Welcome to Part 2 of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are looking forward to seeing your progress and eventually, your finished quilts. If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process!
With that said… here’s Wendy!
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Hello Friends, I am excited to be here again sharing about our next steps in our Thread Journey together. In so many ways, I feel as if our quilting journey mirrors our real life journey in that we can look at the quilts we make, and we remember certain phases of our life.
#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.
Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”
#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.
#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out!
PART 1: EMBROIDERY
We are going to add just some really quick embroidery to the quilt center we made. First we, will add a hanging ribbon to hang our birdhouse to the tree branch. Then, we will add the baby birds in the nest, with some twigs on the side of the nest.
You may choose to wait to add the embroidery until after the quilt is quilted, or you may add it now. You may also choose to either sew the embroidery by machine or do it by hand.
I am going to add the embroidery now, and by hand using Aurifloss. From the embroidery floss, I separate out 2 strands and re-assemble them before threading my needle. I generally use an Embroidery Needle (size 8 or 9) for embroidery. I mark the embroidery designs with a fine fabric washable marker because I am not brave enough to free-hand mark the designs with a permanent Micro pen. You may use the marking method of your choice.
Then, I use backstitching for most of the embroidery, in addition to two French knots for the baby birds’ eyes.
PART 2: INNER BORDERS #1 & #2
Inner Border #1:
Before we tackle this part, be sure to measure your quilt center raw edge to raw edge. Your quilt center should measure 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge. If the dimensions measure out correctly, proceed to step a. If not, proceed to step b.
a. Cut from inner border #1 fabric two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips.
b. Sometimes, quilt centers shrink after finishing stitches are added to applique pieces (same with panel dimensions that don’t measure up just right). One way to rectify the situation is to cut the border strips larger and longer, and then trim to size. SO — if your quilt center is smaller than 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″, cut two 2-1/2″ x 21-1/2″ strips and sew to left and right sides of quilt center. From the center of your quilt center, measure outward 11-1/4″ on the right and trim excess. Repeat for the left side. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ horizontally. Cut two 2-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips and sew to the top and bottom of quilt center. Measure out 11-1/4″ in the top and bottom directions and trim excess. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ x 22-1/2″.
Inner Border #2:
From inner border #2 fabric, cut two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips to the remaining opposite sides of quilt center. Here is my quilt center with the 2 inner border strips attached.
PART 3: INNER BORDER #3 (Ohio Star Blocks)
The bulk of this next step is constructing Ohio Star Blocks. These block should finish at 6″ (or 6-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge). If you are familiar with making Ohio Star Blocks, go right ahead and pick out your fabrics to make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using your favorite method.
(Remember it’s YOUR quilt! If you want to substitute with other blocks, go right ahead. “Lady Catherine” would never know — as long as they are 6″ finished blocks, and there are 20 of them.)
This is how I make my Ohio Star Blocks:
1. For one orange 6″ finished Ohio Star block, cut two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ orange squares, two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric squares, one 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ orange square and four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ ground fabric squares. The 3-3/4″ squares are for constructing quarter-square-triangle (QST) units. I cut them larger than the conventional 3-1/4″, in case you are wondering, so that I can trim my QST units to size later.
Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of the ground fabric squares.
2. Place one 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric square right sides together with one orange 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ square. Sew 1/4″ away from, and on the right and left sides of, the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line to yield 2 HST (Half Square Triangle) units. Press the seams open.
Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of a HST unit.
3. Next, lay the marked HST unit, right sides together, on the other HST unit. Be sure the patches are on the opposite sides.
In order to make sure all the patches meet right at one point (i.e. center of my QST unit), I use my thumb and first finger to pinch where that meeting point should be based on the marked diagonal line. If the patches don’t all meet like they are supposed to, I would slightly adjust the HST units until the patches do meet up nicely.
Once I make sure the patches WILL meet up nicely, I place a pin to lock in the center. Notice the HST units don’t necessarily match up at the raw edges. Matching up the HST raw edges does not guarantee an accurately constructed QST unit. The important part is that the patches meet at the center.
4. Sew 1/4″ away from that diagonal line, but to ensure nothing shifts in the sewing process, check again about 3/4″ away from the diagonal line to make sure the diagonal seams of the HST units still match. Place another pin to secure, and THEN sew. I know this might be overkill for some… so, just do what you feel most comfortable! Again, “Lady Catherine” would never know.
**A note of caution when sewing over pins – I ALWAYS use a really fine pin, and when I get close to the pin, I use the hand wheel of my machine to guide the needle over the pin to make sure the needle doesn’t sew ON the pin.
5. Cut along drawn line. Open and press to yield 2 QST units.
“NOTE: You might notice from the last picture that I had used a light pink thread for piecing. You can definitely do that. If you have my Subtle Strings Thread collection and want to save your neutral threads for other things, it’s perfectly fine to use the other subtle shades to piece. I wrote about the uses of subtle shades here.
6. Using a quilting 6″ ruler, line up the 45˚ line against one of the diagonal seams. We are targeting a 2-1/2″ square from raw edge to raw edge. That would mean the center of the square should be at 1 1/4″ (shown) and that all 4 corners should fall right at the 2-1/2″ mark (shown).
7. Trim accordingly.
8. Make a total of 4 QST units. Arrange and sew together QST units and 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares to complete 1 Ohio Star Block.
9. Make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using fabrics of your choice. I managed to raid from my stash 20 different fabrics from Windham’s Palette collection. So I will have Ohio Star Blocks of 20 different colors!
10. Arrange and sew together 4 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced column. Repeat to make 2 columns, and add them to the right and left sides of quilt center. Arrange and sew together 6 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced row. Repeat to make 2 rows, and add them to the top and bottom of quilt center.
And here’s how my Thread Journey 2.0 looks in real life so far:
Alrightie, Friends! I hope you had fun tackling the quilt center of our Quilt-Along. Remember to enjoy the journey! I shall see you again in two weeks.
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Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education. After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell. Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old. Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad. She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor. She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey. During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.
12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014