A Paper Pieced Patriotic Star

UFO's:  Those Unfinished Objects are rare in my sewing room. I am not usually one to set a quilt aside. I have very few UFOs because I am too thrifty/cheap and can't stand the thought of something sitting there. But once in awhile, a quilt stumps me; either I don't like how the blocks are turning out, or I don't know how I want to quilt it. I ran into that with the green Stars quilt, and just had to set it aside for awhile.

While it sat, I challenged myself to make a mini-quilt, something I made a few of in the past. I played around with some shapes in a notebook, and came up with a pattern for a mini that I wanted to make with Christmas fabric. Once made, the border was too big for the rest of the squares, so I cut it smaller on the sides.

The quilt turned out alright. Not one of my favorites, but certainly passable. I think it looks real cute nestled among some items on a cabinet.

That done, I went on to create a paper-pieced, folk-art star quilt. It took a lot of thinking, plotting, and reworking to get the stars to come out right, and to make it work with the small selection of scraps I had.

I drew a start with a ruler on paper, then traced it on freezer paper. You'll notice from this picture that my points do not go all the way to the edge of the fabric.I did this on purpose as it helps give me a little wiggle room if I don't sew it exactly at 1/4 of an inch.

After tracing and numbering the pieces on the dull side of the paper, I cut them apart and ironed the shiny side of the paper onto fabric. I worked one star at a time so I didn't get confused with the random order I was trying to create to use up different fabrics.

 Using the numbers, I sewed them together in order. Once I was all done, I removed the paper from the back. Since the paper didn't go into the seam allowance (except by accident), it came off pretty easily.

When it came to quilting it, a design in a book I was reading gave me the idea to create "beams of light" radiating from the stars. I used a longer stitch on my machine, some painters tape and very quickly I was done. In the end, I was really happy with the way it turned out. In fact, it is one of my favorite finishes.