SIZE: doll size; ~ 15″ x 21″
FABRIC: from my stash… budget-friendly that I want to bust
DESIGN: maverick stars
QUILTING: free motion in a meandering design around the stars; straight line in the border; straight line outline (inline?) inside the stars
BINDING: red/green/pink dots on black background; machine sewn to front and back
INSPIRED BY: the many maverick star quilts on flickr
FOR: birthday gift for a three year old little girl
I had my own Saturday Sew day this weekend, in the spirit of the one the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild had. I wish I could have gone to the DMQG one but since Tessa really does not take a bottle, it makes leaving the house solo for hours not the best idea. Maybe when she’s eating baby food I can make the Saturday Sew events again. In the meantime, I plan on being there in spirit and make sure I sew/quilt/piece at home on those Saturdays.
Making this quilt helped me accomplish a few goals…
- I got to put my new machine through the paces to see what it was like to make a whole quilt on it (LOVE IT!).
- I need a birthday gift for a three year old and this will be perfect for that.
- I still have a few lingering budget-friendly but not quilt-store-quality fabrics in my stash that I want to bust (these are from Hobby Lobby and JoAnn). Little doll quilts are a perfect way to use them up.
- I have been wanting to make a maverick stars quilt.
I know it has been doll/small quilt overload with me for awhile, but I really do love making them. Because of their small size, I get to try out a quilt design small-scale and with quicker turn around (= almost instant gratification). That helps me figure out if I like a design enough to make dozens of blocks and also lets me know if I need to tweak the design the next time around. I also get to practice every step in the quilting process, from start to finish… designing, cutting, piecing, basting, quilting, and binding. Surely by the time I finish many doll quilt, I will be a better quilter for doing so.
All of the fabric was from my stash. The pink polka dot perfectly matches the background of the pink paisley fabric and they weren’t even bought to go together nor are they from the same store. A couple of the polka dots are quilt-store-quality fabrics, but I really was trying to stick with the fabric and scraps from JoAnn and Hobby Lobby. I have just a couple more pieces of fabric from HL/J and I plan to make a pillow case (to match Chelsea’s), one more little doll quilt and then some charity blocks to use them up. That leads me to a question… what do you do with fabrics in your stash that you don’t love and/or isn’t quilt store quality.
I had big plans to quilt in some other method than a meandering wiggle. But after testing out some simple florals and circles/pebbles on a test quilt sandwich, I decided that I need to get used to my new machine first and get better with the meandering design before I attempt anything more complex than meandering.
FMQ on my new machine is such an upgrade from my old one. First, the fabric glides so much smoother under the presser foot which means I don’t have to wear quilt gloves to manage (fight with?) the fabric in the machine. And that makes it easier (and faster) to take out the safety pins — no gloves to take on and off.
And then there’s the needle down setting which makes for cleaner looking starts and stops during the quilting process.
And also the knee lift. This makes it easy, and hands free and faster, to lift the presser foot without taking my hands off of the quilt sandwich. This was especially helpful in the way I straight-line quilted the stars and border.
The other thing that I really like about my machine is the extension table (many quilting machines come with one). The additional flat workspace means the fabric is more likely to feed through the machine evenly since gravity isn’t pulling part of it down.
I tried one new technique on this quilt… cutting the binding on the bias. Hmm… don’t think I’ll do that again unless the fabric calls for it or I’m doing curves. It took me a good bit longer to cut the fabric and piece the binding compared to the straight-grain way. I’ve read that bias binding is stronger, but I don’t anticipate my quilts going to battle and I think straight-grain binding will hold up just fine on my quilts.
After finishing the quilt, I had some good sized scraps left over, so I made a little bitty pillow to go with the doll quilt (main pillow fabric is made with the binding fabric). Fun, huh? Mallory wants one now. 🙂 I pieced the pillow form to make it look like a pillow case. I’m not sure how successful that look is (the faux pillow case look that is). It might have looked better as one piece of fabric.
In the end, I do love how this quilt turned out. The colors, the maverick stars and even the size (it is just the right size for a doll quilt; some of my others have been a bit big). I enjoyed making the maverick stars and got a good system going for piecing them. They are about 6″ square finished. If I were to make another maverick stars quilt, I’d probably go a little bigger .
And I do plan to make some normal size quilts next. Two, in fact. I hope to post a little something about them this week.