Star Sampler: Background Information

I was somewhat unclear, apparently, about what I was doing with the Star Sampler, the general idea of this piece and how it came about. Apparently, I just started babbling on and posting a zillion blocks. I thought you all just mind-melded with me and knew what was in my head! 😉

So sorry! Thanks to Mrs. K for pointing this out to me.

Really, what happened is life. I went about, in a leisurely manner choosing my fabrics and cooing about them, then all of a sudden it was time to start and things heated up at work and I had several weekends in a row out of town and WHAM! I needed to get myself in gear.

The idea for doing the Star Sampler started when TFQ and I talked about doing a project together. The idea of doing a project together came up, I think, when I saw the announcement for Easy Street, the recent mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. Both of us were a little leery of doing a project when we didn’t know what the end result would look like. We both kind of wanted to know what direction we were headed.

Due to the distance and our crazy schedules when we are together, we decided to leverage technology and work on the same project, but in our own spaces, using our own tools and fabrics. We have worked on quilts together in the same physical space and I expect we will again, but this time, we are using the same pattern and doing the work on our own.

We looked at books, Flickr and various blogs to try and find a project we both liked. We used a joint Pinterest board (great tool, BTW) to keep track of our ideas. We eventually chose the Oh My Stars Quilt-a-long. The rest of the universe did it in 2012, but we just found it and since the directions and information are still posted, we are able to do it. We chose it because we both like Sawtooth Stars, there was enough scope for both of us to stretch our creative wings, use fabrics we liked and a wide variety of blocks.

Sheila is the owner of Thought and Found blog and the creator of the Oh My Stars QAL. She seems to post regularly to her blog. I have been hanging out there a bit more, but mostly referring to the layout or the block information. She set up a Flickr group for the QAL and I have been posting photos there even though everyone else is finished. It is a great group for inspiration, even if you are just looking for color combos.

The quilt is made up of of 12″, 8″ and 4″ Sawtooth Stars. Sheila includes patterns and tutorials for each of the Sawtooth Stars needed to complete this quilt. Scroll down on the first page of the QAL information to see the blocks. We are using many of the stars she lists, but we also went through EQ and created a group of stars that we wanted to make so some of the group’s stars will not be in our quilts.

Star Sampler Layout (Thought & Found blog)
Star Sampler Layout (Thought & Found blog)

One of the attractions for me of this project is the layout of the blocks. This is not your typical straight set. This layout makes the viewer work for their view. It is interesting and the viewer is rewarded for their work in looking at the quilt for longer than the typical 30 seconds.

I am toying with the idea of sewing the 4′ blocks to the larger blocks before I have finished all the blocks. There are a couple of reasons. First, I don’t have enough space to store the thousand (ok, it isn’t a 1,000, but sometimes it feels like a thousand!) blocks I am making and they would be easier to store in larger chunks. Second, I might like to take a chance at some random color choices near each other. Third, I am not sure I can face a bunch of single blocks needing to be sewn together. I need to think about it some more before I decide.

We are keeping ourselves to a strict schedule so this project doesn’t take forever. I have already posted bunches of blocks and I will continue to do so. You can also see my Flickr set for these blocks. TFQ has a Flickr set also. She said I could link to it, so take a look and comment.

I hope this clears up the mystery of this project and I would encourage you to join in.