The Holidays have finally wound down and I’m ready to dig in to this Star Storm Quilt!!! What am I talking about?? Catch up by reading my previous Star Storm post HERE. The adventure into using a quilting pattern continues.
I have read, and re-read the Star Storm pattern directions. My head is swimming, but I think I understand the process. It’s time to choose fabrics!!! Fun!!
Oops… not so fast. To fully understand this pattern I decided I had better cut and tape the pattern together. Unfolding the large paper patterns freaked me out with all the lines… veering off in all directions! Some were solid, others were dashed, and some were BOTH! Circled numbers were all over the place!! I took a deep breath in and slowly let it out, grabbed my scissors and quickly came to the conclusion that this wouldn’t be so bad. After all it was only paper… if I made a mistake I could always tape it back together.
It wasn’t bad at all. The Star Storm pattern was clearly marked with where to cut and where to tape. Keeping ‘even’ with ‘even’ and ‘odd’ with ‘odd’… and ‘A’ with ‘A’ and ‘B’ with ‘B’ is all I had to do. The crazy numbers and lines running all over the paper don’t come in to play until later.
Back to choosing the fabric!! Yea!!!
Rummaging through my stash I pulled all the fabrics that screamed BEACH to me. Oh, and I pulled all the neutrals, purples, greens, and yellows for Bonnie Hunter’s mystery Quilt Along while I was at it. Hey, that’s great time management… right? Back to the beach fabric! Concentrate!!! Once gathered, I pulled out any fabrics that were glaringly out of place, and assessed what is missing. The vision in my head wasn’t jiving with my fabrics. If I had my way I would simply go out and purchase all new beautiful fabric. Alas, my wallet doesn’t agree with that logic… so I re-thought the vision in my head to align with the fabrics in front of me.
Unless you want to drive yourself absolutely crazy… stick with ‘all over’ patterns on your fabric!!! I disregarded many of my chosen fabrics because they were too linear, heading in the wrong direction, or worse… on a diagonal!! I already had one wide stripe fabric, adding another would have competed.
I came to the conclusion I needed one or two accent fabrics to really make this Star Storm quilt POP! This is where the line divides a designer from a hobby quilter. If I were a designer I would have bolts of my own fabric line to choose from, cut a strip and audition it. Not good? Choose another strip from another bolt. As a hobby quilter I needed to stop the design process and hop in the car to drive to my local quilt shop… in my case it’s an hour drive! Even with swatches in my hand I found it difficult to choose the two accents. At $10 and $12 a yard I really wanted to be certain I chose correctly!
How much yardage to purchase?? Great question!!! I’d love to say, “Just purchase 2 yards of everything you like,” but that isn’t practical. Before leaving for the store I did a little calculating. Laying out my fabrics in the order I THOUGHT I would use them, I scrutinized the photo on the front of the Star Storm pattern and guessed at the placement I needed the accents to be… then followed the recommended yardage provided. Needless to say, once I got home and really laid things out, I was a little off the mark. Sigh.
I don’t have a design wall. More accurately… I don’t have a blank wall to PUT a design wall. My small bungalow was built in 1918 and between an open floor plan, the free-standing fireplace, windows, windows, and more windows… I only have ONE blank wall, and that’s where the TV was placed. So I use my floor to design. It’s not perfect, but all the bending over keeps me active.
I cut 2 pieces of each fabric measuring 4 ½” by WOF (width of fabric) and began to lay out the strips for color placement. I urge you to really LOOK at the star pattern on the front cover and understand WHY the design WORKS! Pay close attention to where the bold fabrics versus lighter fabrics are placed. Trying to capture a real beach feeling, I chose fabrics to represent sand, water, shells, and sunset. My breath is always taken away with a stunning sunset, so I decided the fullest star shape would be of that fabric… then worked around from there. Sadly, the fabric I purchased to represent mussels didn’t make the cut. Oh well… I’ll have to use that fabric in something else. I also realized I didn’t have enough fabric of another one I purchased… but was able to pull a co-ordinate from my stash.
Also take note of the use of coordinating fabrics in this design. If each ‘round’ were the same fabric, the quilt wouldn’t be as interesting. I encourage you to ‘mix it up’ a bit!!
At this point I feel my Star Storm quilt is headed in the right direction, but am not 100% satisfied with my color placement. It’s time to walk away, and wait ’til tomorrow for a different perspective. I’ll keep you posted as I continue my Star Storm adventure.
Want to check in more frequently with my progress??? Follow me on Instagram @uniqueandnovel… using #debsstarstorm.