Saturday, March 17, 2018

A new galaxy quest

Hi all, and happy St. Patrick's Day!  My family always celebrates today even though we're not the tiniest bit Irish, because today is my brother's birthday.  Well, one of my brothers.  It's totally his fault that I'm craving cake with green frosting today.  And, no, his name isn't Patrick, but if you buy him a beer today he'd be happy to answer to it!

I've started on another project for RSC18.  I can hear you now, "Mari, don't you have enough projects?"  Well, yes, but what I don't have is projects to use up some larger scraps.  Specifically, I need to use up a bunch of dark blue half yards that I bought to test fabrics for my Constellations quilt. I almost never use dark blue, so why not combine those half yards with my RSC scraps and make those a quilt? So here's what I've come up with:


More stars!  The wind was blowing so badly when I took these pictures that I could only get ones out on the deck where I could chase them down when they started blowing away.  These stars are a Clay's Choice variation and you can find a tutorial for them HERE.  They're pretty simple to make and go pretty fast.  And don't they just sparkle?  I made these stars in an 8-inch size instead of 6-inch, which will mean fewer stars to make a quilt.


I think that I'll need about 40 stars to make a decent-sized quilt, so these 6 will be a good start.  If I make some more light blue or purple scraps along the way this year, I'll add in a couple of purple or light blue stars, but otherwise I'm starting right here. 

The worst part about making these blocks was going to be drawing lines on the back of squares to make the diamonds, but somewhere I saw a tip about using gridded plastic as a guide so that you don't have to draw any of those lines.  It worked great!  I bought a piece of this template plastic at a big box store:


This sheet was way too big, but only came in one size.  The squares there are 1/4 inch apart, which also makes them handy for aligning seam allowances.  I cut out a small piece, then aligned one of the heavy lines with the needle and taped it to the machine:


Instead of drawing lines, I just kept the tips of the pieces lines up along the heavy line as I stitched so that it stitched a straight line right on the diagonal.  The first couple of tries were a little shaky, but as soon as I got the hang of it, it worked great and saved me a ton of time.  I know that some people use graph paper or even regular paper with a line drawn on it, but the fabric slides very nicely right along the plastic.  I did take it off the machine once I finished the stars, but I saved it, and if I lose it, I can cut another piece!

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  If you're reading this on Saturday, chances are that we're outside digging right now.  The time for the nightmare drainage project has finally come.  I have a ton (literally!) of gravel and 150 feet of drainpipe waiting for me. If you're looking for something to do, grab a shovel and come on over!  There will be takeout!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC18.

19 comments:

  1. Great idea and probably a lot cheaper than the commercial product made for that purpose. Me, I just draw a line on my machine with a Sharpie. Love your Clay's Choice stars. I never think about using dark backgrounds. Now you've got me thinking ... and that can be dangerous!

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  2. Pretty blocks, and I love the deep blue backgrounds!

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  3. What a great idea!! I hate drawing those lines on the back. Tho we have so many ways to do this, this is another option worth having.

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  4. Happy St Patty’s Day to you, too! 🇮🇪 We’re about as Irish as you are, but always celebrate. As DH say, he’s from the Armenian enclave of Ireland and I’m from the Hungarian enclave of Ireland. 😂. Anyway, the blocks are killer lovely! I understand putting the template down for the straight lines, but I’ll be honest that the rest of your explanation flew way over my head.

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  5. great idea for diagonals - the blue with the green looks great:)

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  6. Those are great star blocks - thanks for linking back to your tutorial for us! I love the dark blue backgrounds. They make your greens really pop!

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  7. My vote would be to stick with the dark blues for the whole quilt. They really do sparkle.

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  8. Always good to start another project. There is always hope it will get finished. I'll be there with you for the shovelling. I am doing some here too. Happy birthday to your brother. Enjoy that cake.

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  9. That is one slick trick!! I'm not fond of drawing all those lines on the backs of my squares. I'll have to go see if I have any of this in the studio...

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  10. those dark sky with the yellow green stars is fabulous. Quilt On!

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  11. Beautiful blocks, stunning blue fabrics!

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  12. What a nifty tip!! We quilters just never stop learning. You're going to have another batch of beautiful RSC blocks. You sure had a lot of pretty blues to pick from for your constellations quilt.

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  13. That blue/lime green combination is one of my favorites. I like purple with lime green as well. One can never have too many projects (or too much fabric).
    Pat

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  14. Great tip, Mari! I use a piece of blue tape, but the grid is more versatile, I think :)

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  15. Great idea, the grid. I always just use tape. Constellations, I hope to get mine quilted in May or even April.

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  16. Great idea on the grid. Love the blue clay's choice block. Hope you are recovered from all the work yesterday.

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  17. of course you started a new project! Great tip!

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  18. The greens with the dark blues is striking! Anxious to see the results in a quilt!

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  19. I think the dark blue background is going to look great with colorful stars. I really like this one. Yellow, orange, red, pink.... it will be really nice!

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