When Jayne at Twiggy and Opal put out a request for pattern testers for her block for the Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop I was more than happy to lend a hand. I chose to set out of the hop this time around and was kicking myself in the rump, so testing Jayne's awesome design still felt like getting to play too.
I fell in love with the paper pieced Star Thistle the second it landed in my inbox. Since the blog hop used solids I decided to make my test block using prints. I was super impressed with Jayne's tutorial. She did a wonderful job walking you through the process of paper piecing, and in no time, I had myself a completed block.
This block would also help me complete my OMG for the month, a very simple and vague goal to simply quilt something. Anything. So I added a 2" border of background fabric and played around with designs.
My first two thoughts about the quilting was to; 1. take full advantage of all those wonderful geometric lines and add some dot to dot quilting and 2. somehow soften up those angles with some curves.
Next up was picking my quilting cast of characters, so into my Aurifil thread collection I went.
I'm pretty sure it's not the first time these four friends have acted together in a quilt. From left to right we have Aurifil #2610 Light Blue Grey, #2250 Red, #5006 Light Turquoise, and #2021 Natural White.
I can officially say I am in love with ruler work. Since the HQ Sixteen has a perfect foot for ruler work, I thought let's give it a go. I made small dots with a blue water soluble pen where I wanted my lines to meet and aimed for a 1/4" away. I couldn't be happier with the results.
Then my quilting plan went astray. I kind of got a bit messy when I pieced my block sections together and let myself end up with an out of control large seam where they all met. You can't exactly tell in the picture below, but it was so large that it wouldn't fit under my quilting foot. Now what??
|The brown fur in the top right corner is Miss Caroline trying to squeeze into the shot at all costs.|
I was so frustrated I couldn't think straight, so I took to the Instagram. Thanks to a wonderful quilter named Jamie (quiltinglibrarian_fl) I was talked off the ledge. A simple tweak or two and I was back to quilting again. Instead of having my quilting start from that center point I worked from the opposit ends of the reds and white sections. You can see the dot to dot quilting in the white center section below (I just eye balled those sections, no ruler).
Then I used my blue pen and a handy dandy dinner plate to mark my ghost circle in the middle. Then all that was left to do was fill in my background with pebbles to add more curves to the piece.
Also, a little shout out to Sandra at mmmquilts. A while back she surprised me with a small basket (and something else I'll share later). It has come in sew handy at my Sweet 16.
It is the perfect size to use as a thread catcher and to hold my utensils as I'm quilting.
The addition of the flange binding had me jumping for joy, because I knew a completion was near.
So how about a few more pictures of Star Thistle?
You can get your own copy of Star Thistle at Jayne's Craftsy Store (for free) and check out her tutorial over at Twiggy and Opal. A big thanks to Jayne for letting me pattern test this great block, I have loved everything about it.
Before I close, if you haven't had a chance to check out my post from Monday, you can help me celebrate what I'm calling a "Cheryl Party" to help Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs celebrate the release of her latest two patterns, Check Plus and Vintage Star. She graciously offered a copy of each to me for a giveaway for two lucky readers. So hop over to my Cheryl Party to enter and read more about the patterns. Also a little cricket (David's text tone on my phone) just told me that his post about making Cheryl's Check Plus is now up over at Dave the Quilting Engineer. Rumor has it, there may be a give away over there too.
Today I'm linking up with Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop, TGIFF, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Linky Tuesday and OMG Linkup.