The Wonky Stars Quilt
Continuing on with my Eastern to Mountain, 3-part series, let’s talk about the Wonky Stars Quilt. This series is about three different quilts that are all scrap busting by nature; colorful and well-traveled. This particular one was 100% inspired by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. “Block” magazine that I received from a fellow quilter. As I’ve mentioned before, I learned so much about quilting from Jenny Doan, Founder of Missouri Star Quilt Company http://www.missouriquiltco.com. I watched her online tutorials, almost daily in the beginning, and her ‘anyone can do this’ style drew me in. She made quilting approachable and fun, so of course, I was happy to have this new book in my collection.
Wonky Stars is just that – WONKY. There’s no fussing with matching triangle points. The four patch center is about as precise as the piecing needed to be. The rest is a wash of colors and prints, free form triangle shapes and wonky goodness throughout. Making this was a relaxing experience and I immediately thought that it would be a quilt I could make over & over and never tire of the process. While Jenny’s version on the cover of her book is scrappy, as is mine, this would be fantastic in a curated palette or from a single collection. I omitted the sashing and setting squares in my quilt, but aren’t Jenny’s just an extra pop?
Gathering the Scraps
As you can see, there’s a little bit of everything in these blocks! My go-to background is a bleached white cotton from Moda Fabrics. A bright, crisp white is one of my favorites when paired with all these vibrant colors. Keeping the same white in my quilts allows my solid white scraps to match. Pulling from smaller pieces generally ensures they are all the same. Note, I said “generally”. It’s not an exact practice, as there have been a few stragglers left behind from earlier quilting days. One of those stragglers found its way into this quilt, as a matter of fact. I actually didn’t even notice the slight variation until the quilt was completely pieced and I saw it in the daylight!
Progress! I totally understand that scrappy patchwork isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I love it. It’s good to be frugal, using every last little bit of precious fabric. I like reliving the memories of so many other projects as I cut new blocks for what will be a one-of-a-kind new quilt. As usual, I didn’t have a final size in mind when I started these blocks. I kind of let the evolution happen and felt that I’d know when I’d made enough. There were moments I thought this could be a really fun & funky baby quilt, but the more stars I made, the more I wanted the quilt to be very big. So, I kept going.
Once my blocks were finished, I cut them all to the same size which seems like a process out of order. With the focus and precision in the four-patch and the “legs” of the stars all being different, the squaring came last. Squaring up these nine patch blocks was quick & the sewing even more so.
You can really see my alternating pressing of seams here. That’s another technique I know many quilters will debate. Press to alternating sides or open? I tend to press alternately; open if the pattern calls for it. With the Wonky Stars, my alternate row pressing was just fine. I always give my quilt tops a final starch and press before they are quilted, but this one shows the first pass.
Off to the Mountains
This is where the Eastern to Mountain comes in. My husband and I took two quilts into the mountains of Utah and photographed them in a place that was totally new to us. We like to hike and explore, but the difference in altitude and width of trails compared to home made for a challenge. Thankfully, my husband agreed to carry the quilts and I’m certain the other hikers were wondering what he had in that big plastic bag! After crossing paths with a snake, I was busy watching my steps. Stopping among the Aspens for photos was the perfect respite. The photos do not do justice to this beautiful place. And yes, the top is a bit wrinkly.
I’m thankful we took these photos in Provo, before hiking near Sundance. We learned that extra large quilts are more difficult to keep off the ground when taking photos and dirt hiking trails aren’t forgiving. I had to do a little hand washing of this one and left it to drip dry over the hotel shower curtain rod. That was when I found the one, white square straggler. Yes, I left it and it’s quilted in. I sort of figured if it took all this piecing, hiking, and hand washing for me to see it, then let it be.
The backing fabric by Sarah Golden for Andover Fabrics features terriers, of course! The beautiful edge to edge quilting is the work of Jenn at Knotted Thread http://www.knottedthread.com. Now quilted & bound, it had one more trip to our friends’ in New Hampshire. Equally bright in the mountains of Utah as it is here, over the picket fence of a 200 year old home. Quilts – memories stitched together and at home everywhere.
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