped me pick out at drygoods design. i love that it's bright and festive and that it's difficult to see where i had to piece it together or where i used the same print to make a hanging sleeve for the show.

harlequin star multicolor binding

the binding is a scrappy pieced binding using all the solids from the lonestar. the quilt ended up measuring about 47" square.

harlequin star

after the show at island quilter this quilt will come home with me where it will be the new baby quilt for our little huckleberry, who we're expecting in early november. yup, you read that right:

True fact. And so happy to be able to finally tell the world since I look like I'm about 5 months rather than 3.

i am pregnant! i announced this on instagram and facebook several weeks ago, but forgot that not everyone keeps up with those social networking mediums, so maybe i should spread the news elsewhere. the other great news? it's another girl! i'm sure i would have been thrilled to have a boy, but having another girl really warms my heart. it also makes it way easier to share all of ingrid's old clothes and baby crap. but really, this is happy news indeed. in fact, i found out i was pregnant while at quiltcon, which makes that trip even more special for me. actually, in honor of that, we're going to name her connie.

ok, no we're not. but that would be funny. but really, we're not. for now, she's the huckleberry. because ingrid's going to have a huckleberry friend and because, hey, huckleberries are delicious!