“I Love This Quilt.”
Twinkling Star, McCall’s Quilting January/February 2016
I am so excited! My quilt is finally bed-ready. What a glorious feeling, to have put months of effort into a quilting project and see the last stitch go in. I finally get to see how my changes to the Twinkling Star pattern look in a finished quilt.
Side Note: I chose the Twinkling Star quilt pattern for the I Love This Quilt feature in McCall’s Quilting January/February 2016. The original quilt pattern appeared in McCall’s Vintage Quilts Spring 2004. The pattern is a reproduction of one made by Alice Melum Moss, circa 1930, reported in the files of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, Colorado. I made my quilt with a yummy blue and cream fabric, the Country Manor Collection by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman. You can download the free Twinkling Stars quilt pattern by clicking here. I’ve made a few changes to the original pattern. See the end of this blog to get a summary of those changes, including yardages for my king size version, and the links to my previous blog posts created as I made my version of the quilt.
For my last blog about this quilt I want to share a bit about the quilting. The first time I heard someone say “quilting for cash” was at a retreat last fall. I understand that there are many quilters who enlist help with this quilting detail. Coming from a long-time belief that I have to do everything on my quilt by hand I resisted the notion of giving it to someone to finish. And then, when I started working at McCall’s and Quiltmaker I began seeing all the beautiful, incredible quilting designs that come from a machine. I’m embarrassed to admit, “What took me so long?”
We sent my Twinkling Star quilt to Cindy LeBaron from I’ve Gotcha Covered Longarm Quilting in Gilbert, Arizona (www.ivegotchacovered.com). She worked on the design with Laurie Thomas (It’s a Quilt Thing! www.itsaquiltthing.com). There are a few things I did before sending the quilt to Cindy to prepare it for quilting. I’d like to share these with you.
To begin, I had to square up the quilt top, with borders on. I also had to make sure there was enough batting and backing fabric to allow for any shrinkage that occurs during the quilting process. For the batting I used Warm 100 from The Warm Company. The rule of thumb is to allow an extra 8” of batting, 4” around the width and length of the quilt top. Ideally, the backing should be an additional 2-4” larger than the batting, extending beyond the batting on all sides.
Before quilting began I also had to identify the quilting motif, and share my ideas with Cindy to make sure it was possible. Because the Twinkling Star quilt pattern was a 1930’s reproduction, I wanted the quilting to also be representative of the era. And, there is a lot of “cream” space in the quilt pattern, which lends itself to showcasing the quilting as much as the piecing. I decided the design should be simple and elegant, flowers and feathers. I enlisted the help of an experienced long-arm quilter, Paula Stoddard (our Managing Editor), to review the design and help mock-up my ideas to send to Cindy. Because the pieced stars have so much detail, she suggested simply using a curved line of stitching in the white areas. We took one of the diagrams of the quilt design to capture a quilting plan with our ideas. I sent this to Cindy. With the exchange of a couple of emails we had the direction for the quilting design. I left it to Cindy to select the thread color. She chose a cream shade that blended in with the background.
The quilting is subtle; yet incredibly lovely. It’s just pure elegance. Here are a few close-up pictures of the quilting. (Click on the image and zoom-in to take a closer look.)
I won’t deny my version of the Twinkling Star pattern took some time to create. I was on a dedicated mission for several months trying to complete it in the time I could steal away after work and outside family activity. It was worth it, and I hope at least one of you reading this blog will be enticed to start a quilt using this pattern as well. We’d love to see it when you’re finished!
The original Twinkling Star pattern finishes at 66” x 100” (throw or twin size), with 15 Twinkling Star Blocks. My version of the pattern was made:
- King Size (97” x 105”)
- Twinkling Star blocks: 25 (15”)
- Border #1: 3”
- Border #2: Pieced 2”
- Border #3: 4”
- Binding: Prairie Point edge
- Fabric: 10 yards of assorted blue and cream prints (blocks, border #2 and prairie points), 9 yards cream solid (blocks, sashing, border #’s 1 and 3), 9-1/2 yards backing, 105” x 113” batting
Click on these links to read previous blogs about my Twinkling Star journey.
Associate Editor, McCall’s Quilting