The Mexican Star Quilt
This month I will probably be the "caboose" with the "Star Light, Star Bright" Island Batik Ambassador's august challenge.
"The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik"
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August, what a crazy month! Summer, heat, vacation, so many things happening at the same time! Island Batik is not different, while some of my colleagues were presenting the stunning 2019 Spring Collections with the Beat The Heat Blog Hop (click to check the wonderful quilts!) the other half of Ambassadors had the "Star Light, Star Bright Challenge".
** Pause for dinner and 2 Cosmopolitans (maybe things get impossible from this point)...
My challenge is a pattern that I'm looking forward to try for years, "Mexican Star" by Annette Ornelas from Southwind Designs. Her pattern is a wall hanging and I was looking for a "lap size" quilt, so I needed to make some modifications... I'm not a big fan of piecing flying geese, so I changed the borders. But anyways, if you want to watch some fun time about the pattern, here is me drawing with the Procreate app:
Starting with my fabric choices,
I decided to mix my batik foundations bundle from my second Island Batik Ambassador's box with white solid fabric.
This time I was pretty organizing, you can see the cutting and piecing happened BEFORE my vacation ;)
Batik Foundations are basics, blenders, neutrals and solids. You can use them for a very "scrappy" look, mix with other Island Batik Collection (they coordinate perfectly) or as main fabric as I did.
For piecing, I was using Aurifil 50wt in white, color 2024. And to be honest, every time I'm working with a white background, it doesn't matter how colorful the other fabrics are, I will stick with white thread for piecing. This will avoid any undesired thread appearing on my top quilt at some point.
In terms of quilting, I believe the real challenge of the pattern is what to do with those "cathedral windows" from the blocks, they add like a "3D" effect and you cannot just quilt like a plain quilt. So I decided to secure them with hand stitched french knots with Aurifil 12 wt in white cotton too (color 2024).
Guys, here we are talking about 960 french knots... Yes my fingers still sore ;) And I decided to work on the french knots before quilting.
I was using my favorite batting, Tuscany 100% Wool from Hobbs Batting. It is the perfect solution to add an amazing texture to your quilting without dealing with 2 layers of batting.
After that, you are ready to quilt pretty much how ever you want. I decided to add some borders, and do some especial "motive" with ruler work, than some free motion quilting texture. More ruler work on my "improv" blocks from the corners, I liked because it was also a good opportunity to add/feature more the lovely fabric. I added a special quilting on the star center, because just quilting in the ditch would sound too much obvious in this case, and I don't like obvious at all :) (now you can feel the cosmopolitans). The images of my quilting process:
It was the very first time I was brave enough to do feathers with my new machine... a lot of sweating but I'm confident at some point will be more fun than fitness program!
And here finally my "Mexican Star Quilt" version, finished size 49" x 49".
See you next month (and no, it doesn't mean tomorrow)!