Finally Friday – Questions on Island Star

Hello…and welcome to February!  I’m in New England, and if the rest of the winter is like what we’ve had so far (thank you, Mr. Groundhog!), this one won’t be all that bad. However, since I became engaged during the Blizzard of ’78, I know how unpredictable the February can be. Today is sunny out – but cold.

I’ve loved spending the weekend reading over the comments that were left on the blog last week for the New Beginnings blog hop for Island Batik.

Island Star

I had questions from several of you concerning how I adapted the original pattern from Jaybird Quilts, Night Sky to make the Island Star Quilt. I want to take you through the  process that I used in this project – and share with you one thing that I wish I had done differently.

This pattern is constructed using a 3½” strip to make the basic star.  The pattern gives directions for baby, lap, twin, queen and king sized quilts, but the star in all of them is made with the same size strip.  The size variation is accounted for both in the number of stars made, and in the dimensions of the frame for each individual star.

The pattern is made using Jaybird’s SideKick ruler, which allows you to cut strips up to 4½” wide.  I upgraded the ruler to the Super SideKick, which gives you the extra flexibility of cutting strips up to 8½” wide.  We were originally asked to make a project at least 24″ in diameter, but with the bigger proportions, I wasn’t worried about that piece of it.

The quilt itself – after you add the framing strips to the star and add in the triangles (work with me)…actually finished to 40″ W x 46″ Long.  When I measured it, that perplexed me (I didn’t think it was that out of square). When I did some checking, I discovered something unique about the pattern.

The diameter of the star itself – using 8½” strips instead of 3½” strips throughout the pattern – is not a true hexagon. The 6 star blades toward the front measure 31″ from tip to tip; the 6 split stars from the back (the purple and turquoise ones) measure 36″ tip to tip.  In the original pattern outline, she assembles the stars in strips, and the difference isn’t noticeable.  When I Supersized the star, I also supersized the proportions.

The star block isolated

I had to look at what size to make the frame. I knew that the resulting star was going to float in the background, and I also knew that the largest dimension given in the pattern for the frame is  3″, and that’s for a king sized quilt. I kind of arbitrarily decided to use a 4½” strip for the frame size – and that is one decision I would change. You waste  a lot of fabric when you make the frame, and if the strips are cut with a 4½” strip, the excess can either be sub cut into (2) 2¼” strips or (1) 2½” strip and (1) 2″ strip.  I will make this measurement 5″ the next time I make this variation – the leftover fabric will go further.  Lesson learned – and note to self, order more of the background fabric.

Setting triangles

Once the frame is added to the star, I was left with the  question of taking a big octagon and turning it into a rectangle for hanging and display purposes. There’s probably a high tech method to show you where the setting triangles are in this quilt, but we’re going low tech here.  We have 4 different right triangles added to 4 of the six sides of the quilt. I measured the two straight pieces of the sides, and used those dimensions to create the triangles – and yes, I was generous in the measurements.

I have a longstanding UFO for this pattern which I am now looking forward to unearthing and restarting – I have a lifetime membership of the UFO of the month club…maybe it’ll make it in sooner!

Congrats to Maureen for winning the fat quarter giveway as part of the hop last week.

OK….you know it’s coming – Go Pats!

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