Sunday, September 25, 2022

Costa Rica Star

Current book club book
Our Thread Tales book club is reading "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay. It is a deep read; but interesting. I've spent some time googling a number of references the author made in the text. 

The cover of the book inspired me with the color palette. In Martha's projects was this Costa Rica star from Judy Mathieson's "Mariner's Compass Quilts--New Directions" book. The colors in the project were what I envisioned. The project had issues.

Why Martha didn't get past the two circle stage was because neither circle was round. That large circle, while beautiful, was full of waves.

The inner and outer circles
She didn't know how to fix it without losing the crispness of the design. She would lament that she had no idea how that happened since she paper pieced the sections. She also would say that she wished that she had left the paper on the sections. She looked at it often; but, didn't work on it. I'm going to finish it using the mantra finished is better than perfect!

After she died, this project was in the pile destined for the landfill. I picked up the bag because there was some black fabric and a couple batik fabric chunks. Was I surprised when I opened the package at home and discovered this project.  

I thought that I would take the circle apart at the quarter marks and restitch it. I was fortunate to have the Mariner's Compass book.

Inner and outer circles together
In the pattern, addressed the waves and said to block the project. I did block it and blocking helped reduce the amount of waves. I was able to get to a more circular shape. I'm glad that I didn't try to rip the sections apart. This star is contracted with the pieces being added to the same side until the circle is complete. Ripping wouldn't have solved my issue.

The next issue was that the hole was too large for the inner star. I considered floating a piece of black background between the two circles. That was a fleeting thought! 

Close up of the seam between two circles 
Instead, I opted to hand baste close to the inside edge of the outer circle. I was able to adjust the fullness enough to set in the inner circle. I basted the edges together because if there were going to be puckers, removing basting stitches was easier than removing regular stitches. 

For the most part, it worked. There is fullness and the edges of the outer circle still "wave"; but, the overall fullness appears to be less. I'm hopeful that the mantra, "it will quilt out" works!

One of the backgrounds that I'm using for my 2022 temperature quilt has the same colors as this star. I thought perhaps that fabric would work in this project too. I also auditioned the plain black fabric that Martha had chosen for the project. 

The pattern has the circle centered in the background, sashed with a selection of fabrics used in the star and then bordered with the background. Gertie, my inner squirrel, liked the plain background the best.

Auditioning the backgrounds 
She also thinks the plain black background fabric is too small because she wants to change the orientation of the star which I think is a good plan. She is drawing thumbnails with layout ideas. 

I've peaked at her thumbnail sketches. I like the one of the star off of the background. Gertie thinks we could pull off an organic edge. Let's see! Gertie also wants to add some bling/beads to the project. I'm not so sure about the beads. Gertie wants to machine piece the piece to the background. I'm leaning towards applique. We continue to contemplate our options!

Martha would be tickled that the two parts of her star are together. I know she would add sparkle or bling to the piece.

I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework because Martha made this project with scraps!

I wrote all but the last two paragraphs of this post before the car accident. I still am not able to machine piece or machine quilt because of pain in my upper back and holding the fabric makes my fingers numb.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That was a great save from a bag destined for the landfill, Terry! I'm glad you were able to work on it and get it blocked, plus figure out the backing before the car accident. You must be so frustrated at such slow healing. Thinking of you! 💖

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful job you are doing to rescue this fab-u-lous star! I hope you and Gertie decide what will work best. It's amazing now and I know it will be amazing when you put it all together. UGH on pain from the accident. That sure puts an end to fabric fondling for the time being. Get better and keep dreaming up ways to work with this star. Kudos to you for taking it on.

Diane-crewe said...

It is great that you have been able to use your friends work in this project. Loving the vibrant colours x Waiting now to see how it comes out x

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

What an amazing find Terry. So happy you saved it from the landfill. I look forward to seeing how you finish it up. Thanks for sharing iwth Oh Scrap!