11/3/14

Star A Day FINAL update

Today I won’t show you what is ON my design wall because its empty. But I have something to show that came OFF my design wall yesterday.183On Oct 31, 2014 I finished my final star! This one, right here. 176It was 1:28 pm when I cut my thread, spread it out in front of me, and said, “You, my pretty, are the last one!” Whew! I did it! I made 365 stars in one year – enough to make a quilt big enough to sleep under.

This post officially concludes my Star a Day Challenge.

What’s next, you ask? How about a Lucy Boston quilt? Here’s my first block. I was so eager to start it that I stitched this block the same evening that I finished the last little star! Why stop when you’re on a roll, right?184And in case you are wondering, NO, I will not be making a block a day! But do you suppose I could finish it in just one year?185(2)

Check out Linda Franz’s website by clicking here.

Let’s link in to Patchwork Times today and see what Judy and friends have on their design walls. Click here to go to Design Wall Monday.

10/1/14

Easy Math – A Star a Day Update

At the beginning of each month I pause to assess progress on my Star A Day project – and some months I actually get around to reporting my status to you, my faithful blog readers. Today is Oct 1st and the report is good:  Here are ten completed cuties, patched together, ready for the lower right-hand corner of my quilt.10 on Oct 1 Oct has 31 days – the last section needs 41 stars – 10 are completed (see above)- that means I only need 31 more stars. Hey! That’s just a star a day! Not only is it easy math, it also adds up to good news: I am on schedule. And so we enter the 12th and final month of my year of tiny stars.

09/22/14

Out of the Quicksand- Star A Day Update

It is Sept 22. At this moment I am officially caught up on my Star A Day project. As one friend described it, it is like climbing out of quicksand – a new day arrives with the challenge to make a star. If you miss one day, it’s like loose gravel. If you miss two days, it’s more like mud. Before you know it you might be a week behind and in quicksand. I wasn’t exactly testing the theory, but if you fall 41 blocks behind (sheepish grin) you can crawl out of the quicksand in exactly 21 days. That’s one a day plus two in arrears. And here is what your quilt will look like when you have eight of the nine sections completed:Section 8 finished

Let’s jump over to Patchwork Times and see what others have on their design walls today. Click here to go to Design Wall Monday.

09/8/14

Three Hundred

Once there was a tiny star. He was all alone in my sewing room, wishing for a friend, or two, or three …. or 300! Can you guess which Tiny Star milestone I have to report?  300! That’s right! 300 stars are completed!300Are you wondering, “Is she caught up?” No! I’m not! I fell behind early in the summer which is when I learned that I love making a star a day but  it isn’t as much fun when it becomes two or three stars a day. I have carried on, stitching the stars whenever I could, until I had a pile waiting for a day in the sewing room so I could press them and sew them together. 016I’m still behind 8 stars, but who’s counting?

Karen Styles, the Australian Quilter who brought us “The Star a Day” will be visiting Eudora, KS in Oct. Click here to go to Quilting Bits and Pieces Quilt Shop’s newsletter to learn more.

02/21/14

Here a Star, There a Star!

It’s fun to spend time sewing with friends. On Monday I spent all day and evening as a day camper with friends on a quilting retreat. Late in the afternoon, I pulled out my Star for the Day and found a place to sit and do a bit of handwork. Kathleen took a break from her sewing machine and joined me. We chatted as we stitched, sharing Star-A-Day stories. Kathleen is making her tiny stars with the English Paper Piecing method, they are scrappy, happy and perfect.

Kathleen's English Paper Pieced stars

Kathleen’s English Paper Pieced stars

Across the room, Christy finished sewing some of her stars together and Amy had her first three done, as did Kaye.

Christy's first section.

Christy’s first section

Amy's first three stars

Amy’s first three stars

Kaye is going for a Star-A-Month so with three completed she is ahead for the year!

Kaye is going for a Star-A-Month so with three completed she is ahead for the year!

