Monday, September 29, 2014

Ohio Stars in Autumn

Gorgeous fall weather in my part of Texas has inspired me to make a quilt in the colors of the season.  This one is for my daughter and son-in-law.  When they lived in Warrenville, Illinois, it was a great pleasure to visit them this time of year.  Illinois puts on a splendid Fall display.  The trees are glorious; shops display Autumn decorations; pumpkin patches and apple orchards open for kids of all ages; and everyone goes all out for Halloween. I hope this quilt will remind them of their happy years there.

The first quilt I made for my daughter, when she was just a toddler, was an Ohio Star, pieced from the fabrics of tiny dresses that I sewed for her.  So years later for this quilt -- a gift for her and her husband -- I chose Ohio Star again. 

The fabric is Studio E's Peppered Cottons.  The background color is "Coffee Bean," which I think sets off the oranges, yellows and greens nicely.  

I prewash all of my fabric before cutting.  Washing and pressing Peppered Cottons changes the hand of this fabric -- It becomes exquisitely soft and just feels warm!  Because it's a shot cotton, it can ravel a bit and so requires careful handling.  It also tends to show press marks, but I always wash my quilts when they are finished and hopefully the press marks will recede into the quilting.  

For a really good tutorial on this quilt block, go to this site: .  The tutorial contains an excellent chart which works out all math for you, making it very easy to size your blocks.  The only tip I would add to the tutorial is this:  When you construct the quarter-square triangle blocks (the ones that look like hour glasses), you really must match the points as closely as possible.  To do that, when you stack the half-square triangles in preparation for sewing the quarter-square triangles, fold back one corner to match the seams in the center and pin in place.  Doing that will give you perfectly matched points in the center of the block.

I didn't do that for the first block, thinking that if the ends match, of course the center must match.  But not so!  

The above may be confusing if you have never sewed an Ohio Star block, but I urge you to go to the tutorial.  It is a super easy block to make.  I promise you will like the results -- Binx the Cat approves!  

(If there's a camera in sight, he's always ready to pose.)