Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Stalled and Fast-Forwarding

The other day Dana at Stormy Days asked the question what do you do when you're stalled with a quilting project.  I suspect the unanimous response was not "clean the house"!  But her question had my name written all over it because ... my first Christmas project for us in many a year, stopped in its tracks by some really awful machine quilting that I'll never be happy with, right in those pretty Dresden plates.
Fabric in the Dresdens from a recent blogaversary win from Kyle
at Timeless Reflections - Thanks Kyle!

What to do, what to do? Of course the offending parts will need to be unpicked and redone, perhaps with some big stitch hand quilting, but that will need to wait until after Christmas.  The binding could still be added at this point, some big chunky candlesticks plunked right on top of the worst of the quilting and it could be used this season.   The binding is all prepped, and two matching placemats have been pieced and ready for quilting, but ...
Minus its binding, and the dresdens need to be re-quilted, but I do love the overall look!

So, what do I do when a project is stalled?  Stopped dead in its tracks?  Why pull out a bin or three of fabrics, spread them around the room, and start cutting of course!  Late in November Doreen at Treadlemusic shared this link to a tutorial at "Crafting a Rainbow" for these sweet Scandinavian folded stars.  I was off on a new adventure!
The first two

I'll tell ya, these are addicting!
And then there were 25 !

Somewhere along the line I had this great idea to make one for each of our church families to serve as this year's Christmas card.  That would be about 40 total, then there are the family Christmas gifts, a few close friends, and of course the members of our quilt ministry!  Yikes, what have I gotten myself into, lol!?

These little babies are super stash busters, I'm going through my bin of Christmas fabrics and whittling it way down, not to mention the fat quarter bins.  Each star uses a little over one square foot of fabric, so it doesn't take long to use up a lot of those oddball fat quarters that never seem to make it into a quilt because they don't seem to "go" with anything else.   When they're folded down into 3/4 inch squares and triangles all those little bits magically transform themselves into a colorful, cohesive whole, at least that's what I'm telling myself!

These are a bit fiddly to make and require a LOT of finger dexterity!  I found a small black paper clamp a necessary tool to hold the folded star points in place while pushing the fabric ends down under the central woven squares with the wooden point-maker thingie that came with my dresden template.
I also learned it's best to cut those fabric ends to the correct length before pushing them under the center squares rather than attempting to trim them after the fact as shown in the tutorial!

After completing 17 in one evening there was a bit of carpal tunnel complaining in my left wrist, so I'm progressing a bit more slowly now, no more marathon folding, just a few each day and all seems to be well.  There are over 30 completed as of this morning, except for adding the hanging ribbons.  

And that's the news from this little corner of snowy Western New York!  That Christmas runner may still get the binding added later this week, but I'm not betting on it.  These are way too much fun!


  1. I looked for awful FMQing and couldn't see it but "stick some candlesticks on them and move on"! LOL.
    I love those stars, I'm hoping to find some time and make a few, I think they'd be great hanging everywhere.

  2. P.S. I do love the look of the runner too, it's really beautiful.

  3. Ha...of course that is the solution to being stalled! I love them. Those will make such nice gifts. I've done them in paper, but never fabric.

  4. The stars are gorgeous!! what a wonderful gift. all of us make mistakes in our work we are not happy with, glad you will be able to remedy the problem and have a lovely finished table runner for next year. Merry Christmas, from Iowa

  5. Oh my goodness, these are cute!!
    I will not even tempt fate by clicking on the link right now. I cannot afford another distraction. Hopefully I will remember to come back and pin the instructions for a future day! Thirty of them?!? Wow!!

  6. What a lovely gift! They're so pretty. If I were doing a gift exhange, I'd definitely be making some. When I get stalled on a project, I put it on the "back burner" and give it time to think about its behavior. As you know, five years might pass to give it plenty of time to think.

  7. Your Christmas table runner is delightful. Glad you didn't accept what you didn't like. There are occasions when unpicking is the right step. But it looks like you could use the runner this season. All those folded stars are so sweet and will be enjoyed by all the many recipients.

  8. LOL - my goodness I bet you've become an expert star folder by now!
    Pat the Dresden runner looks so pretty. Good luck pulling out the quilting you are not happy with. We sure can't see that in the pictures.


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