What I Am Working On Wednesday

What have I been working on over the last few weeks? Spinning some records.

Spinning plates 2

This weekend is my local guild's quilt show, which means I have been sewing on labels and sleeves. My daughter is hanging her very first quilt in the show, so she had to make her first label as well.

S Writing Label

The quilts (Mass Maples, Square in a Square in a Square, Summer Sprinkles, E Pluribus Unum and Yolk Music) are packed up and ready to go.

Quilts to goI worked on this many weeks ago, but this week it came to fruition. The pattern for Yolk Music is in the new American Quilter Magazine. And it is the cover girl!

American Quilter Magazine

Grandma's Stars, continued

In my last post I told the story of my Grandma's Stars quilt. Since I committed to writing the pattern, I had to figure out how Grandma made those stars. You know how she did it pre-rotary cutter? She used scissors and cardboard templates!

Grandma's Stars Timna Tarr 2002 82"x82"

I made plastic templates and used a rotary cutter, and tested them out by making this cute baby/wall quilt.

Grandma's Stars, Baby/Wall Timna Tarr 2012

And I had fun with the quilting.

Grandma's Stars, Baby/Wall, quilting Timna Tarr 2012

I wanted to try the pattern in a different colorway, so I used my scraps of 1930's reproduction fabrics and Kona solids in a third quilt. I did not take a photo of the finished product (that was not my smartest move), but here is a work-in-progress photo.

Grandma's Stars, Lap, in-progress Timna Tarr 2012

Again, some more fun quilting.

Grandma's Stars Lap, quilting Timna Tarr 2012

After the templates and directions were sorted out, I sent the pattern to my mom and brother to see if the directions made sense. My brother is not a quilter, so he made his out of paper. I learned that the angles on the templates were slightly off. Fabric is stretchy and forgiving, but paper is not. Don't worry, we fixed the angles!

Grandma's Stars _ paper test

My mom made a baby quilt. This is really a three generation quilt. Her mother started the project, I played with it, and then mom took it and played with it some more! Mom's is hand-quilted.

Grandma's Stars, Baby test Dana Tarr 2012

Want to try one of your own? You can purchase the pattern from American Quilters Society here.

Grandma's Stars

In November of 2002 while visiting my grandparents, my grandma, Ortha Broeker, and I looked through her fabric closet. She opened up a box and found a pile of pieced stars she had made many years before - maybe in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Grandma gave me the stars and told me to do whatever I wanted to with them.Grandma_Stars_large_star_detail_2_001.sized

I brought the stars home and set them in black fabric to show off all of the funky fabrics, in the stars. My mom recognizes some of the fabrics from her high school wardrobe and I am betting my aunt could probably recognize a few too!

(If you ever wondered why I like crazy fabrics together, this shows that there might be a genetic component to my taste.)

To make the quilt big enough for a bed, I added in sashing and small stars as posts. I used every reddish fabric that I owned at the time to make the small stars. Now I could make several whole quilts just using the reddish fabrics in my stash. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Grandma's Stars Timna Tarr 2002 82"x82"

I have used this quilt on my bed off and on for the last decade. Occasionally it traveled back to Nebraska and lived on my grandparents' bed for a while. It has been well-loved.

Imagine my surprise when I received a call from an editor at American Quilter's Society, who had seen the quilt on my website, saying that they would be interesting in publishing this quilt as a pattern. In fact when she said that "Grandma's Stars" was the pattern they were interested in, I could not for the life of me think what quilt she was talking about until I blurted out, "Oh, the quilt on my bed!".

So, I figured out how Grandma made those big stars and made many more of my own. Now, several months later, it is officially a pattern. And it can be purchased through AQS.

Grandma's Stars pattern cover

In my next post I'll show you my samples and testers and how different the design can look in other colorways!