McCall’s Quilting Intern’s First Quilt: Part 3

Happy Tuesday! I spent my long weekend making – what else – my quilt! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Don’t forget, you can see all of the blocks I make in McCall’s Quilt Block Reference. I’ve started trying some harder blocks from the Confident Beginner and Intermediate categories now!

The first block I chose to try this weekend was the Star in a Star Block. This was my first attempt at making Flying Geese units and boy, were they tricky! This block also involves a lot of seams, which made pressing more difficult than I’m used to.

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I took a lot of advice from readers about the best ways to slice through fabric with a rotary cutter. I was much more successful this time! I held my hand up further so the cutter pointed parallel to the cutting mat, rather than holding it parallel; this gave me a lot more leverage and stability. However, I learned a lesson even more important than that while I was cutting this weekend: ALWAYS close your rotary cutter when it’s not in immediate use! Aunt Kate was the unfortunate victim on this one:

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Sorry, Aunt Kate!

After lots of apologies and a Band-Aid, she’s healing very well!

My completed Star in a Star Block reminds me a lot of my mom – she loves to wear turquoise jewelry!

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Completed Star in a Star Block

On Sunday, Aunt Kate and I took a trip to Golden Quilt Company where I found the perfect border fabric for my sampler blocks.

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Fabric shopping is so much fun!

Aunt Kate made a layout of my quilt using EQ7, which is how we chose the colors I would use around my blocks (not a difficult decision since green is my favorite color). I chose a Westminster circles print for the border and each of the solids I chose for the binding and sashing are Kona Cottons. I found the solids and my beautiful blue and green paisley backing fabric at JoAnn’s.

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The next block I decided to work on was the Amish Star Block – the same block McCall’s Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Challenge 1 Amateur category contestants are incorporating into their quilt tops!

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Amish Star Block

I struggled A LOT making this block. Not only did I have to re-make all of the half-square triangle units after I sewed the wrong side of one fabric to the right side of the other (who knew how easy it is to do that?), I also started to see as the block came together that I didn’t like the fabrics I had chosen. I see now why many quilters avoid striped fabrics – they’re tricky to pair with anything else! I might make this block again with different fabric, or I may keep it and put it in my quilt as a reminder that no matter what, perfection is impossible.

How about you? Have you ever made a block that just didn’t work out the way you thought it would? What block pattern was it? I’d love to know!

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6 Responses to McCall’s Quilting Intern’s First Quilt: Part 3

  1. Erika Brown says:

    I haven’t made any quilts yet so I am impressed with what you have done. I guess quilting is a trial and error at first. Also, colors and matching fabrics together is a personal thing. I think you did a good job on you piece especially since strips are hard to work with.

  2. Mary Timby says:

    You are doing good work. Matching colors are hard, in fact I still ask others to help with matching my colors.

  3. Maridel Merritt says:

    Your quilt blocks and fabric selections are terrific! Don’t shy away from stripes. They can be a wonderful addition to almost any project. I have a personal challenge/goal to use stripes in every quilt – they can be very nice as a binding. Most of all: enjoy yourself!

  4. Mary Grady says:

    LOL I’m sure your Aunt Kate will tell you that every one of us has had a rotary cutter accident. Get in the habit of shutting your cutter after every cut. It sounds excessive, but you’ll get in the habit and avoid any more “untimely accidents”. Your blocks are looking great. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  5. Debbi says:

    I have made a couple of quilts – learned from classes I took. This past month I decided my cutting and piecing needed help so I made 20 sampler blocks from easy to intermediate/advanced. My biggest problem also is color choices – - your blocks look great – - keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see the finished quilt!

  6. Rosemary says:

    I used to love blocks with stars in the them. That changed quickly in making my first quilt, also a sampler. Matching the points in block and making it come out “square” was an exercise in patience beyond what I had. So even though I still like blocks with stars in them, I leave them to the more patient quilters!

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