February is traditionally known as the month of love. The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for the month was to make a mini quilt, measuring 24″ or less with the fabrics and supplies provided in our ambassador shipment earlier this month. If you know me, you know I love Lemoyne stars, so it was only fitting that I created my mini love with these beauties.
Make Mine a Mini
Constructing the Lemoyne Star Units
I think it’s safe to say that Lemoyne Stars are my comfort block, I’m always drawn to a good star quilt – especially the fabulous Lone Star or Bethlehem Star quilts. Is it any wonder that my first published pattern, Illuminated Journey, is a star quilt! When I’m in need of a little quilt therapy I naturally pick up my Deb Tucker Leymone Star ruler and go to town! If you recall, I started out making 3″ inch Leymone Stars earlier in the month thinking I could make a Galentine’s project but there just weren’t enough hours in my week. That was when I decided to turn those little stars into my mini love challenge.
I decided that I wanted to mix it up a bit with the background and I’m so glad I did, I think it adds a little pizazz to the block. Did I mention these are 3 inch finished blocks! Trust me, they were as easy to make as the 12-inch blocks! I love that the ruler has so many size options.
When working with Lemoyne Star components I find it best to press all my seams open. Not only does this help the block lay flatter but I find it easier to match points. I know, I know, most of us were taught to “nest” the seams to line up the intersections…but I challenge you to try it my way just once to see what you think. That’s what I tell my students – you are here to learn a technique and “my way” of doing things. Try it, if you don’t like it go back to what works best for you – but you will never know until you try! This little boomerang video shows how I line up my points using By Annie’s Stiletto and Pressing Tool
Now isn’t that fun! Trust me, helps with perfect points. Try it you’ll like it!
My great-aunt Effie taught me to do needlework as a child. I loved all the embroidery stitches – anyone remembers making those denim shirts wearable embroidery samplers? Mine had Holly Hobby on the back (yes, I just dated myself – if you are under 30 years old google it!). Well, Aunt Effie taught me that the back should be as pretty as the front – so I think she’d be proud of the pressing on this little block!
Construction of the Secondary Units
I had this idea in mind of creating a secondary design for my mini and it just seemed natural to make the Lemoyne star block into a square in a square block. Well, the math doesn’t add up. Let me explain, a true square in a square has an odd measuring size center block before the side triangles are added. It’s a “higher form of math” that I don’t have to even think about because I have another one of Deb Tucker’s rulers, the Square Squared, and it has the crazy math done for me concerning the center square. If you look at the photo below you will see why my little 3″ star wouldn’t make it in the center of a square in a square without losing the points.
The center square of a square in a square is a unique measurement made simple with the right tool. This little star isn’t going to work for that unit without giving up the points. Nope. Not happening!
That’s when I had a design inspiration! Why not set the stars on point and add hourglass units to fool the eye – it still looks like a square in a square but the construction is totally different! I’ve got a tool for that! It’s called Tucker Trimmer I.
Layout, Design and Quilting
Working in the RV instead of The Quilt Rambler studio does have a few challenges – for example, I no longer have a design wall or even a design floor – I now have a design couch! Thank goodness I was making a mini!
In addition, if you’ve been following my post-Harvey reconstruction you will also know that I do not have use of my longarm. I am not a domestic quilter, in fact, I used to say that “quilting on a domestic made a good woman cuss so I had to buy a longarm!” Oh, I can stitch in the ditch on my home sewing machine with the best of them, but that is one drawback of pressing your seams open – you’d be SID over your joining thread, not fabric! But that is one concession I will make to have a flatter quilt….and since I have a longarm…..well, that was a problem! Hum….thank goodness for local quilting friends! Even though Trish and I have the same brand of longarm not all longarms dance the same…makes me totally admire those longarm teachers who can quilt on any brand! I have a few wobbles but am so thankful that this little mini love wasn’t ruined by my free motion (lack of) skills on my domestic sewing machine!
I hope you have enjoyed this first month of the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors – here are the links to view all the mini love creations. Tomorrow turns over the calendar page for a new challenge – so stay tuned!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, hoping I challenged you to try making a mini quilt.
Mini Lemoyne Love, designed, pieced and quilted by Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, using fabric provided by Island Batik, piecing thread provided by Aurifil, and Thermore Batting provided by Hobbs. Thank you to these program partners.