Summer, sunshine and star block quilts. It’s a winning combination, as is this new pattern by Modernly Morgan (www.modernlymorgan.com).
Having tested Morgan’s last pattern, the Cozy Cabin Quilt, I was definitely excited when she asked if I’d test this one as well. She and I share a love of star blocks and stash-busting quilts, so I knew it would be a great project. It’s a fat quarterly friendly pattern, and I decided to cut into my Tula Pink “Homemade” bundle. In this process, I learned that accuracy is important before making the first cut. Not all my FQs were accurately sized, so I had to swap a couple in the preparation process. This pattern is designed with very little waste, so having a FQ that is too small (it happens!), is something to take notice & choose accordingly.
I do use a wool pressing mat and a mini Oliso iron when pressing blocks. My family gifted both these tools to me and I use them both every single time I sew. For me, it sure beats moving to a large ironing board over & over while making blocks.
In making this quilt, I looked through each of my cut pieces and assembled piles or sets of each block I intended to make. Sometimes, I choose as I go. This time, I knew I’d be working in more fragmented sewing sessions as my calendar was a bit hectic. Setting aside all the pieces and being able to fit in a block here or there made the most sense. I definitely fell into a rhythm and the written directions are so clear and concise, I was able to pick up a block set and sew as time allowed. I’m still amazed at how quickly a quilt of this size came together, even with my studio time being less flexible recently.
I have always been a fan of bold graphics and colorful fabrics. I keep a bin of Tula Pink fabric for those moments when the feeling, “I need a BRIGHT quilt”, strike. Because I like a scrappy look and her collections are so well matched in color and tone, I find it easy to blend prints without too much worry. This particular line, “Homemade”, features all things sewing related. It’s perfect for me & my hobby-loving heart. I will say that I’m not 100% focused on directional fabric matching every single time. None of my quilts are on beds. They are all used for picnics, days at the beach, watching movies or wrapping up little babies for warmth. That being said, the directions shift with each use, so I’m personally OK with the fabric facing different (all?) directions. Of course, if there is a specific need for it to be directional, I make that effort; it mostly applies to text print. It’s fair to say, I’m not overly fussy when I know it’s a quilt I’m keeping for myself or my family.
The Quilt Swirl
Once all the blocks were made and the quilt top was pieced, it had to be a quilt swirl! In addition to my love of quilting, I also have a sweet tooth. This type of swirl is all the beauty, none of the calories. How could I resist?
As you can see, I blended a few collections here. Homemade, Pom Pom, True Colors and Curiouser & Curiouser. For those of you who may be new to fabric acquisition, my one bit of advice would be to choose a favorite fabric and buy enough of it for a quilt backing at the same time you buy a bundle. I didn’t always do that & now I have a stash of beautiful fabric bundles or precuts or maybe even smaller yardages, but not always a piece large enough for a large backing. If matching matters, this is a helpful tip. If not, ignore it. For my Gravitate Quilt, I wanted it to be cohesive. Thankfully, my local quilt shop had just stocked this newest line of prints and I was able to purchase enough to finish my quilt. They did not have yardage of the other collections. I’ve been working very hard to not purchase new fabric until I use more of my existing fabric; Lord knows I have enough already.
Off to the Longarm Quilter
This quilt was quilted by Jenn, @knotted_thread, on Instagram. I cannot say enough good things about her skill and customer service. She is responsive, reasonably priced and I’m happy with the finish work she did on this piece.
I anticipate this being a well-loved (ie – often used) quilt, so I opted to machine sew the binding. Most of the time, I machine sew to the front and hand-bind to the back. With this one, it’s all machine sewn. It’s a little stressful for me, because I know hand-sewn is more precise and “hidden”, but I also know I can only get better at machine binding if I actually practice. Finding a good thread match is key; especially in the learning stages.
Ready for the Close-up
Thank you, Morgan, for including me in this pattern test. I’m already envisioning this in different color-ways and looking forward to making another. Special thanks to my HHQ, “husband holding quilts”. He so willingly helps me scope out locations and keeps my work from getting dirty, or in this case, sea soaked.
If you’re looking to make a star block quilt, definitely check into this one.