stuff and things

13 December 2010

Design Wall Monday

Note to self: In the odd event that I find myself hand-piecing ever again, know that squaring up the quilt with the rotary cutter will delete all those nice little finishing knots, causing the seam tips to work their way open.

Instead of blithely sewing on the final borders on my star quilt, which I have elected to make public here, I am machine-stitching reinforcements onto the seam ends.

Coupled with the fact that the sewer-line repair going on outside my studio features a jackhammer that perfectly mimics sniper fire ... and we have a bit of a mood going on this morning.

Not to mention that my cold seems to have returned, with an early-morning coughing jag to beat the band -- causing me to call a sub for my yoga class. And I love teaching my yoga class.

Thank goodness for quiltmaking! Or any form of creativity, for that matter.

Without any more ado, I present Night Star. I've entered it into the next Quilt Visions Critique Group show, but it's larger than most of the art quilts entered, so I'm not going to be too attached to getting juried-in. I hope to finish the quilting by the late January deadline ... if I ever get those borders on.
Night Star, by Tina Rathbone, c. 56" x 56', 2010
One tip I can share for sewing a border onto a quilt that seems ruffly is to sew pretending it's a collar on a shirt: sew from the middle of the border out to each end. Also, why not baste it, first? The bottom border needs to be enlarged a bit, then sewn on, and finally the top border (so please imagine it in place).

The inspiration for Night Star came when I observed a huge pile of leftover strips from my king-sized quilt, Joie de Vivre. In one of my books, "String Piecing with Style," I saw a string-pieced star, and was motivated to design my own Star quilt.

Another tip: Never, ever use tracing paper as your foundation, especially if the quilt is destined to sit in your UFO pile for several years -- unless you have a thing for tweezing out tiny fragments of paper. (Thanks, Gabe!) I chose it because it was an expensive, archival (acid free) paper, but still. My friend Sandi recommends lightweight interfacing for string piecing, that she just leaves in. Sounds good to me for my next Lone Star.

Yeah, that'll be the day!
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