Saturday, November 16, 2013

S'more Rows.3 Exploding Stars

Exploding Stars
(row #1)
This row is made up of 6, 10" x 10 " finished blocks.  (If you measure your block from edge to edge it will measure 10 1/2" x 10 1/2".  The extra 1/2" is for the seam allowances.)

The Exploding Star block is a nine patch block made of 1 square patch (the center), 4 pieced patches that look like open beaks (the edges) and 4 twinkles patches (the corners).  It is essentially the same block that we made last month.  Only the corner patches are different.

About those patches... I had planned to construct these by making half square triangles, and sewing them in four patches with tiny squares.  However, I found that the size of the block frustrated my plans.  The best I can figure the problem lies in the size of the block.  10"  x 10" is not neatly divisible by 6 when your rulers are all based on quarter inches.   Either I had to make the block bigger(there is no way I was going to make it smaller) or I had to find a more accurate way to make the block.   Consequently, I resorted to paper piecing.  This is not a traditional use of the method...but it works, and your pieces will fit the way they are supposed to.  If you have never paper pieced please refer to my tutorial for more specific instructions.

Fabric Requirements:
  • Background - I used Bella neutral (SKU #9900-12)
    • 2/3 yard, or 23" x width of fabric (wof)  plus the remnant (3 7/8" x 26-ish") from step 1   
  • Stars -  
    • 6, 10" x 10" squares
  • Twinkles-
    •  6, sets of 8, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares (this fits perfectly on a 5" x 10" rectangle)
  • Printer paper, 6 sheets
    • When you print the pattern be sure that your settings are as follows
      • Fit to printable area - YES!!!
    • Print one page and measure the pattern pieces
      • The largest solid line rectangles should measure 3 3/8" x 1 11/16"
    • Once you are sure the pieces print out correctly, print the remaining 5 pages.
    • You need 6 of this pattern 
Cutting Directions:
  • Background
    • Edge pieces
      • You need 24, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares
      • cut 2, 3 7/8" x wof strips
        • sub cut into 10, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares each for 20 squares
      • cut 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares from remnant from step 1
    • Corners
      • Background
        • You need 96, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
          • cut 6,  1/2" x wof strips
            • sub cut each strip into 16, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • Stars - cut one set of the following from each of 6 squares - one for each block.
    • Centers - cut 1, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" square
    • Points - cut 4, 3" x 5" rectangles
  • Twinkles - cut one set for each of 6 squares - one for each block.
    • cut 8, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • Paper - cut rectangles apart, just outside the dotted line.  You should have 48 rectangles when you are done.

Break time!!

I meant it when I told you last month that I need a break between cutting and sewing.  So I'm going to share another quilt with you. 

This is what Exploding Stars looks like when  you replicate it.  I hope it makes you smile as much as it does me.

If you make 16 blocks and set them in a grid of 4 x 4 you get the quilt above.  By adding two borders the finished quilt measures 68" x 68".  It is a nice sized throw.

Specific fabric requirements are:
  • Background - 2 1/2 yards
  • Inner border -
    • 2 3/4 yards - if you fussy cut it like I did in my drawing you need OR
    • 3/4 yards - otherwise.
  • Outer border - 1 yard
  • Stars - 16, 10" x 10" squares
  • Tinkles - 16, 5" x 10" rectangles
  • Binding - 1/2 yard
  • Backing - 4 1/4 yards 

...and back to our regularly scheduled directions....

Sewing Directions:
  • Make one block at a time.
  • Gather:
    • Background
      • 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares
      • 16, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
    • Star
      • 1, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" square
      • 4, 3" x 5" rectangles
    • Twinkle
      • 8, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
    • Paper
      • 8 rectangular pattern pieces
    • Gather
      • 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares background fabric
      • 4, 3" x 5" rectangles star fabric
    • Make edge blocks according to the directions used in last months post.  (You can go back to it here.)
      • The difference between the two rows at this point is only the color of the fabric  you are using.

    • Gather
      • 16, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares background fabric
      • 8, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares twinkle fabric
      • 8, rectangular, paper pattern pieces
    • Make 4 blocks according to paper pieced pattern - refer to tutorial if you need help.

    • Gather 9, 3 7/8" blocks (4 corners, 4 edges, 1 center)
    • Arrange blocks
      • The star triangles meet beside the center block.
      • The background triangles should be pointing toward the center.
      • The twinkle 4 patches look like the butterflies are flying away from the center.
    • Sew blocks together to make three rows.
      • Rows 1 & 3: 4 patch flying toward the upper left, edge block pointing down; 4 patch flying toward the upper right
      • Row 2: edge block pointing to the right; center (matches star points); edge block pointing to the left.
    • Sew rows together to make block.
    • Trim to 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" square
  • Repeat 5 times for a total of 6 Exploding Star blocks.
  • Sew 6 blocks in a row to complete Exploding Star row of this project.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swapping again

I've been thinking that I needed to stretch my creative muscles a mite.  Low and behold the DQS14 sign ups were going on...and I got picked to participate.

DQS14 Mosaic

I've made an inspiration mosaic for my partner....perhaps I should have just pointed to FlossieBlossomsMamacjt, and Silort... but that might have totally overwhelmed them.  Then again, if my partner turns out to be one of them, that would be awesome too.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Just have to shout it out!

  We just got back from John's cardiologist.....

who's final words of  advice to my boy were,
"Go and live a great life!"  Dr. Rizvi
 Heart problem solved.

Monday, November 4, 2013

And the winner is.....

 The day has come for my Midwinter Reds give away....

I have eight candy charm packs that need a new home.

Congratulations go to Deb @ A Simple Life Quilts who said...

Love this line of fabric! My sister and I spent hours and hours playing Barbies... my Mom kept them well dressed with her creations.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October in My Rearview

I know it is a cliche - but holy cow where does the time go?!  It moves faster and faster each year, and each day still seems like an exercise in futility.  I don't seem to get anything done....but I know that isn't true...must be some sort of time warp.  The more you have to do the fast time buzzes past.

So...October has come and gone....

S'more Rows
My S'more Rows row-a-long quilt is finished and the patterns have begun to publish on my blog. 

There is still time to join us if you are interested....get the scoop here.

I'm working with the fine folk at Happiness is Quilting to bring my local friends a monthly demo/class on the most recent row.  The first demo was loads of fun....stop by on November 16 for the second installment.  We will be playing with paper piecing.
Midwinter Cozy
The pattern for my little quilt, Midwinter Cozy, was featured on Moda's Bake Shop on October 4 and has been well received.  It has had over 8300 hits so far!  There is still time to get in on the give away...leave a comment... the drawing is on November 4.
On the pattern front - I have three more approved by the Bake Shop and waiting in the wings to be built. 
more on those this winter.
Tops to Treasures the long arm quilting business has been crazy busy.  15 quilts this month!
Tops to Treasures October 2013
Add to that more high school football games than I care to remember;
My Photo Stream-174
my middle son's first ever date, and home coming dance;
 I love this photo of my Johnny and Brooke! @j_romesgirl  thanks for taking it!
a whirlwind visit by my oldest;

My Photo Stream-186
a quick trip into Dallas to see The Lion King at Dallas Summer Musicals; and teaching an introduction to quilts to a wonderful group of ladies at a mini church retreat; and you will have my month in a very large nut shell. 
I do hope that your October was just as spectacular.