Monday, May 07, 2012

Oh My Stars! quilt along ... assembling the blocks.

Oh hallelujah! Now I can FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY start combining all the different star blocks into sections!

Sheila (she who created the Oh My Stars! quilt along) has provided 2 layouts for this project: the original twin size and now, an optional queen-sized quilt.  I opted to go for the queen-sized quilt, as I just don't need any more twin-sized.  (and, I'm a glutton for punishment!)

Mr. Pirate may opine that we really don't need any more QUILTS ... but what does he really know on this subject?  :-)

Here's the queen-sized layout.  It all looks very jumbled together, doesn't it?  How on earth do you know what star block to put where???  Well, in fact, you don't need to know.  All the blocks of a size are interchangeable.  There is only 1 each of the 12" blocks, so all you need to do is stick one where a 12" block is indicated.

The 8" and 4" blocks are sometimes butted up against each other.  There are multiple 8" and 4" blocks of each star.  How do do you know which ones to use??   In the end, it's your choice.  You can put all of the same blocks together or scatter them around.

I chose to scatter them (as best as I was able ... I don't do random well).  I realized that since I used different fabrics for each and every star, as long as a I used a different star in each spot, it didn't matter which *specific* blocks I used. 

I do better if I have a plan.  A plan that tells me ahead of time, which block goes where.  That way, I don't have to dither about decisions or find out, to my dismay, that I'm *short* a block or two!  To make my plan, I knew I had 19 different stars.  I made a pile of each star (i.e., 19 different piles) and labeled each pile so I knew which number it was.  On a piece of paper, I listed how many sizes I had of each star type (in some cases, I was over-exuberant and made more than was called for).   Then, using the layout, as provided by Sheila, I simply put the number of the star in the layout.  It didn't matter if #1 was always next to #2 star ... the fabrics really made them look different.

To make things REALLY easy, Sheila provided us with a broken up layout ... she has VERY thoughtfully worked out a plan that is in sections.  Each section has sub-sections ... all very, very clear as to which size block goes where.  Exactly which star you want where is your choice.  And this is where I numbered the layout.  I started at the upper left corner and continued numerically down the list,  numbered all the stars of that size.  When all the stars of that size were numbered, I did the same thing with the other 2 size stars.  As I used each star, I made a tick mark on my list, so I would know how many stars of that type I had left. 

Once the layout was all filled in, I can't tell you how SIMPLE it was to assemble the sections!  You can see my numbering in the purple section above.  For the first sub-section, I know that I will need an 8" #1 star, a 4" #18 star, a 4" #17 star and an 8" #2 star.
Section 1 (purple)
I did take care, when constructing the blocks, to make SURE that each block was more-or-less the right size.  If the block varied slightly from 12", 8" 4" .. I wasn't terribly concerned.  Paying attention to where the seamline was would take care of those variations.  BUT, if the block was badly cut/constructed .. say 1/4" or more out of whack, I would re-do that piece of the star.  I was pretty annoyed when I had to do *that*.  ::grumble::

Even at that, there are a few stars whose points got clipped.  Well, that's too doggone bad because I just don't have any more of that fabric to remake the block.  Furthermore, I don't FEEL like remaking it.

I don't want to.
I don't have to.
I'm not gonna.    So there.  pphhhttt.  :-)

Having the blocks the correct size made the assembly a breeze.  It is so *wonderful* not to have to fight to get the blocks to play nicely with each other!  :-)

Section 2 (red)

Section 3 (orange)

I've now completed 3 sections and am working on the next one.  Pretty doggone soon, I'll be able to assemble the sections into a complete top!  :-)


  1. Gorgeous! Really gorgeous!

  2. It looks fabulous Shelley! I can hardly wait to see the entire quilt top. And I don't think a few clipped points will ever be noticed once it's quilted. Love it!

  3. Marilyn: thank you! I think the whole thing is going to be very interesting to look at. :-)

    Angie: regarding those clipped points - from the back of a galloping horse at a distance of 5 miles during a stiff breeze .. nah .. no one's gonna even see the missing points. :-) OR ... "the points are NOT missing; they are in the seam allowance!" :-)