Saturday, March 4, 2023

A Color Plan and Fabric Shopping for Stars Upon Stars + TODAY is the Last Day of the Carolina Lily Quilt Show!

Good morning, quilt lovers!  Just a quick post from me this morning before I dash off to the Union County Agricultural Center because our Carolina Lily Quilt Show opened yesterday and TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!  The show is open until 4 PM with 200+ quilts to see, a full vendor mall with all of the area's best quilt shops and sewing machine dealers gathered on one place for convenient shopping (with show specials), and a boutique of handmade gift items for sale.  Four of the six personal quilts I entered are sporting ribbons and several of my clients' quilts ribboned as well (more about that in my next post, I promise).  I hope to see you there!

And now, the real focus of today's post -- I made some decisions and did some online shopping a couple days ago, and THIS QUILT IS HAPPENING, YOU GUYS!!!  I'm so excited!

Star Upon Stars Quilt: Decisions Made, Fabrics Ordered!

I wrote about this antique 19th century quilt back in November of last year (you'll find that blog post here) and how I was considering it as a new challenge project for myself in 2023.  Well, Edyta Sitar recently announced that she is starting a QAL (Quilt-Along) for Star Upon Stars on March 15th with weekly blog posts and videos on her YouTube channel.  

Edyta is Doing a Star Upon Stars QAL in March!!!

The QAL will run for just three weeks, covering the three components of the quilt: the diamond pieced center stars, the smaller Lemoyne stars, and the sashing.  (No, I don't think anyone is going to finish the entire quilt during the three week QAL!). In her intro video for the QAL Edyta suggested that anyone who is worried that this quilt might be too difficult for them should just try making one sample block in the QAL and if they don't want to continue, that can become a pillow cover or a small wallhanging.  She also announced that she has a new template set available for this pattern, including one template for the exact size that each of the eight multi-diamond star segments is supposed to finish, which perked my ears right up -- in Jan Krentz's book Lone Star Quilts and Beyond, she recommends making a template for the desired finished size of those units out of template plastic.  The idea is to check each of those units after piecing them and correct any discrepancies before sewing them together.  You can find the template set and pattern for this quilt on Laundry Basket Quilts' web site here if you'd like to join me in this madness!

Original 67 x 74 Star Upon Stars Quilt (left) with My Fabric Picks (right)

One of the reasons I was vacillating about this quilt is that I was undecided about whether I'd attempt a faithful recreation of the original or reinterpret the quilt in a modern palette of solids, which would tone down the visual busyness and show off my piecing skills better (prints tend to camouflage seam lines).  I was also on the fence about the size of the quilt, because 67" x 74" is too small for a modern bed but this is way to elaborate to be a couch throw for the dog to curl up in (sorry, Samwise!).  

In the photo above, the original quilt made in 1846 is on the left, and you can see the contents of my shopping cart from Laundry Basket Quilts on the right.  

After months of letting this quilt marinate in a dark corner of my mind, I finally decided that this quilt really appeals to me because it's such an exquisite example of a specific moment in time.  This quilt lives in a museum collection for a reason, because it's both an artwork and a cultural artifact.  What's more, I just finished making a quilt in all solid fabrics recently and I have another all-solid bed quilt in progress.  I decided that I will make my Star Upon Stars quilt the same size as the original, in a similar color scheme, and I'm only going to tweak it slightly by incorporating more nearly-solid fabrics to balance out busy prints and maybe brighten it up just a little bit so that my quilt resembles what the original quilt might have been when it was brand new and hadn't yet faded.  Well, that means my scrap bin and my stash will be of no use to me on this project, so I ordered several collections of fat eighths (lots of different 9" x 22" strips of fabric) all from Laundry Basket Quilts and I'm hoping that if I limit myself to using those fabrics I can achieve a more muted, antique quilt look than if I pulled from my stash.  I ordered the Lights and Darks didn't buy any of the new Primrose collection that Edyta is recommending for the QAL because it was a little too "soft and pretty" for me, too much floral, and I knew a lot of other people would be using it -- I like to do my own thing at least a little bit!  The fabrics I'm most excited about are the Linen Textures and Around the World collections:

Around the World Fat Eighths Bundle

Linen Textures III Fat Eighth Bundle

There will be no Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, or Anna Maria Horner fabric going in this quilt!  And yes, I did order the template set for this quilt -- time is literally money in my studio, so tools and gadgets that make me more productive in my limited personal sewing time are always worth the extra expense to me.

Alright, that's all you get!  I forgot to bring my Featherweight to the show when I went yesterday and Featherweight Poppy is there offering same day servicing at the show for only $50.  My 1935 Featherweight (named Bette after Bette Davis, who won her first Oscar for the 1935 film Dangerous) will definitely be called into action for Star Upon Stars, so she deserves a Spa Day!  I hope I get there early enough before he's completely booked up.

Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Quilting!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I think I mentioned to you that I have the book this quilt is in and at one time I thought to make it but after thinking more I don't know if I would ever finish it - I think I would grow tired of it and for sure couldn't make it in the prints that it is in. maybe in a lot of lighter colors? Good luck in yours - keep us updated said...

That is a beautiful project and the materials you are choosing will look great in that pattern. I hope you made it early enough to the show for Bette to have spa day. That was a bargain price!

Preeti said...

If anyone can do it you can. Go Rebecca go!!! Your fabric choices are absolutely beautiful.

time4stitchn said...

I love seeing your fabric choices! The brighter tones and less busy prints will indeed make a beautiful quilt and will truly accentuate your quilting skills. You make the most amazing quilts and inspire me to reach outside my box.

Anonymous said...

Why not try Tilda fabrics - more pastel without being 'wishy washy'?

Rebecca Grace said...

I love Tilda prints and I'm using them for my Halo quilt right now. :-). But after considering lots of "updated" fabric options for Star Upon Stars, I finally realized that what I love most about the original quilt is that it is the penultimate example of so many 19th century quiltmaking trends; it is like the Zeitgeist Quilt of the century that expresses what people were thinking and seeing and feeling at a specific moment in time. I have seen Star Upon Stars made up in different, more current fabrics and they are lovely in their own way, but they just don't speak to me the way the original does. That's why I chose the fabrics that I chose for this project. Also, I have never worked with these more muted "traditional" fabrics before, especially not exclusively, so that will make the project more interesting for me as well.

dq said...

I enjoyed reading your story about your long decision on making this quilt. I can see why you want to tone it down as far as how busy it is. It looks like a lot of work, but so so worth it. I even thought about joining you but opted to finish some of my UFOs first.
The fabrics you pulled for this one will be stunning!