You may remember that I finished piecing my scrappy diamonds some time ago. My next step was to turn the diamonds into 8-point stars. But I dragged my feet about it, because I was afraid it would be difficult to piece them. Turns out – not!
I took the scrappy diamonds to my sewing group last Wednesday, knowing that if they were the only thing I took, I’d be forced to work on them. (Another woman from the group apparently makes a habit of bringing projects she hates, for the same reason.) I brought along the diamond template, which has holes for marking the “start” and “stop” points. Very convenient! So glad I splurged and bought the template.
So it went like this. I pressed 8 diamonds nice and flat, with all seams going the same way. I laid them out in a star, the way I liked them. Then, working in pairs, I lay one diamond on top of the other, marked the start and stop points, carefully stitched from the tip (start) to the side (stop), then finger-pressed the seam to the left. When I had four pairs sewn, I kept going, putting one pair on top of the other, marking the start/stop on the rightmost pair, and stitching. Then I had two halves: I sewed from the middle to the outside on both sides, and opened the star, pressing that middle seam nice and flat. Wow! It worked!
The only thing is, I find I really don’t want to make the Edyta Sitar pattern anymore. The original Trail Mix looks so busy – and those blocks with diamonds around a big square look so clunky!
As you can see, in her pattern, the 8 point point stars are only in the four corners – I did contemplate replacing her quilt middle (9 chunky blocks) with 25 8-point stars. Another student from the online class had done that, and it looked WAY better. But still very traditional. And kind of boxy.
Here’s a picture of the student’s version, and yes, I greatly prefer it to the original Trail Mix. But in setting the stars that way, you end up with these white boxes of fabric between the stars, which I don’t love. My eyes seem to super-focus on the white spaces. But what’s the alternative?
My friend Karen suggested leaving every other space “blank”, and perhaps quilting in the outline of a star. That’s an idea.
I started laying the stars out on my design wall, to consider this possibility. Also, if I dropped the border and ran the stars right to the edge – perhaps even have some half-stars at the edges – it might look more modern. Certainly less cluttered, freer. What do you think? I’m liking it.
I already have triangles cut and pieced for the original Trail Mix border, but they could go on another quilt. Or on the back. I will have to take some measurements, draw some sketches, and see what I can come up with.