Friday, March 4, 2011

star quilt: countdown

After piecing together these blocks one by one, I can tell you that each square entailed, after cutting a rough piece of background fabric and some lighter colored strips for the stars:

4 big slashes
9 seams
9 presses with an iron
and 20 trimming cuts

So it made me happy to realize that all it would take to put 48 blocks together was:

12 seams

Just 12 passes through the sewing machine, and I'd have the main part of the top pieced!

The first 5 seams would be stitching the columns to each other using the chain piecing technique.
Here they are sewn together. The rows are only connected via a bit of thread.
Clip the threads and you have 8 rows, each comprised of 6 connected blocks.
At this point, the seams are pressed flat so that the rows fit together more readily. Normally, you would press toward the dark fabric and not the light as I have done here; but the random block layout and the need to stagger the way the blocks are pressed caused there to be some variations.
Seams 6-9 involve sewing sets of rows together.
And seams 10-12 are a matter of sewing those sets to each other.
VoilĂ ! The main blocks put together with 12 seams. In theory, it could have been done with fewer, using more chain piecing and snipping; but this way I didn't have to worry about losing the arrangement.
All these 1/4" seams have shrunk the piece a few inches each way. It is now roughly 4'X3' and will need some borders if it is to be large enough to sleep under. Another drawback to working so slowly on a baby quilt: when the baby grows, the quilt has to grow, too!


  1. That is a cool quilt, I really like it.

    I seem to have lost the time/motivation to sew, but if I did, something like this would be a good project.

  2. This is beautiful! But I have to admit, it hurts my brain, must be my math looks very difficult.

  3. I'm just getting my sewing legs back after a very long hiatus, so I definitely understand where you're at.

    And Sam, I'm not known for my math skill! It's funny, but the one place I can use it is in practical areas with a visual backup like quilting or knitting. I think it goes back to the theory of motivation. :)


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