Monday, January 2, 2012

Sedona Star - Reading Month 1

The instructions for the first month of the 2012 BOM Sedona Star were posted on The Quilt Show website yesterday.  After giving them a quick read I proceeded to think hard for several hours!  I knew I was going to have issues just from reading the Introduction last month, but I wanted to wait and read the first month before I finalized my plans.

The thing is that I have very basic equipment.  Nothing will be done "in the hoop" on my twentysomething Janome that even then was marketed as a basic machine.  It does eight stitches.  But I don't mean to complain about my machine, because it does very well.  For me it all comes down to designer Sarah Vedeler's coy instruction to "applique using your preferred method."  My preferred method is needleturn by hand.

Given that one of Sarah's other key instructions was to leave the paper in the quilt until the end (there is a lot of paper piecing), this created a challenge.  Hence the several hours of deep thought:
  • I don't want to use fusibles at all.  I am vain enough to want my quilt to have longevity - at a minimum the 50 years that could be left in my own lifetime.
  • I could give up the hand applique and instead use Beth Ferrier's instructions for turned applique by machine.  I pulled out her book - More Hand Applique by Machine.
  • Beth's method would still involve some glue, as well as TWO layers of paper to take out at the end.
  • I could use wash-away applique paper and leave it in.
  • But how will I machine quilt an 88" quilt on my little Janome with its 7" throat if the paper is still in the appliques?
  • Then, a new issue occured to me.  Where will I keep the paper lined quilt for the whole year it is in progress?  I don't have a studio where I can leave it on the wall for a year.
  • I could keep it in pieces until the end.
  • But even then it would be a couple of weeks to assemble it.  Plus, the satisfaction of monthly progress will be greatly reduced, possible jeopardizing the whole project.  I have to be able to put it away each day.
  • If I take the paper out I can hand applique, but how will I keep the big pieces accurate enough to sew together neatly?
  • When I used to sew a dress or jacket I had big curved pieces that still fit together accurately.  How?  I cut a wider seam allowance and marked and pinned the matching points carefully.
  • AHA!  I will make it like a dress and just give myself nice wide seam allowances.
Problems solved.


  1. I have started the Sedona STar (see my first block under my TQS handle: adamsme). I, too, prefer needleturn hand applique, but did my first block with fusible as only circles were involved. I am not using the Stable Stuff because I don't have any, it was out of stock at Ricky's website (someone dropped the ball there), and it's somewhat costly. I have done a fair amount of paper piecing and usually use plain old cheapo copy paper. I don't see any reason to leave the paper in until the end. That seems like a nightmare scenario to me. And I couldn't get the inset circles to go together with all that stiff paper in the way. At first I just removed it from the seam allowance and then around midnight three nights ago I just took it all out in utter frustration. The patterns are accurate and it went together well after getting the paper out of the way. Just remember to stay stitch as directed and you will be fine.

    One piece of advice: Vedler's dimensions for cutting the patches for paper piecing are not overly generous. Almost skimpy. If you are experienced with paper piecing, you might do okay. I would suggest before cutting all the pieces that you cut one or two and see if it works for you. I found myself getting up and cutting larger pieces several times. Adding just a quarter inch to each dimesnion greatly reduced the frustration factor. Can't wait to see what you make!

  2. Thank you, Mary Ellen! When I read the instructions it did seem to me that the pieces were being cut pretty fine, but I probably would have gone ahead and followed the instructions anyway without your comment. I will definitely give myself more room to play with!


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