Tuesday 23 June 2015

Sunday and Stars

I had a lovely day on Sunday: No pics but I went to Sandown Racecourse - to the National Quilt Championships.  Lots of inspiration,  lots of vendors and lots of fun.

I managed to meet a fellow blogger  - Kate North from Kate's Quilting.  We have followed each other for many years, and my children are only a few years older than hers.  She kindly sent me some unwanted wool a year or so ago - it was great to meet up over a coffee.

I managed to do my bit for the quilting economy and bought a few bits and pieces:

All *Mostly* for projects already on the go, or at least at planning stage!

The white is for the top I've recently been working on

It needed a border of white, so as soon as I got home I set to chopping up the fabric and adding squares around the outside.

Next it needs to be chopped up again.  I'm making a Whirly Gig / Lil Twister quilt,  I first knew this as a Square Dance design.  I've made a few in the past

I love the end result, but haven't made one for quite a while.

I wrote a tutorial at my last attempt, and approached that from the "I have a template, what size blocks do I need to cut", angle - whereas this quilt is approached from the "I have charm squares, what size template do I need?" angle.

So, I started with charm squares (5") and joined them with 1/4" seams, leaving me with, give or take a smidgen, 4.5" finished blocks.

A bit of trial and error showed me I needed 3.75" templates, with the diagonal starting 3/4" from the corner.  You can see I made paper templates to start with to ensure they almost met but didn't overlap. 

When I was sure I had the right size I made myself a plastic one

And started drawing on my quilt

Some lines are separated by a small amount

Others are on top of each other - luckily none actually overlapped so my template is the right size, its just some of my piecing that's a bit off

Once I'd drawn all over my top, I started to cut out the new squares

Each of these new squares just then needs to be twisted slightly anti-clockwise and pinned to its neighbour.  Its easiest (well I think it is) to start by cutting  and pinning one square at a time

But after a while I started cutting a whole strip's worth.

The white in the second and third columns don't look like stars, but are actually two stars wide.  My plan is to quilt just inside each star with a suitable thread so the white stars stand out

I'm now about half way through the cutting and pinning stage.  There is a far bit of waste, as there is an unused square between each pair of star blocks, but I plan to use them in the border, like in this one

Back to cutting and pinning :-)


  1. Stunning projects and thanks for the tutorial.I`ve tried make Whirly but was a disastre.Hope to try your tuto.

  2. I love it, and well done for helping the economy!

  3. the effect is so good on the whirly gig . Quilt show sounded a good place to visit, you have some nice piurchases there, the next one I get to is in Harrogate in september

  4. Sorry I missed you Benta, I did Sunday as well, but it was a bit of a whilrwind visit. I love this way of making those blocks , you must have a very arithmetical brain to be bale to work it out.

  5. Well that's a bit clever! I did toy with coming up but Sunday went a bit squiffy in the end!

  6. Ooohhhhh! So that's how you do it! Thanks for the photos - it all becomes clear now! Looking lovely, as always!

  7. I love your top as a before, and the after will be wonderful . It reminds me I made a workshop for this block and have a sample unfinished .

  8. So pleased I read your post on the Whirlygig quilt, and saw your solution for the little left-over squares in the border. I've always resisted making this pattern because of the "waste", even while knowing that there is never waste in left-over bits when you're a quilter. I'll add it to my list of "Quilts I Want To Make" afterall.

  9. You were very restrained in your buying in the end, weren't you! Lovely to meet up - same time next year? lol

  10. This reminds me, I have an unfinished twister I started with a quilt guild project. That day, we all donated our leftover squares to a gal who put them all together for a scrappy donation quilt. Mine has some white stars too - I look forward to seeing yours quilted!


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