Last month, I showed you these beautiful ribbon-star quilts and explained how I made the stars. Now let me show you how I finished the quilts.
First, I laid out all 18 stars so I could decide which stars I wanted in each quilt. I tried to divide the stars evenly by color, trying various arrangements until I found two patterns that I liked the best. Then I numbered every star. (I had spent so much time finding the perfect arrangement that I didn’t want to risk forgetting what star went where.)
Next, I added a strip of the white background fabric to the left-hand side of each star.
This step actually took a fair amount of time because I didn’t want to cut off any of my points. Compare the two photos below. In the one on the left, I’ve added the border to the star, but I’ve cut off the end of my point. In the one on the right, I’ve added the border, but the point is still pointy.
Pointy points require slow and careful sewing, so adding the left-hand border to each star was a slow process. I also added a right-hand border to the stars that would be placed on the far right side of the quilts. Then I sewed the stars together in rows of three.
Next, I made the borders that run horizontally between the stars by sewing strips from the white background fabric to colored squares. I added these between the rows of stars and at the top and bottom of each quilt.
The photo below is a closer view of one of the quilt tops before I added the outside border.
I took both quilts to the fabric shop and auditioned several border fabrics until I found the two I liked, a purple and a blue. I sewed these borders to the quilt tops and then prepared to machine quilt everything by spray-basting together the quilt backing, batting, and top.
I am very much a beginning machine quilter, so I sewed a lot of straight lines with a walking foot. (A walking foot, by the way, evenly feeds through your sewing machine all the layers of fabric and batting. This helps you avoid puckers on the back of your quilt.)
In the photo below, you can see that I marked part of the quilt with very light, purple lines so I would know exactly where to sew. I used a marker that fades from your quilt in about 24 hours, which is great, as long as you actually manage to sew before the marks disappear.
I also added some stippling to both quilts. This is a free-motion stitch where you move the quilt under the needle in random, rounded patterns. Yes, it’s a difficult stitch to make look good.
When I finished machine quilting everything together, I put binding around the outside edges of each quilt and then hand-sewed labels on the quilt backs.
I love these ribbon quilts! They are colorful and happy and made beautiful gifts.
Be sure to join me next month for our next quilting adventure.