Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Sparkle Punch

I planned to have this post up this morning. . . first thing. . . I also had planned to have all of the full stars completed by the end of yesterday. . . neither happened :) So I'm a few hours off but that's not so bad right?? Right! This is my stretch goal for the Q3 FAL. . . and I am pretty sure it is going to be finished by the end of this month! I was hoping for a flimsy finish by this Friday. . . We'll see, it seems a little ambitious right at the moment :)

The pattern is Sparkle Punch, a free pattern from Elizabeth Harman of Oh Frasson. I had to do this quilt when I saw this version made by Katie over at From the Blue Chair. Had.To. Not so long after that Massdrop had Amy Butler's True Colors fat quarter bundle on a drop. I bought in. I thought it perfect for this quilt. I also thought the combo and the quilt would be perfect for my goddaughter. Does she have a Judy Quilt? Yes. She does. And now she will have two because the stars aligned (totally in her favor) and I thought of her immediately when I saw the pattern and when I saw the perfect bundle :)

First, here's the status of the top right now:
Still needs the partial stars added. No, they are not made yet . . . fabric is cut, I've decided what fabric is going into each of those spots but have not started sewing them yet...
Just a few comments about the pattern and the changes I have made. First, to get a better stretch out of my fat quarters, I started with 4" squares. Kati mentioned that she did that and I thought it a great idea. . . and I wouldn't have to make as many blocks to get the same size quilt. . . not going to lie about that - and I'm very glad I did! LOL Also, when the size of the fat quarter allowed, I cut 4 1/4 inch squares. Why? I liked that I would have a little extra fabric in case I went crazy with the wonk. :)

We all know I am not a pattern follower. But this one is straight forward and individual tastes can play in big time when making those wonky stars. Depending on how much stomach you have for waste, the amount of wonkiness could get pretty extreme. I have a stomach for waste - just didn't have enough fabric to be wasting much. Hence, there is wonky going on there but not a huge amount.

Design wall or floor is essential - really essential. This quilt goes together like a Modern Plus quilt. All of the blocks have to be made and put in place prior to sewing - because the 4" block is the block in this quilt. Fans and design walls do not mix. . . that comment is not related to the pattern or changes I made. It's just a statement. :)

This pattern is very very very friendly to chain piecing. I really think this is the only reason I have been able to stick with this and get as far as I have with the top. Well, that and the fact that once I started putting stars up on the design wall, I couldn't stop! LOL
The 18 different fabrics I used for the stars paired with the background squares. These piles are pieces for one star.

The back of my machine after chain piecing about half of the stars :)
As my mom would say, there was a lot of 'fartin' around' in making these blocks. . . Sew the first star point onto background fabric, cut, iron and cut again to square up before sewing on second star point. Repeat all steps for second star point. . . 288 times. Yeah. Wait... that's 576 when having to do it TWICE is taken into account! I'm kinda glad I didn't think about that much before I started! :)

Elizabeth provides a quilt top layout which was invaluable for me to figure out exactly how many full and partial stars I would need. Without it, I'd probably still be trying to figure that one out! LOL It was also useful in figuring out how much fabric I needed. And believe it or not (I still cannot), I actually got it right!! I used 18 fat quarters - with a few blocks left over.

I tried something new to me in laying out this quilt. I don't know about you but I obsess about the layout. Are the colors in the right place. Are there any fabrics touching that I don't want to touch (is that weird?. . . don't answer that LOL). Is the light dark balance right. On and on and on and on! For this top, I stitched up the first 18 stars (one of each fabric) and then started placing them on the design wall. I'm not sure why but instead of going row by row across, I placed the stars diagonally. So I was working more top to bottom instead of across. Once I had those initial 18 placed the way I thought they looked best, I sewed the next 18, placed them starting with the top right star fabric and going through in the same order. I hope this makes sense. . . what I learned is that, for me, this took the angst out of getting the 'perfect' layout. Instead of agonizing over the placement of 58 stars, I agonized over 18. Once that was finished, the rest kind of fell into place.

I am going to admit. I will be glad when this quilt top is finished and I can get to quilting. I'm not loving the process but I am loving the outcome :)
I texted a picture of it to my sister (mom of recipient) and her response was "She is going to like that!!" She better ;)
I am off to start chain piecing those partial stars. With a little focus (that tends to leave in the afternoon but I'm determined!), I think I can get them finished today. If I can maintain that focus, I might get this baby to the flimsy stage tomorrow. . . OK, probably not completely sewn together until Friday morning ;)

Linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and Lee for WIP Wednesday. Both are great places to overdose on inspiration! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Looks great Judy! And your layout obsession is not weird at all, I stress over layout and colour placement too. Maybe we're both weird...

  2. I obsess about the layout too. I'm working on a simple scrappy top right now and randomly chain-pieced together 4 patches and some of the outcomes were not what I would have chosen. But, overall, I'm thrilled with the top and love some of the happy colour combinations that came about.

  3. Hi Judy. I love this pattern and your fabric choices! Your niece will definitely love it and it's totally ok to be ambitious and still not make your goal. It will be done soon enough. Sometimes when people find out how much cutting, sewing, pressing, sewing, etc goes into making a quilt they say I'm crazy. But it never feels like that much work to me because it's such a passion. And then there's nothing like seeing the finish! I just finished up an EH quilt too...called New Wave. I'm definitely adding Sparkle Punch to my list. I'm visiting from Let's Bee Social. Stop by my blog for visit anytime.

  4. It is looking lovely and what a lucky niece to get TWO Judy quilts! Yeah, when thinking about the real number of things, it is always best for me to break the work down into achievable bites or I will stall out.

  5. This is going to be a fabulous quilt!

  6. I like reading about what goes on in your head as you work through this quilt. I'm not a fan of waste, especially with the price of fabric these days. Oh, I am totally with you on the obsessing over placement and no it is NOT weird to not want any of the same fabric touching--that drives me crazy. Even balance of light, I'm there. You've done a great job of the placement and I like the strategy of breaking down the 58 stars into groups of 18 for placement. It looks fabulous.

  7. This is so pretty! Love those stars and you chose the perfect fabrics for this design. Looking good!

  8. Oh Judy - I am in love with this quilt! This is the perfect pairing of fabrics and design! I like that your sparkle stars are a little less wonky. And I love this pattern. I have this True Color Bundle and have been saving it for something special, and even thought of pairing it with a grey background. Now I know how fabulous that looks!
    Obsessing over placement?... yeah me too. I'll very often look at something for days on the design wall and shift blocks around. Sometimes I have to tell myself "Just Sew It. for Pete's Sake!" I like how you went about placing your starts - the effort shows in a well balanced layout!

  9. You just gave me the idea for my next quilt. Yes, I obsess over placement too - trying to make sure that all fabrics are evenly distributed. This one sure made my morning sparkle!!!

  10. This is looking so good on your wall. I never realized the layout is a lot like a plus quilt. How fun!


Comments make me smile :) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Come back real soon!

If you left me a comment, I will be responding in kind either by email and/or by visiting your blog and commenting on your wonderful creation :)