CLASS PROJECTS: STAR TABLE MAT Posted on 30 Jul 12:06 , 0 comments

What great combinations of fabrics the girls came up with from their stash for putting together their Star Table Mats. Everyone came with a collection of fat quarters for possible use and left class with a pieced mat all ready for quilting and finishing. Some of the techniques we covered and topics of discussion during class …

  • Tips and food for thought when choosing fabrics and working color, value, and scale of print
  • Template construction … when to buy a template and when to make your own; which materials work best when making your own templates(My favorite is using several layers of Extra Thick Template Plastic stuck together with double stick tape.)
  • A refresher on making better use of all the lines and angles on our rulers
  • A new ruler for some … how the Omni 96 can work with stash busting through our strips
  • Point trimmer, corner cutter, corner trimmer … lots of different names for several tools that do the same thing and make our piecing more efficient and more accurate
  • Piecing with partial seams opens up a whole new world of design possibilities
  • Bias edges and steam … be careful but remember they can also help a potentially easily distorted block lay nice and flat
  • Spray starch or sizing can make a big difference in stabilizing potentially dangerous grain lines in a patch
  • Beautiful bindings even with funny angled edges
  • Taking the project a step further by moving beyond the table mat into other projects using more blocks … exploring the layout possibilities.

A book referenced during class you might want to check out …

        Happy Endings by Mimi Dietrich

GETTING READY FOR CLASS Posted on 28 Jul 11:52 , 0 comments

Today ... surviving the heat ... barely. Mike, bless his heart, added a window AC unit to the studio to help boost the cooling power of the larger roll-around floor unit we already had. We've never had the weather be so overwhelmingly hot even during the night that we couldn't find a measure of relief sleeping outside on the deck. Just keep the fan blowing on me and I think I'll survive.

Tomorrow ... teaching in a shop with AC. Yeah! We're supposed to reach our peak of high temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday and then things should start too cool a bit. Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed.

Teaching at Pioneer Quilts here in Damascus, our class is the Star Table Mat. This block is a traditional block that's been around for many many years and was originally revived from an antique quilt. I will be showing the students how to make this block large enough to be used as a nice table mat ... about 17-18" in diameter.

The block construction features template cutting as well as rotary cutting and piecing with partial seams. It is amazing to me how quickly it goes together and what a great stash buster! This is one of those quilting projects that you could make several to have on hand as a quick gift for a friend, someone new to the neighborhood, or even get-well-quick wishes. I have made several in Christmas fabrics (trying to burn up some of the stash) so I'll be ready for those quick unexpected gift needs that seem to pop in the door during the holidays.

And, just to spark your interest a little more ... check out what it looks like made with batiks on a black background and bed quilt size. How stunning is that with the rich saturation of color you get from batiks.


... available as an e-pattern ... MQS 128E SPINNER STAR TABLE MAT ...