Graceful Stars Mini Quilt – Blue Room Project #3
4.13.2016

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Here it is! Blue Room Project #3 in my Blue Series – a group of  small projects done in a monochromatic blue palette for a new room we are remodeling in our home. To read about the previous projects, click on the following:

Project #1 Piccadilly Circus Mini Quilt
Project #2 Rise and Shine Mini Quilt

My small projects seem to be leading from one into another. I tend to cut more than I need when I make scrappy quilts –  I like to have a lot of options – and I just plain get carried away in my “cutting zone” – must be one of my Happy Places!

I had a lot of 1-1/4″ squares leftover from the Rise and Shine Mini quilt because I cut two of each fabric and only used one.  I thought these leftover squares would work well for sashing for a the Graceful Stars mini quilt by Jeanneake.  Jeanneake used HSTs (half-square triangles) that finish at 3/4″ for the sashing! For mine, I made my mini quilt square to match the other mini quits I was making.

I cut two 2″ squares from each of some light to dark blue fabrics.

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Below, you can see the different stages of construction. To make the HSTS for the stars, one blue square was combined with a 2″ background square and the other matching 2″ square with another blue of a different value (lighter with darker). You can see pieced sashing on the left and some completed stars at the top.

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The HSTs in Jeanneke’s Graceful Stars pattern were made with foundation paper (printed and ready to sew in her pattern) – which is a good way to do it – but I wanted to test the new Bloc-Loc for trimming the HSTS.

I made all the HSTs and squared them up to 1-1/4″ with the Bloc-Loc with the 2-1/2″ square. The best thing about this tool is that the seam is always exactly in the corner which is very important for precision piecing – especially when the HST is joined to another unit to make sharp points and straight diagonal lines between units. I discuss this in my Perfect Points and the Positioning Pin tutorial.

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I combined the HSTs as shown below with contrasting lighter and darker blues. Joining the four units below turned out be the biggest challenge for me. I did a lot pinning and some unsewing.

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I tried to place two darker units across from each other and have a lighter blue  and a saturated bright blue in each star.

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The stars and pieced sashing are ready to be joined. This will be the true test of precise piecing because there are a lot points and seams to match!

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Oops! The sashing got a little wonky! I did well maintaining sharp points on the stars but the sashing isn’t as straight as I would like. I hope I can straighten the sashing up when I spray baste and quilt it!

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Oh well! In the spirit of Brenda Pappadakis’s often quoted phrase:

I quilted the mini quilt with monofilament and stitch in the ditch.

My Graceful Stars mini quilt is not as quite as good as Jeanneke’s sample with her straight sashing – but it’s mine and it is done! Since the Blue Room is for college-aged foreign exchange students, I don’t think they will be too critical – or at least I hope not! I do like the way all those blues work together in a balanced scrappy way.

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As you probably know, when you make HSTs with two squares, you end up with two HSTs. Since I did not repeat any fabrics in the stars and only used one, I have lots of HSTs leftover! Guess what? Yep, they get used up in the Blue Room Project #4 coming soon. Please check back!


6 comments

  1. Patricia - April 13, 2016

    It is beautifu, love blue!

    Reply
    • Ann - April 13, 2016

      Thanks Patricia! As I said, I haven’t made many blue quilts – which does not explain my large stash of blue fabrics – but I really enjoyed making these scrappy mini quilts. The Blue Room is turning out really blue!

      Reply
  2. gmakitty - April 13, 2016

    ooooooooo wow… cant wait to get back to quilting
    \

    Reply
    • Ann - April 14, 2016

      Hope feel better soon GmaKitty!

      Reply
  3. FS - May 10, 2016

    I always tell myself that handmade items are supposed to be slightly irregular. So mismatched seams and chopped-off points are nothing to be worried about! 😉

    Reply
    • Ann - May 16, 2016

      Thanks FS! I agree about handmade items and imperfections. It is just that Jeanneke’s sample was so much more precise – I think she may hand piece, not sure. Also, I have taught and written about precision piecing so I hope no one looks at this and says “Whoa! Doesn’t look that precise to me.” I think it is more of a challenge to maintain a high level of precision with miniatures. I did better with the other mini quilts but I still like this one because of the scrappy colors.

      Reply

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