Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stars of Blue ...

The Feathered Star pattern has lots of half square triangles- I am not a fan of making half square triangles (I know that there are some good tools out there that make it easier to be precise but somehow the triangles always seemed so fiddley to me.)Still why would I choose to make this challenging quilt when there were so many titchy half triangles? At one point in 2000 I almost decided that I must have been crazy but my problem was that I love feathered star quilts- so I stubbornly persisted.
I believe that the original feathered quilt pattern was taken from a book by Nancy Szeboro-Johnson called Rotary Magic, The pattern had 12 large blocks that were 20 inches square. Each block had 150 pieces in it. When I started to build the blocks I wasn't sure whether they had enough contrast in them- I am not that confident now when I working with a limited palette. Six months later, I had 5 blocks finished and I was frustrated with my limited progress(I thought it was taking me forever LOL) We then devised an alternative- the alternative was different not faster, I can tell you!
My quilt sure does not look like the original quilt pattern. My friend,L. knew that I loved medallion style quilts so she suggested that I create one using Courthouse Steps. Courthouse steps is a log cabin variation and it forms a large star around the feathered stars. The quilt needed to be bigger if it was going to fit our queen sized bed so I needed to find additional borders.
After looking for some time, I found the chain linked border in a magazine called Quilter's Today. I am pleased with the result and it has been on our bed for many years- It is almost time for a new quilt- perhaps The Winding Ways Quilt, should I ever get it finished.. It is taking me awhile too...
I don't have very many UFO quilts - I find it difficult to have lots of quilts on the go at the same time. Having said that, I do have a tumbling block quilt that resembles flags rather than blocks that I haven't quite figured out and so it sits... Perhaps one day - the tumbling block fabrics are lovely batiks it seems such a waste to me that I haven't figured out how it goes together...

And now some things that I have been pondering in my spare moments ..

When you are making a quilt does your plan ever take a left turn and do you end up with a totally different quilt than you envisioned?
Do you plan out every part ahead of time and have the borders all chosen too or do you find the borders after you have created the central body of the quilt?
Do you ever start a quilt and put some it together and find you hate it and nothing will likely solve it?
Do you like block quilts or quilts that have an overall design?
Personally I prefer patterns that create an overall design rather that a block by block look. I have made a sampler but it was not my favorite quilt- It was a great learning tool where I got to try out a number of techniques but it does not have an overall flow to it like medallion or quilts that have patterns within a pattern.

And so the choices continue on my quilting journey I am sure it is the same for you..

Hope all is well with you in your part of the world -

Life's struggles sometimes seem heavy these days with the economic down turn -
As I visit other blogs, I read of the many challenges, troubles and concerns people are facing on a daily basis.
May you all find ways to sustain a hopeful way of being during the dark moments...


GARI said...

Almost alwasy my quilts make a left turn during the piecing process. I do, sometimes, plan my borders but frequently they change during the left turn process. I have never hated a quilt I have started but I have tired of some. They get put aside and when they resurface a new plan comes about that I either like or love. I do mostly do block quilts but rarely are they set in traditional rows. This has come about because I like to make queen sized quilts out of BOMs, usually 12 12" blocks. All that being said, I love the creative quilting process.

Joyce said...

I usually start with no solid plan and just let them take me where they will. I like working with blocks that can be arranged on my design wall in many different ways. That is my favorite part of the whole process. I'm not fond of following a pattern. I don't have many UFOs. I like to finish things and if that's not going to happen I get rid of them.

Thimbleanna said...

It's beautiful Anna! I usually always plan my quilts out ahead of time -- maybe I'm a control freak LOL. Mystery quilts don't really hold any interest for me for that reason.

Pam said...

Hi Anna

I have never done a feathered star quilt - all those triangles. I think your quilt turned out beautifully with the court house steps. I think sometimes using patterns for inspiration instead of following them exactly is so much better.

Peaceful Piecer said...

Anna your quilt is beautiful. I am not a good finisher. Like to make the blocks but put off getting the quilt together. Another quilting Anna

Phyllis Dobbs said...

What gorgeous and elaborate quilts! They are really pieces of art!