Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nocturne Star

I mentioned at the end of May that I had found a fabric line, fallen in love, and started a new quilt.

You can see samplings of the fabric to the right. I saw a couple of the fabrics at my local quilt store and was curious enough about them that I looked at the name of the line on the bolt and actually remembered it.

A few days later I was still thinking about it and Googled the line to see what I could find out. I found out the following:

1. I loved it.
I loved the designs, I loved them as a group, I loved them individually. I loved the colours, the warm grey/cool tan tone and the blues. I loved the limited palette. And I really loved the names. The fabric designs are Moon Phases, Data, Cassiopeia, Orbit, Constellation, Atmosphere, and Galaxy, with colour names (from light to dark) Milky Way, Stellar, Hubble, Armstrong, and Eclipse. (I've always been attracted to space things--the natural things I mean. Not rockets.)

Yes, I was so obsessed, I tracked down all the names from different websites that had various pieces in stock.


2. It was discontinued.
It was hard to find yardage of all of the fabrics but there were still precut packages available. I have been watching all of Jenny Doan's videos (from Missouri Star Quilt Company) and she uses pre-cuts almost exclusively. So although I have never been attracted to a precut package before, I have been getting used to the idea and it was the perfect solution in this case. I found a "layer cake" (10" squares) from a seller on etsy and I had my own pieces of all of the fabrics.

I was over the moon when the package arrived! :)

If you want to see the fabrics a little better and have any curiosity about how a fabric line is developed, I really encourage you to take a minute (or 6, which is how long it is) to watch this video of the designer introducing the line.

I spent some time admiring the fabric but not a lot because I was so eager to start sewing with it. I had an idea to combine the squares with scrappy strip-pieces squares in the same palette to make a bunch of half-square triangles.

With a little more planning and considering, I decided to organize the half square triangles into a big carpenter square star, and that is what I did:
I think it took me less than two weeks to sew together all the strips and then sew them into the half square triangles! I was obsessed.

I put them up on my design wall the first weekend of June. I played with the arrangement and settled on the one above. Since I made two half-square triangle blocks from each pair of plain square and strippy square, I had matching pairs to work with. For each block, you can find its mate "diagonally" across from it.

Some of the fabrics blur the line between what is light, medium and dark, so I converted the picture to black and white to test the values.
Not perfect, but pretty good I decided.

The quilt isn't quite big enough without a border so I started to think about that right away. The first choice was to put an extra ring of "light" blocks around the outside but I didn't have enough light fabric. So I cut strips of all the fabrics I had left (2.5" by 10-12") and will be piecing them end to end. I will sew them on one long strip at a time (staggering the corners), working my way from the light colours next to the quilt to the darkest colours on the outside.

I went from thinking I wouldn't have enough, to getting just enough by dismantling some strippy blocks I made but didn't end up using to buying more that I couldn't resist at the fabric store. It's really hard to get a quilt out of your head--even when you have enough fabric, your eye is still looking for more. So I'll have a little more variety in the borders and may use some on the back. I think I found a fabric for the binding too. I really liked the colours but the pattern didn't work well in the quilt. For a small thin line like the border, it will work perfectly.

Since taking the blocks off the design wall (before they all blew down like before) and cutting all of the border strips, I have put everything away to work on things with deadlines. I'm looking forward to fishing it out again though!

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