Stars -19 down; 21 to go

I am nearly half-way done with my star blocks for the Ohio Star and Rails quilt I am working on.  I spent the better part of the day (noon-7 pm) working on the blocks.  I thought I was really pushing them out, but gosh, they are SLOW.

It is those star points that take SO much time.

half square and quarter square triangle blocks

half square and quarter square triangle blocks

The blocks are a process. First a 3 1/2″ block; then they get marked and stitched for a half-square triangle, then cut and pressed open. Then layer an opposing one on top, and mark and stitch again, cut and press open. Then back to the cutting board to trim them to the perfect 2.5″ block. Every star block gets 4 of them. So, if I have 21 star blocks to make; I need to have 84 more ! I CAN do this!! Putting the block together is simple once the star points are built!

Trimmed and ready to sew

Trimmed and ready to sew

So, the shape of the quilt is coming along. I just have to get it up on the wall to look at and remind me that I am getting close. Glad I made all those rail blocks last week.

Sampling of the layout.

Sampling of the layout.


I know, there are a couple of rails turned in the “wrong direction” but they aren’t in the “final setting” yet.

note: Pattern designed by Bonnie Hunter – Ohio Star and Rails. Source: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/ohio-stars-rails.html
My project is for Quilts of Valor challenge, Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show; Lewes Delaware on July 17 & 18, 2015
– Check it out: http://oceanwavesquiltguild.org/qs15.html

More tomorrow! Have fun with your projects.

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Quilts of Valor project

Our guild (Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE) is having a quilt show this summer – July 17 & 18, 2015 – and the theme is Paying It Forward. (http://oceanwavesquiltguild.org/qs15.html) All of the members are challenged to put quilts in the show and make a quilt for the Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF). Background — to date, over 115,000 quilts have been donated to QOVF since the beginning in 2003. These quilts have come from around the world. QOVF was founded right here in Seaford, Delaware and many in our Guild were actively involved in the grassroots beginning.
DO take a minute to read about Quilts of Valor Foundation, and their beginnings…. http://www.qovf.org/
The mission is to “cover all our warriors and veterans who have been touched by war with our healing and comforting Quilts of Valor

So, I am starting my first ever QOV quilt and will enter it in our Quilt Show. The challenge is In keeping with the show’s theme, Quilts- Paying it Forward, we are encouraging quilters to create a quilt that would be donated to the Quilts of Valor program with some hopefully distributed to participants in Operation SEAs the Day Warrior Week event. This event, to be held in September 2015 at Bethany Beach, provides a week’s vacation for some 35 recovering wounded soldiers and their families. For more information on the project visit: http://www.operationseastheday.org.

I decided I would select my fabric when I went to the AQS quilt show in Lancaster early in the month. I had a couple of patterns in mind, and so I shopped!

MODA fabric

MODA fabric

I finally decided to do Bonnie Hunter’s Ohio Stars and Rails (available for free on her blog – http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/free-patterns.html )
I started on Saturday and built all my “rail” blocks; and yesterday I worked on my star blocks. The blocks all finish at 6.5″, with the pieces as small as 2.5″. The most challenging/time consuming part is making those “stars”. I deviated (of course) from Bonnie Hunters method and am using my June Tailor Perfect Half Square/Quarter Square Triangle Ruler (JT) . Bonnie’s method has you cutting the triangles using the EZ Angle ruler and stitching; but I am not a fan of the “bias” and never seem to make the block properly. So, my tried and true method is with my JT ruler.  Using it, I start with a stack of 3.5″ squares, and make half – square triangles of blue and neutral; and then turn those into quarter squares before doing any trimming down.  There is not much left to “sliver trim” away, but they always come out as perfect as I can hope for.

First pair of blocks

First pair of blocks

There are 41 star blocks in the pattern. There are 40 rail blocks. Somehow I miscounted and made over 70 rail blocks. I seem to do that when I make things, miss count and have extra. Perhaps a 2nd quilt – a rail fence or something! Having the extra will help me balance the “neutral colors” as some are darker than others. In this picture below, they are just on the design wall for “concept”. This is the general layout and I have a LOT more work to do before I put the top together!

Ohio Star and Rails

Ohio Star and Rails

I love the piecework and the process of building the intricate blocks. I’m sure it will come together quickly now that I got started. I have a busy few days, not sure what I can get done between now and Friday, but I have set aside Friday for sewing!

What are you working on ? What ever it is, have fun with the project!