I left for vacation with a packet of paper pieces and lots of little diamonds of fabric and I returned with the beginnings of this quilt. I am really in love with this and I don’t think I’m going to be able to send it to my partner in the Doll Quilt Swap. These six stars (four full and two half) represent about 10 hours of hand work. I did most of the sewing on the car ride home from Michigan, when I was very happy to have the distraction. I decided on this plan two nights before I left town so I didn’t have time to order pattern pieces online and my local quilt shop doesn’t carry them. I did find this pattern online and printed several out and then cut the diamond apart with an x-acto knife and straight edge ruler.
Once I had the paper pattern pieces cut, I traced one of the diamonds onto an old plastic folder and then added a quarter inch on all sides. I cut out this plastic diamond to use as a template for cutting my fabric. I probably spent two hours cutting paper and fabric pieces to make eight stars. Armed with my paper and fabric diamonds, a few pins, needle and thread, and these instructions, I set off for vacation.
The first diamonds I pieced were for this hoop (forgive the un-ironed photo–I didn’t realized how clear the crease was until I took the picture). Tacking the fabric to the paper was very easy to do and became a pretty mindless task. What is not mindless, however, is piecing all the diamonds together. After a couple of stars, I figured out that I could piece the diamonds in sets of three and then sew the half stars together along the middle which sped up the process. Before that, I was sewing each individual seam and then slotting the diamonds in like puzzle pieces. Sewing them together in half stars is also a little more forgiving if you didn’t line up the edges perfectly.
Appliqueing the star to the fabric for the hoop was trickier than I had anticipated because of the little triangle of fabric at the point of each diamond. When they get pieced together for a quilt, all those triangles end up behind the pieces, but for this I had to either trim them off or try to tuck them under. I wouldn’t look too closely at the points of the star because I wasn’t really happy with either solution.
My question now is if I should finish the doll quilt this week to send to my partner, or give it a little break while I machine piece something for my DQS11 partner. I’m so pleased with the fabrics I chose and the way the quilt is turning out that I really don’t think I’m going to be able to give it to someone I will never see again.
I really like this block by Gayle Brindley, which is from the Farmer’s Wife quilt along, and I think it would make a fun mini-quilt with the fabrics I’ve already pulled.