Barn Stars Block of the Month Preparations
4.21.2021

Hello fellow Barn Stars Block of the Month or BoM participants! We are so delighted to be sewing along with you all over the next 9 months. As noted at the time of registration, the first boxes will begin shipping to all active subscribers in early May 2021. Keep an eye on your email inbox for related tracking details once they’ve left our warehouse!

My name is Zoey and I’ll be sewing right alongside each Barn Stars subscriber. My boxes will contain the same fabric and instructions, so I’ll be following the same schedule and sharing my journey along the way. 

Before we get started, I wanted to take a moment to introduce each of you to some of the skills we’ll be flexing over the course of the project, as well as some of my recommended notions. Of course, notions are always down to personal preference and directly relate to each individual’s specific sewing style. No specific notions are a requirement for this pattern, but I often find it helpful to see what everyone is bringing to the table, so I wanted to share a few of the extra rulers I’ll be using. 

As We Begin

If you haven’t already, check out our recent blog post titled Essential Notions. This post details my list of favorites for every project, and is a great place to start when building out your supply list! 

This pattern was created by the exceptionally skilled designer, Shelley Cavanna of Cora’s Quilts. While I’ll be sharing my personal process along the way, I do recommend that any questions or comments about the pattern specifically be directed to the designer. Her contact information will be located on the first page of your pattern, set to arrive with the very first box!

What to Expect

The Barn Stars Block of the Month has been meticulously designed so that everyone has the most enjoyable sewing experience possible! Each month, subscribers will receive a shipment of fabric, along with the cutting and piecing instructions to assemble the corresponding blocks.

While all fabric needed to complete the quilt top and binding are included, I recommend browsing for backing fabric early on, to ensure availability of coordinating prints if desired. 

Backing Requirements

Personally, I chose to deviate from the fabric collection used for Barn Stars and selected a general coordinating 108” wide backing fabric to save me a bit of time down the road by eliminating the need to piece standard width fabric. I’ll be backing my Barn Stars quilt with Hand Drawn Lines 108” Wide backing in color Baltic Sea. All current 108” wide backing fabrics options can be found here.

For quick reference, the pattern recommends 7.5 yards of standard 40” wide fabric or 2.5 yards of 108” wide fabric for backing. 

Along the Way

Skills flexed for this quilt include assembling Flying Geese, Elongated Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangles, and Square-in-Square units. Tutorials and detailed instructions are, of course, included within the pattern.

Throughout project assembly, a ¼” seam allowance is utilized. Now is the best time to check presser feet and dial down the best way to keep a consistent ¼” seam allowance. Before each project, I like to verify stitch calibration and sew up a few sample swatches to check against a ruler or seam gauge.

I always keep a strip of general use washi tape on my machine table to extend beyond my needle plate. Washi tape is my favorite because it pulls off easily without leaving sticky residue as I often change between ¼” and ½” seam allowances with various projects. It can generally be picked up at a stationary store or somewhere similar. 

Threads of Success

Because the Barn Stars background fabrics are light-neutral in hue, I stocked up on a few Essential Cotton spools in color Natural, which I’ll be using for both piecing as well as quilting. Antique, Sandstone, and Parchment would be great fits for this project as well. 

Ruler Recommendations

For the Flying Geese components of this quilt, I’ll be utilizing Bloc Loc rulers to help keep things nice and tidy. The Flying Geese Bloc Loc rulers I’ll be using are sizes 3”x6”, 2”x4”, 2”x1”, and 2.5×5”

For the Half-Square Triangles, I’ll be using the Triangle Square up Ruler by Quilt in a Day. The single 6.5” square ruler will work for all the Half-Square Triangle sizes used throughout the pattern. Because this ruler works with HSTs still folded, it makes trimming an absolute breeze.

I’ll also be using my 4.5” square and 8.5” square Creative Grids rulers for squaring up assembled blocks as I go. These rulers can also take the place of the Triangle Square up Ruler for those who prefer squaring HSTs only after pressing open.

Wrapping it Up

Aside from my love of precision rulers, I’ll also be using all my favorites from the Essential Notions list. Everything within this pattern is delightfully detailed with clear instructions and images to assist along the way. 

