Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Fiery Star - Island Batik Lone Star Challenge

 I am in love with my December Island Batik Ambassador Challenge!  Whoever says brown is boring will have to change their mind when they see the Modern Opulence Collection by Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design!  I really enjoyed working with these lovely fabrics and was impressed the moment that I opened them up after receiving my package from Island Batik(Island Batik and their industry partners provided the fabric and notions used for making this project.)

beautiful blue, brown and orange lone star quilt on a fence

Isn't it just spectacular?  I received 1/2 yard each of the 22 fabrics in this collection, plus the Navy Blue Basic I used for the background in my July Ambassador box.  The Dijon basic on the border was left from my January box, but it was just what I needed for that final touch.  

Let me backtrack and start at the beginning!  For our final challenge of 2022 the Island Batik Ambassador crew was asked to make a Lone Star Quilt - at least lap size, featuring as many of the fabrics in the collection we were given.  I was really excited to get my bundle and see the Modern Opulence Collection by Studio 180 Designs.  Like many people, I don't always prefer to work with browns, but combined with the rich blue, and oranges, I definitely was drawn to these opulent colors!  As you can see, there's a nice gradation of colors, making it perfect for the type of Lone Star I wanted to do!  These fabrics will be arriving at quilt shops in January, so keep your eyes peeled!

I'm very comfortable with Lone Star quilts and have made quite a few of them over the years - from classic to complex paper pieced beauties by Judy Niemeyer and bed size to mini quilts.  Once you have the technique down, you can really have fun playing with color and I knew that these fabrics could be used to make a great blended effect!  My inspiration for this project was a project by Jinny Beyer that I made many years ago. I believe it was called Nova Nouvelle, and I loved the way she used color gradations to achieve an unusual effect.

cutting lone star strips with a rotary cutter and ruler

Now, here is where I got myself in a bit of trouble as you will find out in a bit!  I didn't do any math first and decided to cut my strips at 2 1/2 inches, since using that AccuQuilt GO! 2 1/2 inch strip die made it super easy and accurate to cut all the strips. (Accuracy is super important for a lone star!)
accuquilt two and a half inch die

I decided on 3 sets of 7 fabrics to make the quadrants for each of my lone star diamonds.  So far so good!  I sewed the sets of strips together, then subcut into diamond strips, and sewed those together to make the quadrants. 

lone star quilt being laid out on design wall

Hmm, it was already starting to outgrow my design wall - this should have been a clue!  I got my last set of diamonds sewn together (Size 12 Schmetz Microtex Needle and 50 weight Aurifil thread for the piecing - I shorten up my stitch length a little because I'm cutting my strips into sections).  Then I started doing the math and realized that I needed quite a bit more than the 2 yards of fabric I had for the background!  Time to get creative, back to Pinterest - plan A was to piece blocks to put in the corners to reduce the amount of fabric needed.  But then, I saw an idea I liked even better - add a strip to make a contrasting square in the background of the star - neat idea!  I could use the darkest blue from the collection for the inner part of the square, add a strip of contrasting fabric for the square, then the background fabric should be enough for the outer part of the background.  It worked, but the math really hurt my head!  Especially since I needed to use as much of the collection fabrics as possible so I would have enough background.

lone star quilt being basted

As you can see, it looks great!  But at this point the quilt was 78 inches square - way too big for a lap quilt, but too small for a bed quilt.  Darn, what next?  I dug through my stash for blue fabric but didn't have anything that looked good with the Navy.  Then I found this awesome Dijon basic from my first Ambassador box this year - perfect!  I combined strips of this with leftover strips from piecing the stars to size it up to about 90 inches square, which makes a good queen size quilt!  I was able to cut three strips from each section of my leftover strip fabric units but didn't want to fuss with them too much as time was getting away from me.  So, I decided to make two pairs of identical strips, roughly going from light in the center to dark in the corners.  I figured if the strips on opposite sides were identical that it would keep it looking symmetrical without looking too crazy.  I think it worked out just fine!

hobbs heirloom cotton batting with lone star quilt top

I'm glad I saved this queen size batting for this project!  This Hobbs Premium cotton batting is so easy to work with and has just the right loft for a bed quilt!  Luckily it was just a bit over 90 inches, so was perfect for my quilt!  

pin basted lone star quilt

I was excited to get to the quilting!  I knew exactly how I wanted to quilt this one!  Curved lines from point to point on the diamonds looks amazing on a Lone Star!

Aurifil thread in cinnamon color

I used Aurifil 50 weight thread for the quilting - Cinnamon was great for quilting the star it looked great on all the colors!  I do like the 50 weight for quilting because it doesn't build up a lot when you have to stitch over the same spot several times.

detail of center piecing and quilting for lone star quilt

I have to admit that not all of my points line up perfectly on this quilt, but the center is important to get just right!  
schmetz quilting needles

I had to move up to a Schmetz size 14 needle for the quilting on this, I was having some breakage issues - my machine doesn't always like quilting in all the directions over seams.  I just try to be patient and make adjustments until I can get it to be happy, and sometimes a bigger needle helps a lot.

detail of quilting in corner of lone star quilt, paisley design

I did swirls on the inner blue border, straight lines with a walking foot on the brown and Dijon borders, paisleys on the outer background, and more curves on the pieced border.  For the binding I had to use two different fabrics but alternated them.  Since those two prints both use the blue background with brown designs, it's not noticeable at all!  Woohoo!  Now it's time to take my quilt outside and get some pictures (that's a challenge, too with a big quilt!)
Lone star quilt in the grass - blue and brown quilt

Well, it's easy to put it on the grass, but it makes my quilt look wavy!  Didn't the pieced borders come out nicely?  

