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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Block 29 - Seven Pointed Star for Australia

Australia is near and dear to my heart having lived there 1995 - 2000 so I wanted to make this block special. And I found I had my work cut out for me to do this (to employ a relevant saying - but alas, when I first cut out the work it was not with reliable templates!)

This past weekend I was away with my quilt group on a three day retreat. My GC fabric bag was with me along with my laptop; my thinking was that presuming it was an easy block it should be no trouble to do the block as usual on Saturday. Hah! A seven pointed star and no template making material with me was problem # 1. I won't bore you with problems # 2, 3, 4 - well you get the picture. Pinkdeenster was with me and she kept sidling over to check my progress and murmuring that she thought she was a little too tired to start her block. I noticed that her marvellous block must have been done in short order as soon as she got home as it was posted online before I got home from retreat. But I won't hold that against her!

So here we go with version 2.1

 After rereading the original blog posting and looking at the poster announcing the Women's Freedom League Procession of June 17, 1911 I found a fabric right at the bottom of my pile that seemed to reflect the suggested dress colors for the procession and to remind me of Australia as well.

I had a lot of problems with using the pattern as provided on the Grandmother's Choice blog (see following photo) so once I got home I decided to redraw the pattern myself. Using my trusty compass and protractor I drafted my own star making sure to make it somewhat smaller so the points would not touch (and potentially get cut off by) the edge of the block.

Once I had my pattern drawn and templates made I started cutting fabric. By a happy co-incidence I discovered those green spots fell in an almost perfect location near the center if I was really careful with how I cut the diamonds. You can see how random looking the fabric pattern is so it was a challenge to fussy cut but I persevered and it worked out.

In sewing order I pieced all the diamond shapes first and then I started to add the background shapes. And let me tell you it is getting easier to do these inset seams. Soon I will feel like I can pull out my long term pine burr project and continue with it. That's something that has been sitting in the too hard pile for many many months which is a shame as it is quite close to being finished. But I am up to having to do some pretty tricky inset seams and they had been getting the better of me.
Here was version 1 of the block. For this first attempt I had decided I wanted a bold look for Australia but, h'mm, the idea was better than the reality. So when the center seam did not match I tossed it down and declared I would not waste any more time on it. Besides, since Australia had used the English colors (green, white and gold) and did not have purple, although that big polka dot gave a bold look, it would be more authentic without purple.

And to remind us all again of the name for the block this week the atlas and the boomerang make it instantly identifiable.


Cheryl Kotecki said...

Now how many quilters who made this block have a boomerang, I wonder?

Your swirling center looks like a celebration - well done!

Pip said...

My heart sank when I saw the star for this week, I really didn't want to make it. Your block has turned out really well, love the fabric choice and how there appears to be a flower in the star as well. I've found that the more Y seams I do,the easier they get.

pinkdeenster said...

I love your block! I, for one, do not have a boomerang!

I don't know what got into me when I got home from the retreat. Inspiration hit and I think I had beginner's luck getting the block done on my first attempt! I am making up for it with week 27. I've done 3 now and think I will try one more time.