Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Star BOM -- Done!

Woohoo, the Star BOM top, hereby renamed Springtime Stars, is finished! This quilt was a whole lot of work and well worth it! Today I bought some white fabric for the backing, and last night I ordered a king size batt. When that arrives, my good friend Ann will quilt some baptist fans on it for me.

When I was working on the ribbon border a couple of posts ago, I said I'd share the method I used to make it. The border is foundation pieced, and if you're working on this quilt, you'll get a pattern for the ribbon block. You might consider printing those foundations on freezer paper, which offers some distinct advantages. Even if you're not doing the Star BOM, the freezer paper foundation piecing method is still a handy one to have in your tool box when the occasion might arise.

As far as I know, Judy Mathieson of Mariner's Compass fame invented this method, and an article detailing her method was featured in one of the major quilt magazine some years ago. It has also been discussed in great detail by Barb Vlack and others on the Info-EQ list. If you're a list member, you can probably find that information in their archives.

The concept is simple. Foundations are printed on freezer paper, and each line is scored ahead of time to fold easier. The first piece of fabric is pressed in place, eliminating pins or glue, and succeeding pieces are pressed to the freezer paper after stitching. Instead of sewing through the paper as in regular foundation piecing, you fold the freezer paper back out of the way on the stitching line and sew right next to the line. You can then simply peel off the foundation when you're finished--no ripping off the paper--a real time saver, especially since there are 40 ribbon blocks in this quilt. There is an excellent tutorial, complete with detailed photographs, here.

Another nice thing about using freezer paper is that the foundations can be used over and over. I printed 12 foundations--6 foundations for one half of the block, and 6 mirror image foundations for the other half. I used the same set of 12 foundations for all 40 blocks.

Waste is inherent to foundation piecing, but there are some things you can try to eliminate as much waste as possible. I cut strips of the two purple fabrics I was using, lined all the foundations up on the strips, and ironed them all at once. Then I cut them apart and added the triangles, chain piecing them through the machine in groups of 12. To save background fabric, I cut rectangles first, then cut them diagonally to get my triangles. I used a paper template to figure out where to make that cut. You can cut stacks of these pretty quickly.

March certainly came in like a lion. We had a big snowstorm the first day of the month plus a few other minor snowfalls. We woke up again this morning to more snow, which changed over to sleet, then rain. I really hate cold rain! I keep going to Norma's blog looking at her Backyard Tour and imagining what it would be like to shed all this outerwear and sit outside in the warm sun eating a fresh ripe tomato. Come on, Spring!

Credit where credit is due: Star BOM quilt design by Judy Laquidara. I made a few modifications of my own to her design.


Vicki W said...

Sue, it's beautiful!

Exuberant Color said...

It really turned out nice. I love your border colors with the blocks.

Barb Vlack is from my area and I had seen the freezer paper method quite a few years ago and forgot about it. Thanks for the refresh.

Teresa said...

Hi Sue, It's beautiful. Is this one for you? I've never tried Paper piecing this way. Much better than ripping paper off. Have a great weekend...

Judy S. said...

Hi Sue, Thanks for visiting my blog! I enjoy knitting, quilting and other handwork although knitting seems to be in the forefront lately. The grandkids, I think. Your star quilt is beautiful. I did one square and was done in on the 1/16" measurements.....