Lone star quilt in blue brown and orange with pieced border

Not looking very flat, but you can see the borders!  Don't those colors just glow?  Orange and Blue are good together, aren't they?

blue brown and orange lone star quilt on bed

You can see how pretty the quilting looks on the bed!  I love the fact that I was able to use all the fabrics for my star.  I wasn't sure about that very pale yellow on the tip, but it worked perfectly!  And how satisfying to see how perfectly those points ended up at the border!

I have a nice set of leftovers from my project that I'd like to pass on to someone else to enjoy!  They are a variety of sizes, plus I also have some strip sets that might be good for something like a border.  It all fits nicely into a priority bubble envelope!

Make sure you enter to win these pretty fabrics!  I was tempted to keep them to myself, but I'm really trying to use up some of the extra fabric I have accumulated, so you'll be doing me a great favor if you will take them off my hands.  I'm sure you will enjoy them as much as I did!  Here's the rafflecopter link to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Island Batik and all these companies for the products I used in this project!


Linda H. said...

This quilt is absolutely stunning! I am partial to stars and the Lone Star is one of my favorites. Na d Accuquilt makes it so easy for cutting the strips needed! Beautiful!

Linda H. said...

I also have shied away from browns but this quilt changed my mind! Red is my favorite color and I enjoy pairing it with gold, cream and black.

Joann ONeill said...

WOW! Very impressive how you were able to figure your way around what some would consider an project ending miscut. LOVE the final product!

Joyce Carter said...

Pamela, your quilt is absolutely stunning and so impressive. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Really gorgeous!
I have always stayed away from browns,but this quilt is giving me a reason to try them. My favorite colors are greens and pinks. Thanks for the chance to win these beautiful fabrics.

Deb B. said...

Your quilt is stunning! The colors are gorgeous together and I love the clever way you managed the background. I have always wanted to make a lone star quilt. Thank you for sharing your process for making the quilt as well as the giveaway of fabric.

Nana Laura said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love everything you did with your quilt. I have always wanted to make a lone star but just afraid to give it a try.
I do love your design.

Quilting Tangent said...

Love the placement of the colors in your quilt - great job. I stay away from dull, drab colors. My favorite is the rainbow, bright cheery colors.

Connie Kauffman said...

This is SO impressive! I never would have thought to use the blue for the background- it works wonderfully! It radiates!

Julie said...

I don't like yellow and orange, but have lots of those two colors in my stash for fall quilts. I love purple, pink, and gray together.

tac73 said...

I really don’t like using white in a quilt. My favorite combinations are maroons and navy. Love your quilt.

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

I love everything about this quilt, Pamela...especially that it is bed size and the borders are beautiful! Great use of all the fabrics in this collection. Did you quilt this on a longarm or on your domestic? If domestic, that is a challenge in itself!! Anyway, it's fantastic!

Nancy Angerer: SewingGranda@gmail.com said...

I love scrappy quilts, so I use all colors. I guess I don't like greyed colors as well as the bright ones.

Jayne said...

Your quilt is beautiful. I always find it difficult to buy yellow fabrics

Lori Smanski said...

wow but this is absolutely gorgeous. you really found a way to make all of these beautiful fabrics shine and be recognized. thanks for sharing and for inspiring. I love all kinds of fabrics. The ones I use the least are pastels. Unless it is for a specific reason. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Sharon Aurora said...

I love working with any color and I don't usually shy away from any color. However, I'm always a bit hesitant about using bright orange. And wouldn't you know it, my husband loves that color.

Kathleen said...

What a stunning quilt! I love how you made it all work and can't believe how big it is! You did great on this challenge!

Susan said...

This one of the most stunning lone star quilts I have seen. Great job. I have never made one, but I would like to. Bink and orange are colors I shy away from.

Quilting Gail said...

WOW oh WOW oh WOW!!!
You knocked this one out of the park!!!
I LOVE how you were very creative with enlarging the quilt! It's absolutely beautiful!!!
And the quilting is great!!!

Sewgirl said...

Wow! That quilt just glows! You did a really nice job of color blending. I usually like brights and rainbow colors but am drawn to purple and green lately. Thank for sharing!

Beth said...

Orange used to be the color I never used, but now I love it and pair it with all sorts of colors (blue, purple, pink, even green) so I don't have many colors I shy away from. Not a fan of neons, though, despite having graduated in the 80s.

GranChris said...

I really like your quilt. That border is outstanding. I am a bright person so I generally stay away from browns but this quilt is wonderful.

teachpany said...

Gorgeous quilt. I also avoid brown, green and orange, but they are needed at times.

Dawn F said...

I don't use yellow too often, but I really like black with brights.

Anonymous said...

Totally gorgeous quilt! I love the colour combination and the design is fabulous! KK

nicolesender said...

Your quilt is awesome! I love earth tones the most! I don't usually sew with purples.

CyndyL said...

I LOVE your Quilt. I don't really shy away from many colors, but I don't like loud florals. I have been working on FPPing the 50 state stars in browns and oranges for a couple of years now, need to get them out and finish them up lol.

Pamela said...

Your quilt is stunning! Thank you for sharing your process and for the beautiful photos. The color I stay away from is brown because, although I like it in quilts, I would not know what to do with it. My favorite color combination is green and purple.

evi tsiapari said...

I like to work with all colors ....

Jane Catalano said...

Gorgeous quilt! You are quite creative and it shows in how you tackled this entire project. Impressive work you should be most proud to pass down to some very lucky family member. 👍🥰