If you're reading this post you've made it to the end of our Shining Star sew along. Someone turn on my backyard hose cause you're on fire!! Wahoo!! Just don't tell my kids or they'll come running. haha! We have had a nice slow summer with lots of puttering around in the backyard playing with the hose.
Our grass is mostly dead because of flooding and we usually have a wide array of plastic water toys scattered about for the neighbor kids to share. Here's a pic of Desi and JoJo fighting over the hose while I space out in the backyard. Any tired mama's out there who can relate?
OK back to the sew along...
Shining Star Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, July 8: Pick fabric and gather supplies
Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center
- Week 2, July 15: Cut fabric and make flying geese
Sponsor: Heather Alexander Longarm Quilting
- Weeks 3 and 4, July 22 and 29: Make improv log cabins
Sponsor: Week 3 DuckaDilly, and Week 4 Global Fiber Textiles & Notions
- Week 5, August 5: Assemble blocks
Sponsor: Traveling Dye Co. (fabrics being dyed for a shop update now!)
- Week 6, August 12: Assemble quilt top
Sponsor: Lamb & Loom and Trace Creek Quilting
Week 6 Assignment: Assemble Quilt Top
Quiltketeers, I have led many sew alongs but this is the very first one where I have completely finished the quilt before the end! Can you believe it? If you are surprised to hear this is my first time working ahead then I have successfully tricked you into thinking I'm more organized than I really am.
This week we add sashing and borders to make a finished quilt top. As a bonus at the end of this post I will cover finishing a quilt with the option of using scraps cut in Week 2 for binding.
Tip #1: Lay out your blocks.
This is important to make sure you like the layout. Step back, mix them up and make sure you like the layout from all four sides of the quilt. You can even take a picture so you can easily see an aerial shot.
Tip #2: Mix up the cornerstones.
These g pieces (or cornerstones) are so small you can cut them from any of your fat quarter fabrics. In my quilt I wanted a variety of colors represented. If you can't decide, cut extra squares out and audition them before deciding.
Tip #3: Pin your sashing.
I know I know, it would be soooo much easier just to throw a piece of sashing on a block and zip it through your machine, but I can say with 100% certainty that you won't be happy with the results. The fabric will be pulled unevenly through your machine and cause tension issues. No thanks!
You don't have to pin as much as me (see below) but I do think you should line up both edges and pin those. Hold the edges, pull the sashing and the block taut, then stick a pin in the middle. Use three pins minimum.
Tip #4: Chain piece!
If you can keep your blocks in order, chain piece your sashing to them!
Tip #5: Change your stitch length.
The photo below shows examples of two different stitch lengths. The long golden sashing strip was pieced at a 2.5 and the cornerstone was pieced at a 1.5. I do this when piecing small pieces of fabric to keep the stitches secure.
Sewing binding strips and sashing strips together is another time a knock down my stitch length.
See how I'm trying to pull these strips apart and they aren't budging?
Tip #6: Remember your perfect goose tips.
Any time you're sewing flying geese, remember to sew through the seam intersections to get perfectly pointy tips. I know you already know this from Week 5, but here are some photo reminders. All of the same stuff applies when sewing these blocks to sashing.
Tip #7: Use fork pins when sewing the cornerstones
If you're making the throw there are only four cornerstones and I'm guessing you're like me and you'd reeeally like those seams to match up. I personally think the best way to match seams is to nest them and use fork pins.
In Week 5 we discussed fork pins in more detail so if you need a review jump back there. In the pic below you can see that I used straight pins for my sashing and fork pins for the cornerstones.
So? How's it going? have you enjoyed making this pattern so far? Let's cover this week's sponsors and prizes and then jump into some quilting and binding tips. Here's a reel of my border sewing...
Week 6 Sponsors & Prizes
We've got two sponsors and prizes this week so that means TWO WINNERS! Yeehaw! First up is Lamb & Loom, a Suzy Quilts favorite fabric shop. The prize is a $50 gift certificate and a tailor's clapper. You can check out all of the beautiful bundles and sales happening there by signing up with the Lamb & Loom newsletter or following them on Instagram @lambandloomfabrics.
Our second sponsor is the lovely Lilo from Trace Creek Quilting. Many of my quilts have been quilted by Lilo in the past. In fact, she has one of my quilts at this very moment! Lilo is giving away FREE longarm quilting on any throw quilt. She is also offering 25% off longarm quilting on any Shining Star quilt from now until the end of September.
Follow Lilo for updates on new quilting patterns and designs on her website and through Instagram @tracecreekquilting.
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your FINISHED Shining Star quilt top. Use #ShiningStarQuiltSA in the caption.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- For an entry into the Week 6 prize your photo must be posted between Friday, August 12th, and Friday, August 19th. The two winners will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CST the 19th. Good luck!
Bonus Binding and Quilting Tips!
Remember those extra 2.5" strips we cut back in Week 2? It's OK if you don't remember 😉 A fun feature about the Shining Star pattern is that if you are making the multi-colored version you have enough extra fabric from your FQs to make a scrappy binding.
We love when that happens because it not only saves you money and a trip to the fabric shop, it also uses up every bit of the fabric you have—creating less waste!
In order to maximize your 2.5" strips and have enough for your quilt binding, sew them together using vertical seams like this...
Quilt Trimming Tip!
Do you see how the corner of my quilt got a little distorted during the quilting process? As long as an 1/8" of the quilt top will still be left for the seam, I'm going to allow some of the batting to show so I can square the corner better.
Below you can see that the batting will be fully covered by the binding.
Scrappy Binding Tip!
It's not a bad idea to do this with all types of binding, but you should definitely do it with a scrappy binding. Lay out your quilt with the binding on top as it will be when sewn together. Shift the binding around so that the binding seams don't land on a quilt corner. It's not the end of the world if a seam does end up on a corner, it just creates a bit of a bulky corner.
Finishing a Quilt
We have lots of information here on the blog showing different ways to finish a quilt. If you navigate to the Quilting 101 tab there is even a subcategory just for Binding! Our most helpful posts include:
My sunny Shining Star quilt was quilted by Jenn B Quilts. I couldn't decide what quilting design to use so Jenn suggested a few including the one I landed on called Merge. This quilting design is perfect because it doesn't take away from the pieced pattern and is geometric in style, which fits nicely with the angles of these blocks.
Jenn also suggested a light yellow thread called Lemon Ice to bring out the warm hues and blend well with all of the fabrics. I absolutely love the result! From now through the end of September Jenn is offering 25% off longarm quilting on all Shining Star quilts. Just mention this deal when filling out an order form.
Sometimes after finishing a quilt I go back to the initial mockup to compare. This time I stayed pretty close to my original idea! How fun to see concept to completion side by side. 🙂