Monday, November 5, 2018

Starlight Wishes revisited

Last fall I whipped up a Starlight Wishes quilt top in alternate colors and in a larger size, fully intending to rewrite the pattern to include extra sizes. I didn't get much farther than the flimsy because I couldn't decide how to quilt it. Other projects, deadlines, and life got in the way.

This summer, after learning to use my Westalee quilting rulers, I quilted it.  I already shared photos of the baptist fan quilting.  It was just what this quilt wanted. If I had to do it over again I would probably tweak the border quilting a bit, but I'm not picking it out!  This quilt is officially a finished quilt!

Starlight Wishes all grown up

Here a full view.

I debated leaving off the blue border and making the cream one under the prairie points a little bit wider.  I liked it that way too.  It had a bit more modern feel to it that way.  However, I was feeling less modern on the day I decided I had to make up my mind one way or the other!

My initial reason for making this version was to show the quilt in a non-baby colorway for the cover of the revised pattern.  Didn't it grow up nicely?  But with this on the cover, how will people visualize it as a baby quilt? The answer was to add an inset photo of the brighter baby quilt, but I don't own that quilt anymore to take a proper flat picture for that purpose.

I had no choice!  I just had to make another.

Starlight Wishes, half-scale version

I'm sure you noticed this isn't quite big enough for  a baby quilt.  I'm running out of room to store quilt samples and I figured in a flat shot with no size reference, it wouldn't really matter that the quilt was not full-scale, but it would still show off an alternate colorway.  I made all the parts half-size. It is awfully cute!  Those tiny little prairie points were not difficult to make but they are too cute for words. I'm pretty sure this quilt will claim some of my sewing room wall for "storage" space.

So there's the cover for the revised version all planned out and squared away.  Now all I have to do is actually revise the pattern...which turned out to not be as straightforward as I expected.  May I bend your ear and solicit some opinions, please and thank you?

The original quilt called for cutting rectangles and pairing them up to make square units.  Making strip sets and sub-cutting units would also work, but was very wasteful of fabric for the baby size, with lots of leftover lengths of strip sets.  It wasn't a big deal to cut individual pieces for the baby size because there weren't that many pieces (relatively speaking).  When I started working out cutting instructions for the twin and queen sizes, the number of rectangles got very large. That makes strip piecing and sub-cutting much more attractive.

Including both option, or strip piecing for some sizes and not for the other makes a very clunky, unwieldy pattern, and alternate fabric requirements, so I need to choose just one method.  Strip piecing makes for lots of leftover strip set chunks in the smaller sizes.  Not strip piecing requires a lot of extra cutting in the larger sizes.  Which would you prefer to see in a pattern?

I will put off that decision till  have more data (that would be your input) and indulge in a little bit of sewing for the rest of the day.  Happy thought!


  1. They're all beautiful, but the baby quilt colors are great! What a cute pattern.

  2. I would prefer the strip cutting directions. Would it be possible to offer two different sized patterns? One for the strip cutting instructions and the baby size only with the pieces and a notation why there are two different offerings,

  3. Gorgeous pattern. I love the red/white/blue one, but both are a hit. Congrats on fine finishes!

  4. It's a great pattern in any size or color!. I love your Baptist Fan quilting; wish I could do that! ---"Love"

  5. Great design! If the strip piecing saves time, which I'm assuming it would, I would go with that. Assuming that they both use the same amount of fabric. The extra pieces can be used in something else eventually - scrap quilt maybe.

  6. Oh, yes! It DID grow up nicely! It looks like a fun pattern to make and when it’s revised, it will go right to the top of my wish list, alongside a couple of your other beautiful creations.

  7. Hm, tough choice. I always prefer strip piecing when I can, but would be annoyed if there was a ton of waste because of it. I guess my frugal nature would win out and I'd vote for no strip piecing in the final pattern to minimize waste. Perhaps you could put in a short note and a single diagram that demonstrates how strip piecing COULD be used in the bigger sizes? Those of us who like strip piecing would probably go, "Aha! I get what she's talking about and I'll do that!"

    As for the quilt, it looks fab in both colorways! Love the prairie points :)

  8. I love all of the quilts, each one is so pretty. The Baptist fan quilting is perfect, too. I don't mind the extra cutting for the pieces, I don't do a lot of quilts that use strip piecing even though they do have advantages. Hope you get more input from others to help you decide.

  9. Hmmm, could you maybe do the strip piecing instructions for everything but the baby quilt? Would that be too unwieldy to do alternate instructions for the smallest size?
    Personally, I would rather strip piece. But I have heard people grumble about wasteful instructions that require more fabric than really needed. I don't know if there is a way to make everybody happy without making the directions different for the smallest quilt. Or maybe you could just clarify on the pattern that there will be a lot of leftover fabric when making the baby quilt--and you could include instructions for making a mini quilt with the leftovers. I'd be happy with that! LOL
    The large version is great. The baptist fan quilting is wonderful. I need to learn how to use those rulers!

  10. Gorgeous quilts, and what a good idea to make a half sized baby quilt for the photo shoot! Would it work to give the strip piecing instructions for both sizes, with a note that says this method does create waste for the baby size and sewers easily could make a second baby quilt at the same time (from the leftovers)? You could 'sell it' as a speedy way to make the quilt - people do seem to like quick-to-make quilts and methods. (???)

  11. Since I don't have the pattern, I'm a little confused...are you cutting strips and then sub-cutting before you sew, or after? I think if you're cutting before sewing, instructions for cutting strips are okay. Anyone should be able to figure out how many units they need and cut fewer accordingly. (I also think anyone who knows how many units they need should be able to do math to figure out how many strips they want, but my quilting friends prove me wrong all the time...) But if you're sewing and then cutting, that's a whole other matter. I've made many quilts where sewn strip sets have leftovers and dont mind it - it makes for extra in case I do something wrong or my fabric is narrower than expected - so my vote would be to write it for the larger sizes with instructions that would be a bit more wasteful on a smaller size. But you know you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, right?! Good luck!

  12. I thought the pattern I originally tested was written beautifully. Personally, I would go with that for the bigger ones as well. Good luck and love the new ones you have made.

  13. Hi Joanne, both of these quilts are really lovely. Contrats!

  14. I would say go with the strip piecing instructions. It applies to all of the sizes except for the baby quilt. I think most people prefer strip piecing over cutting each piece. They are both beautiful quilts.

  15. For what it is worth... I would probably go with the directions for strip piecing/cutting and state that there will be extra pieces. Are the extra pieces something that can be used for another smaller quilt? That would be a plus, plus. Just found your blog and the quilts are great. Best, Beth


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