Monday, April 11, 2016

Cardinal Stars Flimsy

In 2009 my local quilt shop had a bolt of this gorgeous "Wild Wings" fabric:


I think it sold out in about 3 weeks. Fortunately, I bought 3 metres! I had a vague plan of using it for a border for a lap quilt.

In November 2010 I finally started the project. The plan was to make a pieced centre with alternating yellow stars and red/black diamonds, and use the cardinal fabric for the border. But, my piecing was not very accurate then, and it didn't go well. And the design felt uninspired.

So, I redesigned it a gazillion times (more or less). In 2013 I decided to take apart those first blocks, trim the units more accurately, and re-sew the blocks. In 2014 I decided to make the units into star-in-a-star blocks.


The setting idea is from a quilt in an old Quiltmania, possibly named "Les Roses Bleues," but I can't swear to that. That quilt also had a large background print, a floral (with blue roses), and they framed each block in a narrow border like this and "floated" it on the background. Although I planned to, I never made it. So, I was happy to use the same idea here:

Cardinal Stars, 64" (163 cm) square
Since the background is almost the "focus" of the quilt, I used most of my 3 metres. The borders were pieced, because I wanted to break up the repeat on the fabric, and try for a more natural distribution of birds. You can see that the centre, though, is one 20" square of fabric.

Overall, I think my plan worked better than I expected! I was worried that the block colours wouldn't match the background, or that the solids would be too jarring against the print. But, I think the blocks are balanced with the print, and neither is too dominant. I was very careful when I chose that jade green solid, and took the print to the store to match it.

Most of all, I am glad to have the flimsy done! And I do not plan any further delays on the quilting. Suddenly I'm in a finishing frame of mind again! Let's hope it lasts. :D

12 comments:

  1. It does look balanced. And it is floating on that amazing background.
    Good Job! An inspiration for those of us who have lots of unfinished bunches of blocks and don't know quite what to do with them

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  2. how lovely this is what a wondefrul fabric you bought

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  3. I love your final results with that beautiful fabric. Seems like it was a good thing that you put the project away and waited for the perfecting blending of inspiration and skills. Great job!

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  4. Love that you changed up the stars when your skills improved. That focus fabric is just lovely and what a nice way to showcase it!--Terry

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    1. Thanks, Terry! It took long enough, but eventually the plan emerged!

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  5. Fabulous fabric and absolutely spot-on colour matching. I admire your long term patience, persistence and perfection in doing justice to your ideas.

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! Sometimes it's an open question, what's persistence and what's ridiculous intractability. But, it turned out well, so I guess this time it's persistence!

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  6. What a great quilt! It looks like a challenging fabric, but you made it shine with this setting.:)

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  7. What a great post. I just love to read about the process quilters go through when they are creating their own quilt. That bird fabric is beautiful and you are so right to work at it till you are happy with the result which is gorgeous, btw. I embroidered large floral blocks 2 years ago and tried many different pieced blocks around them. I finally settled on one of the tries but I am not happy with it. I've moved on to other projects but still think about it. Sigh.

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    1. Thank you, Jocelyn! I think everyone has to find their own balance. Since I have plenty of room in the basement for all my UFOs, I have the luxury of circling around to them later when my skills improve. Maybe it is a mixed blessing!

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  8. Good use of that lovely bird fabric. Here the real cardinals are singing up s storm. Mating season I would guess.

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  9. I would have snapped up those birds too. Great post - and I really like where you got to in the end, even if it took ages. I think sometimes it's the small details that maybe no one notices that make a big difference - in this case piecing your bird fabric so that you break up the pattern repetition.

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Happy stitching!

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