What could be better than star blocks with circles? Throw in a bunch of black and white fabrics, then add a dash of red … and I’m in heaven! Star Rubies has all of those wonderful attributes and more!
I LOVE star blocks! Any star block! But this star block has a circle in the center, which makes it extra special. I’ve been wanting to use this block in a quilt design for several years, but for one reason or another, it just wasn’t the right time or design. In the end, I’m so glad I waited … timing really is everything. Because now I could include this wonderful star block in Simple Circles and Quick Curves.
As much as I love this star block, I wanted to add more curves and movement to the design. But I didn’t want to appliqué arcs on a plain square … I wanted this quilt to be scrappy. So, I created an hourglass block and added small arcs along the edges of the block. That way I could use 8 fabrics in each block. Winner!!
For me, designing two-block quilts is exciting … it’s a bit like being a matchmaker. It’s fun seeing how the blocks interact with each other. When I paired the Star block with the Hourglass block … ooh là là. The quilt design started to sing! And, another interesting thing happened … the blocks played together so well, that it looks like there is only one block set on point. How cool it that!
As I’ve mentioned before … I wanted a scrappy quilt. So, I decided it was OK to combine black-and-white prints with black-and-cream prints. As long as the cream wasn’t beige or ecru … more like vanilla. Color can be tricky and I could only tell if the cream was the right shade by placing the fabrics next to each other. But I knew adding prints with a little bit of cream would make the quilt more interesting.
Once the blocks were all finished, I arranged them on my design wall and then moved them around until I was pleased with the arrangement. Keeping the blocks in the proper order as I move them from the design wall to my sewing machine can be problematic. Years ago I came up with this simple trick. Write numbers on flat headed pins using a permanent marker. Insert a pin in each block in numerical order. (I always place the pin along the top edge of the block.) Then I can chain piece the blocks and keep them in the correct order. Easy peasy!!
On this quilt, I knew the quilting would be harder to see because of all the prints. So, I decided to keep the quilting fairly simple. In the star blocks, I quilted in the ditch around the center square and circle; then I quilted curved lines in the triangles and squares.
In the Hourglass blocks, I quilted in the ditch along the arcs and quilted a motif in the center of each block.
In the borders, I quilted in the ditch along the inner and middle borders. Then I added a free-motion quilting design in the outer border.
Well, all good things must come to an end. Every quilt has a story to tell and I’ve enjoyed sharing the back story for each quilt in Simple Circles and Quick Curves. I hope these quilts (and their stories) have inspired you to dive into your stash and start stitching circles and curves.
The pattern for Star Rubies is in Simple Circles and Quick Curves along with other scrappy quilts you’ll want to make. If you have a copy of Simple Circles and Quick Curves, please take a minute to hop over to Amazon and post a book review.