Ok, admitted, it is kind of weird to talk on a hot summer day of Christmas - but yes, we quilters do! Christmas in July is our theme! Of course - we want to get sewing a couple of weeks ahead for a certain purpose, because it takes time. And quilting is meant for enjoyable relaxation, not a race. So all the Christmas fabrics get in stores in July for you.
But not only the fabrics alone - you want to have ideas delivered too what to make with them. Mine - as I introduced them in my recent post - are more modern and beyond the traditional reds and greens. So you need matching inspiration for that group. I have some Zen Chic ideas for you. Let's start with a modern take on a totally well known traditional quilt - a Lone Star Quilt:
Mega Star, a modern Christmas Quilt Pattern by Zen Chic
When I created this pattern, I didn't expect it, but this quilt turned really out as a Mega Star in my portfolio: It became one of my bestselling patterns.
Nearly every quilter has seen a traditional Lone Star quilt and can recognize this reference in my sample. The translation to modern happens by allowing to make an asymmetrical setting, out of the box, so to say. I did it by moving the center of the star into the "golden ratio" and trim off the star points on two edges. (I mean Modern has sometimes to do with being brave to break the rules in order to find new and finally innovative ideas. Playing with breaking the rules doesn't always lead to convincing results. It's a try and error game. Just a little philosophical side trip here - now back to the subject)
I also deviated from the traditional version in making mine very scrappy and scattered the different fabric prints around. The little solid star in the midpoint is the point, which holds everything together and sets a focus.
How to sew a modern Lone Star Quilt
If you haven't made one so far, a Lone Star Quilt will teach you a lot of skills: What you learn is
- how to sew this quilt with the scrappy diamonds in a fast and efficient way, so that you don't have to cut every single diamond shape and still get the scrappy effect
- how to get perfectly matching points when you don't have a perpendicular seam and no nesting seam allowances (it has to do with the right marking and pinning)
- how to sew all the eight star beams together without creating too much bulk at the midpoint where eight seams are coming together
- how to add the background between the star beams without any
I will cover each of these aspects in my pattern and help you through the process. And it is really not that hard to do. Look at those perfect matching points of Alex (picture above), who took the Mega Star class with me.
The quilting of a modern Lone Star Quilt
should compliment the contemporary style. So for mine I decided to go with straight and parallel lines. I was first pondering, if I should work with the classic method of quilting 1/4" from the seam apart, two parallel lines for each seam. But what to do in the background area?
And another aspect is, that I use a longarm machine for quilting, so the area I can stitch is about 12" wide. I would have had a lot of cut off threads, if I had used the classic way.
I had to find something, wich starts and ends in a smaller area, which works as well for the star as for the background. And there it was, THE exciting idea: I would mimic the diamonds into the quilting. But instead of mimicking it in a single small diamond size, I enlarged the quilting repeat, so that it went over four diamonds, and filled that shape with parallel lines. And since the diamonds inside the star change direction, I did the same with the filler lines. Problem solved - happy dance!
Mega Star has a finished size of 49" x 49", so it makes for a table topper or a perfect wall hanger to decorate your fireplace festively.
The version on the right was sewn by one of my students, Renate Salz. What a great color combo she chose. The soft sand tones combined with white and grey are not specifically "Christmasy". It's a delicate, yet stunning modern wall quilt. So well done.
And now up to the new block of our project Blockheads:
FREE QUILT ALONG BLOCKHEADS 2018
Last week's block #7 was hosted by a modern quilter; so this week we hop over to a more traditional quilter again, Jan Patek. Jan is well known for her kind of folk art appliqué and she will be your host for Block #8 in our Moda Blockheads 2018 (Round 2) quilt along.
Block 8, Pineapple
Again, this is a 6" block, and not necessarily traditional, as I think. What are you thinking?
I used a more contemporary appliqué technique: raw edge, stitched around with a button hole stitch in a colored cotton thread. Totally easy, lots of fun.
Instead of layering the olive green strips on top of the yellow, I rather cut out wholes on the yellow fabric, laid the olive fabric underneath as a complete piece and was done.
Don't miss the other blockheads involved in this project:
Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilt
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings
Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles
Me & My Sister Designs
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Stacy Iest Hsu
Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique