Tag Archives: staff picks

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!