Half Star Quilts

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What happened next!

For those who are passionate about sewing and all things quilting...

After having my Hopscotch and Rainbow Starburst patterns featured in Quilt Now magazine I was hoping that this would be the start of many more. Unfortunately as we all now know, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and we were all put into lockdown. For lots this meant hours to fill at home whilst sheltering at home and for many of you hopefully a time to make use of that fabric stash, and not just to make masks!
My day job in mail order became very busy with a peak of orders and fewer staff able to come to work, and so for the first few weeks sewing and designing took a back seat.

Then came Zoom! I had been chatting to a friend, Diane of Stitchscape, who was running sewing workshops at Merseymade in Liverpool. She was planning on offering a course to make my Crossroads quilt - an exciting new development as a designer. As this was no longer an option we put the suggestion out there on Facebook and Instagram to see if anyone would be interested in a sew along via Zoom. Having never been on a video call before it was nerve-wracking when we had some takers!
It was a great success and we met regularly on a Monday evening to chat and share sewing progress, and keep each other motivated at such a hard time. Here are 4 of the quilt tops made by Jenny, Barbara, Heather and Laurel (thank you for letting me share them ladies), and the one that I made too. I’m ashamed to say that it’s the only one out of the bunch that hasn’t been quilted.

There's 9 of us now, and we continue to meet up on a monthly basis to share what we’ve been up to, including taking it in turns to provide a block pattern for us all to make a Sampler Quilt. I know that I have met some lifelong friends in this group, so something good has come out of lockdown. I’m a little behind with blocks, as usual, but will share the finished item in a future newsletter.

I’m really pleased to say that Diane is now back at Merseymade inspiring others to sew. If you’re in the Liverpool area please pop along to see what she’s up to...

I love ‘disappearing’ block patterns, like the disappearing four patch that the Crossroads quilt is based on. I know there are a number of different ones out there, but it got my mind thinking and my next pattern was a nine patch version called Paperchain.
This is another simple but effective pattern, and great if you want something a bit more masculine, perhaps for that student leaving home.

I made the cushion out of some leftover charm squares.
As you can see, the quilt is also popular with our furry friend too. He quite often creates a good bit of tension on my quilts whilst I’m quilting :)
You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop by clicking the button below...

You've probably guessed from my shop name that I like star blocks, but only half of my patterns include stars. I wanted to create a twist to a traditional pattern with a combination of the Granny Square block and the Friendship Star - which is one of my most favourite blocks that you’ll see appear in a few of my designs. I’ve made the Granny Square blocks before and have never been happy with trimming them and the waste that’s created, not to mention joining blocks on the diagonal bias edges.

Granny Stars is constructed in a way that there is no waste and no seams are on the bias. There is also a cushion pattern to match, which gained them the nicknames of Big Granny and Little Granny!
Heather Cunnah of @heathermakes_sewing made the quilt out of this fabulous glow in the dark fabric! You can even make two quilts from one 2 1/2” strip roll of fabrics plus some meterage for background and stars.

All patterns are available as digital downloads and so you can start making them as soon as you’ve purchased them – no waiting for the postman. To see these patterns and more, please visit my Etsy Shop here

Making use of leftovers...

Crossroads creates a few off cuts when trimming the blocks. As a group we all made a gift out of these pieces to swap with one another. It was interesting to see all of the different ideas that people came up with. I made a small sewing bag for my swap partner. It was a pattern that I’d wanted to try out for a while that I’d saved from a magazine.

Recently I had a clear out of my scrap box, which included the off cuts from the original Crossroads quilt. My mom is a keen patchworker too and loves nothing more than sorting scraps out and making something fabulous out of nothing. She has just made this bright and cheerful crib quilt which will be donated to Project Linus