Category Archives: Block of the Month (BOM)

Atomic Stars

Why, hello there! Can it really be almost three weeks since my last post? The summer is speeding by much too fast and I haven’t spent nearly enough time in my sewing room. All I have to show you since my last appearance are these two little curved blocks:

But aren’t they sweet? I think of them as “atomic stars.” Finishing at 6″ square, they will either be stand-alone blocks or wind up in the center of 12″ star blocks in my current Work in Progress.

A few months ago Kristin at Montavilla Sewing in Lake Oswego designed a Block of the Month sampler quilt for me and some of my students as an optional project we can work on and share via monthly Zoom meetings until classes resume (which they will in the fall!). Kristin provided templates for the curved blocks but I wanted to see if I could get the same result using my Wonder Curve Ruler from the Sew Kind of Wonderful sisters (Jenny, Helen, and Sherilyn) and instructions from their companion book Text Me:

The four curved units that make up the atomic star needed to finish at 3″ square (so when they are sewn together they fit into a 6″ finished block). The curved units in Text Me finish at 1½”, 2½”, and 3½” respectively so I had to add a marking line to the ruler to make my block the proper finished size. My marking line is the dark pink one:

It took a couple of tries to get the points of the atomic stars right where I needed them: a few stitches away from the quarter-inch seam allowance. That way there’s no danger of the points disappearing into a seam.

The aqua floral fabric is one of my all-time favorite prints so I’m using it sparingly. It’s from Portland designer Mo Bedell’s debut line of fabric dating from 2010 called “Party Dress” for Blue Hill Fabrics.

Here’s a look at the atomic stars next to my 12″ Stargazer Lily block (subject of my last post):

Although they lose their atomic star vibe, I really like the way these blocks look on point, too:

I also like the positive-negative effect. Really, I could tinker endlessly with these blocks but the end of July is fast approaching and I want to get a couple of other WIPs finished by then. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

Posted in Block of the Month (BOM), Quilt-Along, update, Wonder Curve Ruler | 4 Comments

My Stargazer Lily Block

What do you think of my Stargazer Lily Block? This is the block Lisa Jo Girodat designed for Moda’s 2021 Summer in the Garden Quilt-Along. She offered directions for a 6″ and 12″ finished block. I made the larger one and in retrospect I am glad I did. It looks like a rather simple design but don’t you believe it! This block was quite a challenge to make.

For starters, look at the center of the block. Do you see that it’s a square within a square and that the smaller square (set on point) contains two flying geese blocks? Those flying geese blocks finish at 2⅛” x 4¼”. I made mine oversize and used my regular 6½”- square ruler to trim them to the correct (but unusual) size. I wound up fussycutting the darker floral fabric surrounding the lime green triangles to eliminate lighter shades in the print; the point of that was to maintain maximum contrast with the green.

The aqua fabric is an older Lonni Rossi print that looks a bit like seaweed. It’s a directional print so I had to pay attention to placement when I sewed the individual triangles in their assigned spots. I wanted the direction of the seaweed to rotate as your eye travels around the block. (Think of seaweed undulating underwater.)

Finally, there are four intersections in the block where seven seams come together. I eliminated a seam at those intersections so I only had to match six. My points lined up very nicely, although I will allow that a couple of seams required some corrective sewing. A seam ripper may have been involved.

I drew Lisa Jo’s block in my Electric Quilt software program because I wanted to test my ideas for color and placement before cutting into my fabrics. In this next picture you can spot where I was able to eliminate seams in the block design:

Here’s the Stargazer Lily block in EQ with my final color placement:

I am loving the way my block turned out!

 

 

 

Posted in Block of the Month (BOM), Quilt-Along, update | 3 Comments

Website, Weather, and Wonky Star Woes

If you visited my website a couple of days ago and wanted to leave a comment on my Wacky Wonky Star post, you were met with an “access denied” message. That must have been frustrating. Bloggers love getting comments so I was frustrated as well. This issue occurred as part of a process I initiated in May to migrate my website to a new server, never dreaming it would take the better part of two months to complete and that several issues involving access to my blog would surface. This latest one occurred when a firewall was added to my site at the conclusion of the migration process, blocking comments. While the issue has been resolved, it has left me feeling sorely vexed.

Or was it the heat? My previous post was published June 27 while Portland was in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave – now being called a “heat dome” – with temperatures hitting 108 on Saturday, 112 on Sunday, and 115 on Monday. That 115-degree day was roughly 40 points above our average for this time of year. Sewing was out of the question, as my sewing room is on the second story of our Craftsman-style house, which is not air-conditioned. The Dear Husband and I slept in the guest room in the basement, which usually stays deliciously cool on hot days. It was definitely not “deliciously cool” this week but at least we were able to sleep.

Yesterday it was “only” 92 degrees so I made my second attempt at a Wonky Star block. I liked it even less than the first one. Really, the result is not even worth showing here. Being a bit on the stubborn side, I was determined to give it one more go – and then I saw a new star block in an email from Moda that so piqued my interest I decided to make it instead:

This is the third block in a new Summer in the Garden Quilt-Along offered by Moda Fabrics. Named Stargazer Lily, the block was designed by Lisa Jo Girodat. It’s available as a free download (three pages) which you can find right here. I’m not going to join the Quilt-Along but I am going to make that block. Right now, in fact. It feels so much more “me” than that ole Wonky Star anyway!

 

 

 

Posted in Block of the Month (BOM), Quilt-Along, update | 5 Comments