Monday, May 22, 2017

(swoony) Stars for a Star, finished and gifted!

I've been so excited to share this finish!!

I'll add links to most of the posts where I talked about it,
but, just in case,
if, for some silly reason,
you don't care to know all of the important in-progress details,
I'll give you the nutshell story of this quilt:

 A year ago, 
I told my niece, Jordan,
that I would make her a quilt as a gift
when she earned her Master's Degree.

I wanted her involved in the process, 
so that she'd end up with a quilt that she really loved
(and not just because her (favorite) aunt made it for her ;-)
so I sent her to my pinterest quilt board,
and told her to send me some pics of the ones that she liked,
and we'd go from there.

The quilts on my board that she liked best were

So, drawing inspiration from both quilts, 
I sketched out a design
that sort of the combined the two,
and started collecting fabrics
(There are over 150 different fabrics in this quilt 💗
Go Team Use-All-the-Fabrics 😊)

I had a few quilting obligations already in the works,
a commissioned quilt 
that allowed me to give 5 sewing machines to Rahab's Rope!!

(If you're new here - a little back story:
When I sew for pay,
I use every cent that I earn to buy sewing machines
to donate to Rahab's Rope - a wonderful organization
that rescues girls and women in India from the sex trade.
They love on them, and teach them about Jesus,
and also teach them skills
so that they can honorably and safely support themselves
and their families.
They need machines for their classrooms,
as sewing is one of the valuable skills they teach.
and I feel so blessed to be able to help meet this need.
My dream is to supply them with enough machines
that they one day tell me
they no longer need any more. )

While I was making Faith and Freedom,
I felt like I was supposed to quickly whip up a quilt
as a surprise for a friend.
I called it Out of the Blue.

It turns out that she had been feeling especially down,
and the quilt was a timely reminder for her
that God loved her 
(and I did too)
and it helped to pull her out of her 'blues',
so even the name has special meaning.

When I finished those,
I made my gorgeous sister the perfect quilt for her
as a gift for her 50th birthday
(one of my specialties is creating a quilt that the receiver will love.
Tyler says I make people their 'inner quilt' :-)

So - I didn't actually start on Jordan's quilt
until mid October.

(I know.
right about now,
you're saying,
"this is the nutshell version?!?")

It is.

I could talk quilts and fabric and lovin' on people
all day long 😊
Plus - I spent over 5 months on it; there's a lot to say ;-)

So anyways.
I started on her top in October
and finished it January 13th.

I've been documenting house progress as it relates to quilt projects.
Here, you see that we just got drywall :-)

I basted the top to bamboo batting,
and stitched in the ditch with invisible thread
horizontally and vertically 
around all thirty 16" blocks,
to stabilize them and keep everything
from going all wonky with the quilting.
Then I added the backing
(a very lovely cotton lawn by Robert Kaufman)
and began quilting on January 22nd.

I think this quilt would have looked absolutely fabulous 
quilted with an all-over design to add texture.
But I have determined to really work to improve my quilting 
plus I knew Jordan loved big-stitch quilting,
so even though I knew it would take a lot longer,
I custom quilted Stars for a Star,
using a mix of hand and free-motion machine quilting,
being careful to keep the quilting density consistent throughout the quilt.

For the hand quilting, 
I used my favorite needles,
and an assortment of perle cottons and thick silk threads.

The machine quilting was done with pink 40 wt.
Isacord polyester (#2155)
in both the needle and the bobbin,
because it was pretty much the only thread
 with which my naughty machine would play nice.

The quilting took up all of my sewing time 
(and some of my not-really-my-sewing-time too ;-) 
for the next 2 months.

Then I made the (two-fabric) binding,
sewed it to the front by machine,
then down on the back by hand,
added a label,

and finished the quilt on my Dad's birthday, March 27th
a full 5 weeks before Jordan 
would be graduating with that Masters.

I'm not pleased with my photos;
I don't think they do the quilt justice,
and I'm a little bit bummed about that,
but I am quite pleased with the quilt overall,
and I was so very honored to make it
for such an amazing young lady.

We love ya!!
Happy Master's Degree
(and congratulations on your new job)

Here are all those links I promised,
in chronological order

This is the first post that mentions Jordan's quilt,
and includes all of my test blocks where I verified my maths

This one is almost a month later,
when I realized my plan wasn't up to snuff,
and I needed to add 32 more stars
It also shares some of the 'specially for Jordan fabrics'

This post has no pictures,
but gives an idea of how I fit sewing into my full life.
(admittedly, that particular week was a bit crazier than most)
The block I mentioned working on
is this one

Here is where I share a lot about fabric selection
and the 8 inch star blocks

This one tells how to make the firework-type star blocks,
which were the most difficult blocks in the quilt,
and by far, the most time consuming per square inch.
The swoon blocks took longer,
but they also filled up 4 times as much space...

The first part of  this post
gives you an idea of how we go from individual units
to a quilt top,
my realization that I needed even more stars,
what my dining room (slash schoolroom...) looks like when
the crazy quilt lady totally takes over.
(oh, and if you clink on this link,
which is at the bottom of the post,
it'll take you to instagram,
where you'll find photos and thoughts that aren't on the blog,
and a video that shows how I MacGuyvered curved ruler quilting,
to get the look I wanted on one of the swoon blocks.

And finally,
this one has the finished quilt top,
and shares a bit more about fabric selection.
(If you don't read any other posts, you should at least check out that one)

Collecting all of those posts
was a walk down memory lane.
One of the things I like about sewing for people
is how connected to them I feel during the process,
and how much love I feel
as a result of having spent so much time with them,
(even though much of that time, wasn't actually 'with them',
but 'for' them, if that makes any sense)

Jordan is a beautiful woman,
inside and out,
and it was such a joy and a pleasure to make this gift.

Linking up with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts (who just got a long arm - yay!!!)
Julie's new Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share party :-)
and Finish it Fridays at Amanda Jean's


  1. What a stunner of a quilt,I love all the different fabrics, all the colour and different stars. Such an awesome finish.

  2. Oh my goodness, it is fabulous!! You did a beautiful job with this quilt and I think your pictures are wonderful. Jordan is a lucky lady. :) Thanks for sharing the finish on MCM!!

  3. An incredible quilt! Absolutely stunning!


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