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!




This entry was posted in Block of the Month (BOM), Quilt-Along, sampler quilt, update, Wonder Curve Ruler. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Atomic Stars

  1. Diane says:

    It just hit me – you have to be an engineer to design or piece a quilt! And, here is what else I just figured out – you got that skill from our father, who was not an engineer by trade, but sure understood engineering principles evidenced by the creations that came out of his shop. Our mother’s sewing precision is in abundance in your work also. What a family gem you are!

    • Dawn says:

      What a lovely compliment, Diane! Thank you. You inherited our mother’s wit and our father’s analytical mind.

  2. Colleen C. says:

    I agree with Diane – you certainly have the mind and precision of an engineer. Your ability to envision where you want to go, and ability to do the math to get there, is astonishing. I love these Atomic Star blocks. They are so striking. Love the fabrics too.

    • Dawn says:

      Thank you, Colleen! If you only knew how I struggled with algebra and geometry in high school. Now, in my golden years (LOL), I find I love the challenge of quilt math. Go figure!

Comments are closed.