Friday, May 1, 2015

Star to the Fourth Power

A couple of years ago, I decided for whatever reason to design and piece a monster quilt in black and white prints. It started with an 8" simple star in the center. That 8" star became the middle of another star 16" square. And the 16-incher became the center of a 32" block and finally the 32" star became the middle of a 64" block. It was time to stop. The next step would have vaulted the quilt into Texas-King territory at 128" (or more then 10 feet square). At 64" it was doable but time for a border. I dug through my black and whites for something suitable for a border since not any print would do. I wanted a stripe-ish white. I came up with a floating-dot-on-plaid print that I had designed for Michael Miller around the turn of the century--2000 that is. Had just enough to put 8" wide borders all around and the quilt top happily concluded at 80" square. Any quilt with similar measurements is good for either a full or queen bed. 

The big black-and-white quilt top sat folded on the shelf and was occasionally flapped as a sample in a class. Then I decided to ask my friend Laurie Mayo to
machine-quilt it. I have never been happier with the results. For backing I chose the big black-and-white woven plaid from the Peppered Plaids I did for StudioE Fabrics and the lime green thread she used showed to wonderful effect against the neutral geometric. Laurie had fun stitching huge feathers and tendrils. There's some stippling stitching in the quilt but it's black-on-black and hardly visible. 

The quilt's batting (filling) is wool, maybe not the first choice of many folks but I think it's super. Wool batting tends to hold its loft and not crease as much as cotton does when the quilt's been folded for a long time. The final step was binding. I cut about 350" of 2-and-a-half inch wide bias strips from the black Chrysanthemum fabric from the Town & Country line.
Mary Frankle did a fine job of binding it, half by machine and half by hand.

I named the quilt Star to the Fourth Power. It's a good sleeper (I always test my quilts on my own bed) and has the Memo 'paw of approval.' Memo is my cat and she always asks permission when getting into my lap. She was surprised by the black and white quilt's slightly puffy feeling and did her "making muffins" thing for some time before settling. 

Sometimes I put away a quilt top and think, "I need to hand quilt this one-" but Star to the Fourth Power said, "Get me done-NOW!"