As the quilt top won’t be ready for quilting until February 2022, I’ve chosen to hold off on ordering my batting until after the New Year so I won’t have to worry about storing it just yet. 

Now that notions are at the ready, I’m off to pre-wind some bobbins and oil up my machine so everything will be prepped for box number one! 

We’ll see you again in May once the excitement has begun. Happy quilting!


11 comments

  1. Louise Young - April 21, 2021

    This was so helpful. Thank you! Stars will be fun to conquer…at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

    Reply
  2. Peggy Goodison - April 22, 2021

    Thank you. As a brand new quilter, this info is so useful. I’ve been looking online for the rulers you plan on using (ouch, expensive) and have a question regarding the flying geese rulers. You mention a 5 x 2.5″ ruler. Online I found 2.5″ x 5″. Are these the same or does the order of the two measurements make a difference?

    Reply
    • Zoey B. - April 22, 2021

      Hi Peggy! The measurements can be swapped but still reference the same ruler, as the flying geese block is always the same rectangular shape. The blog also includes clickable links for any text that appears underlined. Absolutely none of the rulers I’ve mentioned are required for this project, they’re merely my preferred way of trimming. Flying geese, half square triangles, etc can all be achieved with more general-use rulers, they just take a bit more time getting everything measured and lined up. No one way is better than the other!

      Reply
  3. Dawn Schmalzried - April 28, 2021

    I’m excited! I now have a great excuse to finally get a bloc loc! Being that they are a bit pricy compared to other rulers, I’m trying to decide which one(s) to buy first. Any suggestions? Also, looking on other sites, the 1×2 is different than the link you provide. Just wanting some clarification!
    So excited to get started!!

    Reply
    • Zoey B. - May 3, 2021

      Absolutely no specific ruler is required for this project as it is merely down to personal preference. If I were aiming to just get one to try out, I’d look over some of my existing patterns and see which size recurs most often! Every person is going to find a certain size more often used than others, so what works best for me probably differs from what might work best for you.
      With Bloc Loc rulers specifically, the dimensions given refer to the finished size of the flying geese block. So with the quarter inch seam allowance factored in, the ruler itself will be a quarter inch larger on each side.

      Reply
  4. Terry Gloeckl - April 28, 2021

    I’m excited to get started with this BoM.. what is the fabric collection being used for this project?

    Reply
  5. Shirley Monkhouse - April 30, 2021

    Zoey B. thank you for the Blog, it is so nice to meet you! I happen to find this blog when searching in the web site for the Barn Stars. I joined at the very last minute, and i am so excited! This is a lovely design and i have bee looking for something in these colours and with different size stars so this is perfect!! I have a few question/ comments. 1. Terry asked and i also would like to knew which fabric collection this is, i looked and can guess – are we to wait until the package arrives ? 2. Your blog post above suggested Flying Geese square up rulers and yesterday i decided to purchase these, 2 linked to CT and 2 linked to BlocLoc. I was wondering since looking at Bloc Loc if you could suggest they create a bundle with your 4 rulers to Bloc Loc or CT? 3. I have had issues with getting on Private Facebook Groups in the past, i am still not in for a local store Mystery Quilt yet after a month, i recently just changed some of my FB settings so i am hoping that is the fix for the issue. How do I join the Barn Stars private FB group? cheers sm

    Reply
    • Zoey B. - May 3, 2021

      Hi Shirley! Glad you found it helpful. Barn Stars utilizes the Main Street Mercantile collection. The two rulers that were linked to Bloc Loc directly were done so merely to help offer a quick link to make them easier to find for those interested. Those two particular sizes are not currently available at Connecting Threads, but are still useful for this project. To join the Facebook group, simply submit a join request as you would any other group. Join requests are reviewed M-F during normal business hours.

      Reply
      • Shirley Monkhouse - May 3, 2021

        Thank you Zoey B for you answers to my questions, very exciting .Looking forward to the first box to arrive!

        Reply
  6. Robin c Nowak - May 12, 2021

    I GOT my kit today! am excited to start this project. I am missing the fabric for blocks 14 and 15. Are they being shipped separately?

    Reply

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