Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Block 6: Friendship Star (in a Star)

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Welcome back for the sixth block of our sew along! [insert confetti here]

This month’s block is pretty easy, which I find I need during the summer months because there’s not a lot of time for indoor sewing when the kiddos are quarantined at home with no distance learning to keep them entertained. (Oh my word, this year…)

Friendship Star within a Star:

Friendship Star block

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re following the original pattern’s color choices, the star points have been red up until now, but as of this block they are now the lime green color.

Download the instructions here: Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 6 Friendship Star

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with the #crystalquiltersbom (If you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt hashtags so we can find your blocks!

Happy sewing!

Nature Trail Quilt for Blank Quilting

IMG_20200730_200528-01I was beyond thrilled to open my July box from Blank Quilting and find the Nature Trail fabric collection within!  It’s a woodsy collection filled with all the cute, scurrying things in the forest, along with colorful mushrooms and bugs.  I’d been stalking the potential choices for July, and had already decided that if I received Nature Trail I’d use it to make some sort of quilt that featured Maple Leaf blocks.  Because, hello, Canadian.

You know how you get about halfway through a project and start to second-guess yourself like crazy?  I did that with this quilt so hard, and now, as I look at it in its completed form, I have no idea why that even happened.  I absolutely love it, and it’s going to look fantastic with my autumn decor, which is super heavy on aqua and teal.  (Well, let’s be honest, almost everything in my house is heavy on aqua and teal.  Why would autumn be an exception?)

IMG_20200730_200545-01-01The collection is designed by Ingrid Slyder of Nutshell Designs and it’s a lovely mix of forest things.  The scraps are dear to me and will be used very carefully because I love them so. There’s also two panels that come with this collection, and I have an idea stewing in my mind for one of them, and a general idea with no specifics for the other.  Maybe I can get to those after I get through with mask-sewing.  Because, hello, masks.  *grumble, grumble*

Thank you again to Blank Quilting Corporation for this truly enjoyable opportunity to make beautiful things from fun collections.

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A quick internet search shows that you can pre-order this fabric from Bug Fabrics here in Washington State (who I’ve ordered from in the past and they’re quick with shipping!), and it looks like Eclectic Maker in the UK will also carry the collection at some point.

On Sewing Face Masks

Oh my goodness, I will never forget this year and a lot of those memories will revolve around all the face mask sewing I’ve done…and have yet to do.  It occurred to me last week, given that my kids are slated to return to school in the autumn for 2-4 days a week, depending on what school they attend, that I need to get my behind in gear in regards to mask production.  I’ve done some mathing and decided that I need to sew up fifty-two masks to comfortably outfit my family of six.

Here’s my reasoning:

#1: I’ve been out in public, wearing my mask like a good girl, and I’ve noticed that those things can get pretty damp, if not downright soggy, after 3-4 hours, so I’m going to send my kids to school with two masks each day and instruct them to swap them out at lunch.  Soggy masks are hot and make your skin itch, yuck. So, two masks for each day scheduled for on-campus learning per child = 4-8 masks per kid.

#2: I’m planning on doing a massive “mask washing” day once a week because I prize my sanity. You should wash your mask after each wearing, which means more masks because of the once-a-week laundry schedule. (Note to self: Set up a mask bucket to hold used masks in the laundry room.)

#3: We’ve had the problem of the kids forgetting to bring a mask with them when we go places and having to drive back home to get their masks, so I want a full family set of masks in each vehicle.

#4: I want a full family set of masks set up by the front door for all the reasons I can’t think of, and to serve as a replacement set for the inevitable losing of masks.

All in all, it works out to fifty-two masks, split amongst the six of us in their specific ways. Ughhhhhh.  But we had a fun time having a family fabric pull in the craft room:

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I broke down and bought the Creative Grids mask template, and it is awesome, I love it so much.  I was able to cut out all my family’s fabrics lickety-split and I’m almost done cutting out the linings when I find myself with free time.  If you’ve got lots of masks to make, it’s a good investment. (And an 18mm rotary cutter…)

Requests to sew masks for others are starting to trickle in, and I imagine that they’ll increase as we get closer to the start of school, but I’m saying no to them all until I get my family’s masks done.  I keep telling myself that that is the sane thing to do, but it still makes me sad to decline.  But it’d be terrible for me to say I’ll make them and then not get them done and those families having to scramble at the last minute to find masks for school.  I’m only one woman, and my first priority is my own family members.  It is my hope to make some extras to sell/give away later, but we’ll have to see how the rest of the summer shapes up for that aspiration.  Summer vacation with nowhere to go and most things closed is really testing my patience as a parent…sigh.  Some things you get through, and some things you just get dragged through until they’re done…

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…like sewing face masks.  😉  (Tula Pink Fairy Dust and rainbow top-stitching makes it a whole lot more fun to do, though.  Highly recommended.)

(And if I get these masks done and my school district decides to follow in San Diego’s footsteps and cancel anyway, I. will. not. be. O. K.)

Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Block 5: Checkerboard Star Block

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Happy July, everyone!  Yay, we made it to the point where we’ll only have a new block every month now!

This month’s block is another easy one, the Checkerboard Star:

Checkerboard Star Block EQ8

Download the instructions here: Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 5 Checkerboard Star

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with the #crystalquiltersbom (If you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt hashtags so we can find your blocks!

Happy sewing!

Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Block 4: Broken Dishes Star Block

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Block 4, using a Broken Dishes block for the center of the star is now available!

Crystal Quilters BOM Block 4

Download the instructions here: Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 4 Broken Dishes Star

Block 5 will be available on July 3rd, and then we’ll go to one block a month.  (Whew!)\

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with the #crystalquiltersbom (If you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt hashtags so we can find your blocks!

Happy sewing!

Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Block #3: Variable Star

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It’s time for our third block, the Variable Star block.

PLEASE NOTE: Because these blocks will be set on-point in the finished quilt, any fussy-cut center fabric will rotate.  I’ve pointed it out in the cutting directions in the pattern, but thought it’d be a good idea to wave a red flag in front of your faces from the beginning: You have to cut the original fussy-cut square on-point.

Crystal Quilters BOM Christmas Variable Star

Download the block pattern here:  Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 3 Variable Star

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with the #crystalquiltersbom (If you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt hashtags so we can find your blocks!

 

Happy Sewing!

Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Block #2: Four Star

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Welcome back for our second block, the Four Star block!  I’m introducing this block early on in the sew along so that you have time to make FIVE of them and not feel rushed.  Make them all at once or make another one with each successive block unveiling; it’s up to you!

Crystal Quilters BOM Christmas Four Star Block

 

Download the block pattern here: Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 2 Four Star

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with #crystalquiltersbom (if you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt so we can find your blocks!

Happy Sewing!

CRYSTAL QUILTERS BLOCK OF THE MONTH: SEW MANY STARS! Block #1: Sarah’s Choice

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Hello friends, and welcome to the first block of our quilt along!

Our first block is called “Sarah’s Choice”:

Sarah's Choice Block

UPDATE: There was an error in the pattern when first published.  Fabric C square should be 7 3/4″, NOT 7 1/4″.  I apologize for the typo.
Download the updated pattern here: Sew Many Stars BOM Pattern_Block 1 Sarah’s Choice

If you’re posting your block to Instagram, please make sure to tag it with #crystalquiltersbom (if you’re a member of the guild) and #sewmanystarsquilt so we can find your blocks!

Happy Sewing!

Crystal Quilters Block of the Month: Sew Many Stars! Introduction

I’m in charge of my quilt guild’s block of the month for 2020, and then the pandemic happened and we haven’t met to pass out the information, so I’m going to post it on my blog and let it go out into the world.  I put together a somewhat simple quilt for this sew along, mostly because 1.) It’s my first time being in charge of a block of the month and I figure it’s better to go a little simple your first time ’round, and 2.) This block of the month is starting a little late in the year and I wanted it to be able to end by December, so fewer blocks makes for a quicker quilt.

Behold: Sew Many Stars!

Crystal Quilters BOM Christmas

I have a sincere love for the humble Sawtooth Star block; I love its simple beauty and I love that you can practice getting technically better at a lot of piecing skills with it–flying geese, matching seams, and not cutting off your corners.  It also lends itself to a lot of creative uses because you can swap out the center square for another quilt block, which I’ve done throughout this quilt.

Crystal Quilters BOM RW&B

Because we’re getting a later start, we’ll power pack the schedule for the first little bit, which means the schedule is as follows:

End of April: Introduction (this post)
May 1: Block #1
May 15: Block #2
June 5: Block #3
June 19: Block #4
July 3: Block #5
August 7: Block #6
September 4: Block #7
October 2: Block #8
November 6: Block #9
December 4: Finishing Instructions

Crystal Quilters BOM Rainbow

I’ve mocked it up in a few different colorways, because it’s makes me happy to do that, but I’m also including an outline version, in case you want to print it off and do a little coloring of your own:

Crystal Quilters BOM Outline

This quilt will measure approximately 64.5 x 64.5 inches.

I’ll include some yardage estimates, but your particular colorway could change your specifics:

Background fabric: 2 – 2+1/4 yards
Sashing: 7/8 yard
Border and sashing squares: 3/4 – 1 yard
Assortment of prints for individual blocks

I’m looking forward to what everyone sews up!

You can keep up-to-date on the Crystal Quilters Quilt Guild on their blog, Facebook, and Instagram (new!).

 

Renaissance’s Easter Dress

 

I finished it a while back, but she wore it for our Easter church service at home, and I finally remembered to snap a couple of pictures of her.

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I’ve had this pattern earmarked for a couple of years for her.  I’d purchased some great dresses from Lands End about four years ago for Emily, and then they were handed down to Ren, and now to Rachel, and they are such a great silhouette that I started keeping an eye out for a comparable pattern somewhere out there in Sewing Land.  It appeared one day in the form of Butterick 6450–a bloused bodice with an elastic waist, short sleeves, and a swingy skirt.  It works really great for a growing girl.

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This is View C, sewn up in a cotton lawn from Miss Matatabi.  I underlined the bodice with white cotton voile for modesty, and attached the same fabric as a lining beneath the skirt.  (Note to self: Don’t mix and match underlining the bodice with a lining for the skirt in this pattern in the future–it got messy when it came to attaching the zipper versus the encased elastic waistband.  Pick one method of under/lining and go with it for both the bodice and the skirt.)  I did not do the gathering on the sleeves, and I was surprised that I ended up using the full length of the View C skirt.

The skirt is seamed down the center front and back on the bias, which is something that I’d like to avoid in the future because I want to sew up a couple iterations of this in gingham prints, but that bias seam will cause all sorts of headaches with a gingham. I know it will be easy enough to throw a different skirt onto the bodice in the future, but sigh…more thinking ahead.  It worked well enough with this abstract print, and the skirt has turned out really well and fluttery without the danger of flipping up in a wind gust, à la a circle skirt.

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Construction was easy, with no weird head-scratching moments.  I like bias binding on my edges, so I really love that bound neckline–makes me so pleased everytime I see it!  The instructions on how to hem the skirt were really good and gave a nice finish.  The zipper instructions were a mess and I ended up just hacking the stupid thing in there, but that’s just because I am missing the gene that lets me understand how to put a zipper into anything.  Good enough.

I’m planning to sew up this pattern, with a few design changes, at least two more times this year.  It’s a great dress!

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