I’ve been quilting again! The Lonestar Burst throw began as a pile of fabric samples gleaned from a swatch book some time ago. I got the itch to stitch them into a throw while I slowly recovered from the worst flu ever a few months ago.
The other day, Lila and I pulled out my completed Lonestar Burst blocks to see what we could do with them. She thinks quilting is a special kind of magic, and I intend to let her think that as long as she wants.
Before I started this quilt, I knew I wanted it to be a “zero cost” project if possible. That means using only what I have on hand, no “new” materials. Lila used to sleep under this fleecy blanket when she was a baby, sometimes. Now it lies around in a cupboard. It’s the same weight and thickness as batting, so I’ll use it for this throw.
I decided to stitch a few “string pieced” panels which I then cross-cut into 4cm strips to use for sashing between the quilt blocks. The blocks looked too plain on their own. Lila sat beside me and handed me strips at random, it delighted her to no end to help this way.
I decided not to replace the blocks with the colored background with new white backgrounds, opting to keep moving forward with the project. First I stitched sashing between each of the blocks in a horizontal row. That worked out well. When I joined the rows, I created a jog. To a certain extent, the sashing masks any irregularities between block sizes. I set this aside for a while and decided I could live with it. However, my husband spotted it and shook his head at me.
Fine! I unpicked the row and re-stitched, making sure my blocks align. Yes, quilters, I eased the block into the sashing. That’s kind of a no-no for proper quilting but I’m not a proper quilter. I just like stitching bits of colored fabric together… and that’s ok!
I like the extemporaneous quality of this quilt. While I am not a proper quilter, I’m perfectly competent in a variety of techniques, which means I don’t need to carefully plan the quilt before starting. For a beginner, or for a person who pursues quilting as an artform, a plan is recommended.
But for me, quilting is a palate cleanser or a way to unwind. I started this quilt when I was desperate to do something with my hands after weeks of being still. The work continued while I waited impatiently for Tiramisu to go to print. (The production speed was out of my hands at that point… Quilting was my equivalent of pacing back and forth in a waiting room.) Now I look at those blocks and think about that, and want to complete this project.
The trick to avoiding Area 51 is to work on a large project in small doses, over time. Progress is progress, and I figure if I work on a project like this once every month or 6 weeks, it’s not a UFO. It’s just slow. By the time I finish, I have a warm and friendly reminder of the life I lived while I stitched. A textile snapshot.
Before I baste, quilt, and bind this throw I want to add a final border. Can you help me decide which one? Either border will use white as the background, and remaining scraps of fabric for the feature. It will be maybe 3-4″ (~10cm) wide:
This is attractive because it’s geometric, simple, I can paper piece it, and it will use small scraps of white fabric.
I like this one, too. The lines and the applique stitching will contrast with the lines and the techniques in the main part of the throw. However, applique can be rather slow and it means I’ll need to use whole strips of white fabric. That’s not a problem, but it does use more fabric than the square border.
Vote to help me decide, and I’ll get cracking on the borders shortly…
What do you think? How many quilters do we have here? I really can’t help myself posting about my quilting, and I wonder how many quilters read 3 Hours Past? Do you ever string piece? What do you think about my crazy scrappy throw?
Up Next: Notes on use and abuse of fusible webbing strips, then a reclaimed felted alpaca tote!
Tiramisu should arrive at my house next week! Swoon!! When I have a firm shipping date, I’ll gleefully report to the Cake Mailing list, and reveal the next release!