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Sofa Star Quilt

December 31, 2006

This is not a new quilt. I finished it in January 1994; it’s a companion piece to one of the Evening Star series quilts (this one, to be specific). Like the wallhanging, this one uses the Evening Star block and the fabrics were chosen to coordinate with the couch in our family room. The small quilt never gets displayed in that room anymore (because the wall space has been taken over by other things to look at) but this quilt is out all the time, ready to cuddle under at a moment’s notice. It’s lap size, about 48 inches by 60 inches.

Instead of laying out all the pieces before I started sewing like I usually do, for this quilt I made the blocks before I arranged the whole quilt. When it came time to put them together, I spent a lot of time moving them around. I wanted to make sure ones with the same background fabric weren’t right next to each other, that the ones with peach fabrics were separated, and so on. I kept adding to the list of rules I had for myself, and when I’d move some blocks to meet one rule, I’d find I was violating another one. Rather than watch me do it the hard way, Mr. Karen had me label each block with a letter, documented the rules on a matrix, and wrote a computer program to find layouts that satisfied the constraints. Left to right, top to bottom, those are blocks C, L, M, Q, N, D, A, J, E, O, P, B, I, S, K, R, G, H, T, F.

Because I knew this quilt would be used frequently, I wanted the back and the binding to have some extra interest. For the back, I added a panel with some monochrome Evening Star blocks and one chunk of fabric that didn’t quite coordinate with the rest of the backing. For the binding, I made it wider than I usually do, about an inch rather than a half, and used two fabrics. Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out.

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