Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hey! It's May!

Yes, May already. And you know what that means -  it's time to make another small quilt to complete your goal of completing 12 quilts this year. You're almost halfway there. I know you've been waiting anxiously for me to announce which quilt you should start working on. For this month's project, I have chosen the Civil War Stars quilt on page 26 of my book The Civil War Sewing Circle, a small scrappy favorite of mine.

Make your star blocks in any colors, scrappy or not, and use as many blocks as you like for your quilt. Set them on point or use setting squares. Make this YOUR way. Oh, and have fun!

I have made 2 of these quilts already, both finished in 2009. One for the book and one for a friend. If I were going to make another one (Ha! I shouldn't even be thinking about that.), I think I just might choose different fabrics this time -

Love these, but this groups needs a little more blue to make it pleasing to my eye.

Playing around with your fabric before you choose which prints you are going to use and actually cut is such fun. My advice - take your time, even if you're making it scrappy like mine. My scrappy quilts are planned out a bit - I just can't always bring myself to randomly select fabrics and hope they all go together. I have to really like the way they play together and if they seem a little bland, sometimes I throw in a "kicker" color -  a yucky green, gold, bright pink or even black, for contrast.  Do you do this too? Tell me -  what colors do you like to throw into your quilts to spice them up?

This group, for instance. So lovely but I think it needs something else to pull it together. I may throw in a really pretty pink after I dig through my pile of oinks. (Whoops - I typed an "o" instead of a "p" there but it was so cute I thought I'd leave it in to get a laugh. Oinks, get it? LOL. )

Also nice but I think it needs just a little more contrast - those blues are too similar.  Indigo maybe? Or perhaps black . . . and a different shirting.

See what I mean?

I am hoping to encourage many of you to believe that you can make  some small quilts this year. The method I suggest you use to complete your goal here is to make your quilt in weekly steps every month. I know you are all busy people. This challenge is not meant to take anything away from the other projects you are working on or interfere with your hectic lives, but something I think you can accomplish by working in short bursts of time.

So here's how to do it: Take a week each month and work a little on the different parts of the quilt before you assemble it and quilt it. You can actually make quite a bit of progress doing it this way, breaking the whole thing into manageable parts. And I think the creative process becomes heightened as well. Instead of rushing around thinking you have to make the whole thing RIGHT NOW and ending up being stressed because you think you can never do that, take it slow and work at a more leisurely pace. Break it into parts.

You have 4 weeks to make this quilt. This week, play with your fabric a little. Cut some squares and see how they would look together if they were made into four-patch units for the star centers, before you decide on the star points. Maybe cut those along with the background pieces. Notice that, in my quilt, I alternated blocks with blue star points and red star points. Then, set it aside until you have time to  make a few blocks. Maybe put the blocks together when you have time the following week. By the end of the month, you will have easily finished this quilt. And be on your way to making a few more small quilts this year.

If you're like me, though, you may find that once you start you want to keep going until you finish. That works too LOL.


Me and My Stitches said...

Love your little quilt. I usually find in my scrappy quilts that I need to add a little bit of yellow or gold to make it pleasing to my eye.

Heartsdesire said...

I also like a small bit of yellow or gold, even cheddar. It makes things pop just enough. I love this quilt you've choosen and having been looking through your book hoping that this might be the one. I've just finished making your tiny mini quilt from Monday's post. At first, I didn't think I could do it, the blocks are so small. But I did, and I'm quite satisfied with the finished result. It really is so cute. I'm just sewing on the binding now. Everyone should try this little mini, I bet you can't make just one!

The Civil War Quilter said...

I like to throw in some poison green to spruce things up.

WoolenSails said...

Except for the white shade, I think I have all the fabrics you showed in your first group.


quilting Jeannet said...

Okay Kathy, I wil make this quilt also, it is a lovely one! I miss your doll quilt club every month.

Sue said...

Thank you, Kathy! I love this one and can't wait to get started on it. I'm still behind, but I WILL get all caught up! Almost there so I hope to post some pics soon!

I love this scrappy look. I too, consider my scrappy fabrics before I put them in a scrappy quilt! hahaha

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

Oh boy!! This is going to be a great one to do. I can't wait to start playing in my fabric. I have learned a lot from making these little quilts and I am quite proud of my growing collection!

Anonymous said...

You picked a great quilt for this month Kathy, the star block is such a classic one. This is going to be a great addition to my collection!

Unknown said...

Gold or pink is what I throw in my quilts to punch things up, Kathy.
Debbie in Virginia

Anonymous said...

I want to make all of them! I'm like you...I love scrappy but it has to have a certain look...not just anything. I like adding in blacks but at times that can be too strong. I enjoyed your auditions ... I do same.

Lesley said...

I love your choice for May! I have to catch up with April as well, but should be able to get back on track. I really like how you audition the fabrics. Love the oinks!


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