Thursday, April 12, 2018

Star and Chain Update

Yesterday was one of those days where I went into it believing that I could be truly productive and accomplish quite a lot. I learned after an hour or two that progress on this quilt is better suited to being an exercise in patience. No 'hurry-up' allowed!

Star and Chain is the cover quilt on this 1999 Thimbleberries book. From the very beginning, I had it marked as one I wanted to make. After a wait-time of 18 years, I still liked this quilt, so I pulled and cut a bunch of Thimbleberries fabrics from the stash and took it to Canter's Cave last April with the hope of completing it all in that 3-day retreat. If you like something for that long, then you know you have to follow through, right?

Retreat was productive, but I didn't get it finished. And, sadly, it has spent the entire year since retreat stored away in the quilting room. I definitely wanted to get back to it, but last year was so busy with all those UFOs I wanted to finish. It just wasn't meant to be.

In the last week and a half, I have revisited Star and Chain, and with very hopeful optimism, attacked the remaining steps with the notion of having a quilt top in short order. Little did I know that the piecing would be so involved. I had all the stars made, and most of the sashing 'chains' made. I finished those off quickly and thought "now I'm in business; I will join this all together in no time."

Not so fast, Miss Let's Get'er Done Fast! Those sashing strips still had oodles of piecing to do before I could begin joining rows. S-L-O-O-O-W-W work, for sure. Here are some pictures of the effort. I will have to have patience and fortitude through the remainder of this process.

First, I had to lay out all the stars and arrange them in a pleasing yet random fashion. I mostly left everything where originally placed - a rarity, for sure. I hope I don't end up regretting that. You see, by the way this quilt is constructed, once you put a star in its place, the sashing that it goes with has to be put in place. This allows for no switching around or changing one's mind. I would hate to think about trying to keep it all straight if I were to sew something out of place. (That's why this quilt is laid out on the guest bed and the door is shut to keep the cat out.)

In the picture above I have sewn the bottom or border sashing, the row of stars and the next sashing row. It took me all day! It surprises me that so much piecing is still necessary at this stage of the process. Normally by now, putting it all together is relatively simple. This one is not. I have to pay attention to all sorts of things. And pinning is absolutely necessary. To the point of excessiveness!

But gosh, won't it be a pretty thing? I love those deep, intense colors. I recognize that this won't be the most perfect quilt ever made - those intersections! - but by gosh, I am going to have it finished before too long.

A finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt. Right?

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. I think it looks pretty terrific. Glad it finally made it's way to the top of your "To do" list.

  2. It is super pretty. What a great way to showcase some fabrics you are loving.

  3. It is a lovely pattern and with the fabrics You used it looks warm and cosy.

  4. This is going to be such a beautiful quilt!!!


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