My quilt guild makes quilts for an at-risk preschool program in our local school system. This is the Bright Stars program…thus my reference later to Bright Star quilts 1-4. I made a pact in public (on Facebook so everybody knows) to make four quilts for this program by our SpringFest meeting the first weekend in May. This challenge to myself was two-fold (to begin with). I wanted to eliminate some of my stash and I wanted to make quilts for this great cause.
I found four candidates in my stash and got started. All four quilts started with a panel and some coordinating fabric. The quilts need to be approximately 40″ x 50″, so I had to expand on the panel. The first one that I want to share with you (and the only one 100% done at this time) was the brightest and most fun of them. I’m not sure why I started with my favorite, but I just did. I had some jelly roll strips left over from a previous project that coordinated (same fabric group in fact) with the panel I had. The strips were between 12″ and 18″ so I just sewed them together in one really, long strip. I started adding to the panel. It worked out that I had just enough for an even set of strips. I had a nice coordinating fabric that I used for borders to bring the quilt to the right size.
Here’s finished Bright Stars Quilt #1.
There was another benefit of making this quilt that I didn’t think of right away. I got to practice a lot of free-motion quilting on my Bernina 440 (yes I had to use my 440 because my 830 is freaking out with the BSR foot and any type of free-motion quilting). Unfortunately my local dealer is extremely backed up and the technician is out for a while, so no 830 projects in the near future 😦 I love my 440. I am most comfortable doing free-motion quilting on it. I just wish it had the 12″ opening that my 830 does. Being a small quilt though, that wasn’t an issue.
I’m taking a Craftsy.com class “Free Motion Quilting a Sampler” by Leah Day. This is a fantastic class and even though I’m barely halfway through, I have learned so much more and have jumped outside my comfort zone already with my free-motion quilting. Before this class, I never did more than stippling. Now I’ve tried free-motion stitching in the ditch (which I really recommend you try) and some spirals and a few other shapes. I had so much fun with this first quilt, I can’t wait to try more designs on future quilts. I just finished the machine quilting on the second Bright Stars quilt today so will post that soon when I get the binding on.
I used plain cotton thread on the top and bobbin on this quilt. I was quite pleased with the results. I went with a pale yellow so the stitching wouldn’t overpower the quilt.
Here’s a detail photo of the quilting.
This was so much fun, I can’t wait to get to the next one.
Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,