Tiny Stars – April Update

The first of April has come and gone so this post is a few days late but NOT a dollar short!

I was teaching a class last night where a student commented, “I haven’t seen any new blog stories lately”. She’s right – there haven’t been any new stories for awhile, that’s because I was on vacation, in Florida. My student went on to ask about my trip then she asked the question she really wanted answered, “Are you still making a star a day?”

Okay, so let’s look at that question: “Are you still making a star a day?” In the most literal interpretation of the question I have to answer with a sad face, “No”. Because I have not been sewing A star day. But what if she meant, “Have you completed a star for each day of the year to date?” In that case, I can honestly say, “Yes, I am up-to-date with one star per day completed since Nov 1st when I started my Star a Day challenge.” But did I sew one star a day? No, not in March.

As I packed for my 12 day long road trip to Florida I prepped a packet of stars to sew while traveling, counted out to get me caught up, dated, to keep me from falling further behind. By the time we left home on Mar 20th I was 10 days behind. Yipes! I was tempted to call a truce and say that I just couldn’t do a star a day for a year. I would have to add those ten stars on to the end of my year. But maybe, just maybe, I could get caught up while on vacation.

It took all 12 days to do it but on April 1st, (no foolin’!) the last day of our vacation, as we drove past the St Louis Arch, just four hours from home, I took the final stitch on the star that ended my month long stretch of being perpetually behind.

Which brings us to my Star A Day update for April: I have completed 153 stars and am back on track!

Don’t worry, I still love my tiny stars but if there is one thing I learned from falling behind it’s this: A star a day is fun. Three or four a day is work.

2 thoughts on “Tiny Stars – April Update

  1. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for following my blog and good for you on deciding to try a star project of your own!

    Here’s how I sew my pieces:
    1. Sew the diamonds into pairs, stitch the inside point all the way to the edge, leave the outside point open so you can set in the square and triangle later.
    Finger press the seams to the same side – it doesn’t matter which side as long as it’s the same side on each pair.
    2. Connect the pairs into fours, again, stitching the center point of the diamond all the way to the end (center) but stopping on the outside for the set in seam.
    I took a class from Sally Collins a few years ago and she says if it doesn’t have a set in piece, close up the seam. I find that makes a big difference for me.
    3. Finger press the seam open, for now.
    4. Pin the two halves together matching the center – pull the pin all the way through so it comes out the other side with the head tight against the fabric. It will hold the center in place until you get to it. Then remove the pin. Sew the center seam. But don’t press it at this point.
    5. I have tried just about every way for setting in those sides and corners but I find, for me anyway, that adding them in a counterclockwise method alternating between square and triangle works best. Close up the outside edges as you sew them on. That will make your block come out flatter with straighter edges. I leave my thread attached and jump from the end of one piece to the beginning of the next piece. It leaves a little loop of thread that you can go back later and snip if you want to. I usually just leave it.
    After you have sewn all the pieces together press from the wrong side swirling the seams so they go counterclockwise (or if you are a lefty you might find it easier to go clockwise.) Finally press the center seam open. Some directions say to press the very center into a tidy little swirl but on my tiny 3” blocks I found that when I did that it pushed my center in a way that caused it to look like I had not matched the center very well. They aren’t all perfect anyway but I didn’t want the ironing to be the reason they didn’t come to a nice points in the center so I press the center seam open.
    These are tips that work for me. I hope they help you too! Let me know how it goes!

  2. I was so interested in recently reading your blogs on the Star a Day challenge that I thought I would give it a try. The LeMoyne Star has always held a fascination for me. I drafted (yes, the old fashioned way!!) out a 5 1/2″ star and went to my stash to find fabrics. Good heavens, after marking and cutting and beginning to sew a star, it was time to start dinner! I had to unsew one of the diamonds since it didn’t lay flat. Do you have any tips for sewing the star with the inset pieces? Would love some advice if you have any. Also, I would love to know what order you sew the pieces.
    Thanks for your advice. Love your blog.

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