Today I'd like to share my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
This is my Wonky Asterisk Quilt, which was finished in November 2010.
|Wonky Asterisk Quilt, 42 in. X 42 in.|
It all started with the fabric. You see, I am a fiend for polka dots, so when I scored these Twice the Charm Rolls of Crazy for Dots and Stripes on clearance sale I was ecstatic, but I couldn't figure out what with them. Twice the Charm is a very oddly sized pre-cut!
Along came Karen Griska's Asterisk Quilt Along. I loved the quilt she designed, and in spite of the fact that my fabric strips were not actually wide enough for the pattern, I went for it any way. Piecing the blocks was a challenge, all those bias edges and so much seam allowance bulk! Try as I might, I couldn't keep everything straight and even, and my little blocks ended up wildly crooked and all different sizes because I'd stretched all that bias. I had a real mess. My blocks looked nothing like the beauties that the other quilters were making. I was totally discouraged, and I tossed them in the sewing room trash can and walked away.
The next morning I pulled the blocks out of the trash can. I couldn't bring myself to toss them after all that work! I stuck them in a box so I didn't have to look at the ugly little things. They stayed in the box for a long time, but I couldn't stop thinking about them. One day I decided to trim the blocks to be all the same size, which ended up being a little over 4 inches. They were still all wildly wonky, but at least they were square! I still felt bad every time I looked at the blocks. I felt I had wasted the fabric and my time, and all I had was a big ugly mess. Yep, back in the trash can. After a couple days I rescued them again.
Now I was determined to make something out of them, and it was time to get creative. The quilt pattern had all the asterisks arranged in rows. Well, that didn't work with my wonky blocks. All it did was draw attention to the fact that my lines didn't even come close to matching up. I decided to add sashing strips in between each block, and between the rows to distract the eye. I struggled with layout ideas, and even had my blog readers vote on different ideas to help me decide what to do.
Now I had this 25.5 inch square, and no idea how to finish it off, and a determination not to spend another cent on it. I added a white inner border, and was clueless on how to make an outer border. Only small bits of the fabric was left from making the blocks. One day I grabbed them up and started cutting narrow strips. I tossed them in a plastic box and mixed them up.
Over many weeks I would pull out this box and sew strips together. It was rather tedious at first, but became more fun as the strip sets grew larger. My kitty Daisy was a big helper during this process. She would dig through the pile and toss certain pieces on the floor. She liked to watch them fall to the ground, then she would meow at me expectantly, waiting for me to pick them up so she could do it again. She had never had so much fun!
Eventually I had long strips, but the strips were not long enough for borders. Frustrated again, the project hit a stand still. Finally, I remembered I had four asterisk blocks that weren't used in the top, which became cornerstones, and suddenly I had a finished quilt top! On impulse, I tossed this quilt in with another quilt I was sending off to the long arm quilter, and I am so glad I did! Here are a couple close ups of the quilting.
The quilter did loopy quilting in the center, and quilted leaves on the border. When the quilt came back to me, I discovered an astonishing thing--I LOVE THIS QUILT! It was a long process, but I learned a lot. I learned that sometimes you need to put something away for a while, and come back to it with fresh eyes. I learned to think more creatively and follow my instincts and to trust my decisions. I learned to take my time.
I learned a quilt doesn't have to be perfect to be PERFECT!
I hope you enjoyed meeting my Wonky Asterisk Quilt! Be sure and visit all the Quilt Festival Entries, you'll be so inspired by the quilts and the stories!