There were stars over here and stars over there.

Christy's stars. She is using a uniform background throughout.

Christy’s stars. She is using a uniform background throughout.

Not everyone on the retreat is making tiny stars. Deanna was working on eight pointed stars too, but in a more reasonable 12″ size.

Deanna's 12" Star made with the Tucker Trimmer Ruler

Deanna’s 12″ Star made with the Tucker Trimmer Ruler

Although not on retreat with the rest of us, I snapped these photos of my Weds Sewing friends’ star blocks.

Kathy's is working from her scrap basket. Anything goes!

Kathy is working from her scrap basket.

Kathy's stack of stars, 27 blocks high! Many were stitched on the deck of a cruise ship!

Kathy’s stack of stars, 27 blocks high! Many were stitched on the deck of a cruise ship!

 

Nancy's red, cream and blue stars

Nancy’s red, cream and blue stars

It was the first time so many of us who are making tiny stars had been together in a group, so it was fun to share the insanity. As we laughed and stitched it didn’t seem like such a crazy idea after all.

To read all my Star-A-Day posts click here.

02/1/14

Tiny Stars-Month #3 Progress Report

Feb 1, 2014

It’s the end of the first quarter of my Star-A-Day challenge. For three months I have marked off a star a day. That’s 92 days. I now have enough stars completed for my second section – which means I am over 2/9ths finished! Can’t say I have ever measured quilt progress in 9ths before.

I love sewing these little stars. I know, I know, I say that all the time. But they are like little friends. Most days my ritual goes like this:  I sit in my grandmother’s overstuffed chair, turn on the evening news, and stitch. By the time the news is over, my star is finished. Every day there is news. Every day there is another star completed. I don’t stress about getting them done, I don’t need to block off time to get into the sewing room, I don’t have to stop to wind a bobbin or change thread color on my machine. I just pick up the pieces and sink the needle into the fabric and stitch. And stitch. And stitch. Day after day. For three months. And look where it has gotten me:

92 Tiny Stars

92 Tiny Stars

Next, I will machine quilt section #2.

Then, I will connect the two sections which  is sure to generate a story or two! If you have quilted this way before and have any tips for me, please leave a comment.

A few months ago I blogged about slow stitching. (See the story by clicking here. ) The rhythm of stitching these tiny stars is the epitome of slow stitching. I officially take back all the times I saw someone hand piecing and said, “That would be faster on the machine”.

If you are just tuning in to my blog and want to see all the related Tiny Star posts look for Categories in the column on the right and click on Star a Day Challenge.

As for me, I’m off to sew my first star of the second quarter! Catch ya later!

01/30/14

Have Stars, Will Travel

As I was planning my mid-winter trip I worried that might fall behind on my Star-A-Day project. So I got organized. For the first 11 days of Jan I traced two stars a day – one to cut and sew that day and one for the road. I dated them, and packed them in a baggie with the plan that I would cut out and stitch one a day. Easy peasy, right?

Tiny Stars to go

Tiny Stars to go

Before I report my trip stats I want to remind my readers that my goal is actually 7 stars a week. In which case, whew! I made it. Admittedly, I fell behind early in my trip and was behind by three stars by the time I left Philly.

Once settled in daughter Sarah’s apartment in Florida I had a chance to catch my breath, nurse my shin splints (sister Dora has long legs and I had to race to keep up with her in Philly), and get caught up on stars.

Cut out and ready for stitching

Cut out and ready for stitching

By the time I came home my baggie was empty and my pile of completed stars was 11 deep.

 9 down, 2 to go

9 down, 2 to go

 

Philly and Florida 261So, if you are taking your Star-A-Day on the road, I recommend tracing before you leave home and pack a tiny sewing kit for sewing on the airplane.

Star-A-Day travel tin - yep, that's on an airplane tray

Star-A-Day travel tin – yep, that’s on an airplane tray