Constellations BOM

Welcome to the Constellations block of the month!  Once again, I've designed this quilt as my main project for the rainbow scrap challenge for 2017.  The goal is to make a stellar quilt using scrap fabrics and maybe clean out those bins a bit.  This is going to be a great quilt, so come along and join in!  There are no fees, no signups, and no pressure, just a fun way to make a great quilt from leftover fabrics.

Very rough sketch!

Finished quilt top!

This quilt is designed as a "progressive" quilt.  In this case, that means that it's made in sections, which include the block, sashing, and some of the border.  As each section is finished, it's joined to the other sections so that at the end of 11 months the quilt top s finished and only needs the final border.  No big long seams to join, no making a pile of blocks that won't get used, just assembling a quilt a little at a time.

The quilt is designed to be lap sized, about 54 (ish) by 70 (ish), depending on how you want to do the border.  It's made up of both 12 inch and 6 inch blocks, with either one 12 inch or 4 (very easy) 6-inch blocks to make each month.  The key this year is that all of the blocks are stars!  If you choose a dark background like I did, your quilt could look like a lovely galaxy by the end of the year.

On the first Tuesday of each month, I'll post a tutorial with detailed instructions and lots of pictures.  (For examples, check out the two previous BOMs on the tabs above.) I'll do my best to make the blocks as easy to make as possible and to give clear directions.  The blocks are not really complicated, but a couple of them do have a lot of pieces.

There are some options for this BOM, too. Want to play along, but not sure about making the whole quilt?  Try a block or two.  If you use scraps, the worst that can happen is you waste some fabric that you weren't using anyway.  And the best that can happen is a gorgeous block, so why not try it?

Don't like the quilt layout?  Make some blocks and design your own!  Twelve blocks set in 4 rows of 3 blocks each will make a very nice lap quilt.

Want to make some blocks, but aren't into scrappy quilts or the RSC?  Change the colors! Use fat quarters in any color to make the blocks.

Really like a particular block?  Go old school and make it over and over in any colors, then set them together into a spectacular quilt.  (See HERE for an example.)

Don't like a block, or think it's beyond your skills?  Skip it or make a different one!

Quilt too small?  Make more blocks! Quilt too big?  Make fewer!

This idea is mine, but make the quilt your own.

**An important note about copyright and sharing: I am giving away the directions and tutorials for this quilt for free.  This BOM is open to anyone who wants to play along. There are no sign-ups and no fees. If you want to share the tutorials or pictures with anyone, please link back to my blog.  (That's just good manners!) You do NOT have permission to cut and paste ANY of my work into your own blog or to substantially copy my directions and claim them as your own.  You do NOT have permission to sell or charge any fee for anything using my work.  It should go without saying, but anything that I've written remains my exclusive property and I get to decide what ultimately happens to it. The patterns are traditional blocks that are widely available, but the directions, photos, and quilt pattern remain my property.  Let's all be respectful and keep this fun for everyone, okay?**


I am using scraps of leftover fabrics, along with whatever pieces I need to cut up from some fat quarters.  The block for each month should take no more than about a fat eighth (9 by 22) in the RSC color of the month. Many blocks will look better with a little bit of an accent color, which will also be scraps.

For my background, I have 4 yards of a beautiful deep blue.  You could use any color as a background, including black or white scraps.  This quilt will look best with a single background color.


One of the borders is already incorporated into the quilt, but a second and third border are added at the end.  This is the border I plan to use:

In order to have a good mix of colorful squares, you should plan to cut 28-30 2-inch squares each month.  Put these aside until the end.  Alternately, you could just use a single print or strips of another color, or cut a 24 inch strip of the color of the month.  If you want to use a print for your border, I really encourage you to wait until the end to choose and purchase it 


For my quilt, I did the following prep work with my background fabric.  You don't have to do this, but it makes life easier.  First, I cut 18 inches off the background yardage and marked it for the binding.  This way I'm sure I have it, but I can still change my mind later.  Then I cut 3/4 of a yard off for the sashings.  Again, this way I know I won't have to piece them.  From the remaining yardage, I cut 4 3-1/2 inch strips from the length of the fabric.  These are for the final borders at the end and will be too long, but will mean no piecing of the border.  The remaining fabric will be used for the backgrounds in the blocks.


New tutorials and directions will be posted the fist Tuesday of each month: February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2,
June 6, July 5 (a Wednesday because of the holiday), August 1, September 5, October 3, and November 7.  December 5 will be the wrap up.

That's it for the general information!  I hope you'll come along and have some fun this year.  If you decide to make some blocks or any part of the quilt, I'd love to see your pictures!

Questions?  Email me at academicquilter AT gmail DOT com

The prep part is over, so now let's go sew!

January block--Wyoming Valley Block--Purple

February block--Magic Cross--Sea Green

March block--Best of All--Red

April block-- Double Stars--Multicolor

May block-- Nameless-- Green

June block-- Georgetown Circle-- Yellow

July block--Broken Star-- Blue

August block--Rising Sun-- Light Neutrals

September block--Robbing Peter to Pay Paul--Orange

October block-- Clay's Choice variation-- Pink

November block-- Rolling Star-- Black

Finishing up


Jennifer said...

looks great so far! I found your blog and BOM just by chance, and I'm glad I did! I'm participating in Judy's (patchwork times) UFO challenge 2017. I'm going to use my project #11 to do your BOM. it's a UFO from the mid 90's. yikes! quick question- and hope you can answer it: how many 12" blocks, and how many 6" blocks are there? I have a few completed already, so I won't need to piece all of yours, but everything else I plan to follow right along. thanks!


Unknown said...

I am no excited to find your BOM! I love stars and this came along at exactly the right time. As soon as I get background fabric I am all over this!

quilting nurse said...

Did I miss the March block??? Love the blocks.