Sunset on the Sound Slideshow & Holiday Extravaganza Clue #3

Yeah, it is Friday and you know what that means, Holiday Extravaganza Mystery Clue Reveal Day!

I had a busy week as I'm sure many of you did.  Last weekend, I was up in Westminster, VT at the Twin State Modern Quilt Guild.  What a wonderful group of ladies!  Very talented, I got a sneak preview of their Lobby Lights Quilt display that will be hung at VQF (Vermont Quilt Festival).  Wow, just fabulous!

Before we get to the Holiday Extravaganza Clue, I want to take some time to reflect on the last Mystery, Sunset on the Sound.   My first official online Mystery Series and once again I was blown away with the participation and the stunning results.

Over the last few weeks, I requested that the participants email me their completed quilts and I received over 90 completed quilts tops! I put together this slideshow and I hope you take the time to check it out.  They really did a magnificent job!

Sunset on the Sound Mystery  ~ Completed Quilts: 

How tada!

If you missed out, you can download the entire series, for $15, from my Etsy shop: Click Here

Now for Holiday Extravaganza!  Clue #3, Block #3, Ohio Star!

Block #3 ~ Ohio Star ~ Both my Fabric Selections ~ Vintage Christmas and Holiday
Block #3 requires the Studio 180 Design's Tucker Trimmer III (or Tucker Trimmer I) and Quilter's Magic Wand.   We will be making Quarter Square Triangle Units, similar to last week, but we will be making tri-colored Quarter Square Triangle Units.  Once again, you will make 4 Blocks.

As many of you know, I love the Ohio Star.  I've used the Ohio Star in a few patterns, include my Oh-hi-O My Star Technique Building Series (which I'm teaching at MAQ this year).  In honor of Clue # 3, I'm having 15% sale on my patterns, and the required tools,  that feature Ohio Stars!.  Use the Coupon Code OHIO15, by Thursday, June 6th, on the following pattern/technique series:

Back to Clue #3

Please see the download for specific sizes and cutting instructions, but let me walk you through a few tips that I share in the classroom (Make sure you check out my teaching/event schedules by following my retreats and events on Facebook- Michelle's FB Event Page for the true interactive experience).

  • Organization - We are three weeks into the series and we have 14 more weeks to go.  So, please consider my organization tips from week #1 - Keep your fabrics in three groupings; 
    • Fat Quarters, 
    • Partial Fat Quarters, 
    • and Partial Strips.  
  • Believe me you do not want swiss cheese fabric when we get to those last few weeks. Cut full strips and subcut.  I keep all of my fabrics sections in a Large See Your Stuff Bag.
My Holiday Fabric ~ 3 distinct groupings  

Fit nicely in the Large See Your Stuff Bag ~ Everything is kept together
Your Blocks can even fit in the Large Bag!

Vintage Christmas Fabric Selection ~ 3 distinct groupings

Also fits nicely in a Large See Your Stuff Bag
  • Stitch Length - I find many of my students stitching at 2.5 stitch length.   You really want to bring that stitch length down to at least 2.0.  Consider 1.8 when you plan to press open.  It is really easy to bring that stitch length down and many newer machines allow you to save it so that it automatically defaults to 2.0.
Decrease your stitch length to 2.0 
  • Proper Foot and Plate - When stitching on a drawn line, as we do when we make QST Units, it is important to be able see the line.  Therefore, consider using an open toe foot.  
    • I use the Star Foot on my Pfaff and love it.  It has a little toe that sticks out that I can line up with the drawn line.  It puts less stress on my eye and I'm also more accurate.  Love it!  
    • Also, consider using the straight stitch plate.  If you machine didn't come with one, they are easy enough to order and they will reduce the likelihood that your points will be pulled into the machine. 
Use a nice open foot and a straight stitch plate ~ I promise it will improve your stitching

When stitching on the drawn lines, you want to be able to see clearly

I love my Star Foot for my Pfaff! Perfect
  • Draw fine lines - I use a Quilter’s Magic Wand to draw the 2 sewing lines for wrong side of my squares.  Draw the line nice and tight to the wand, and use a fine marking instrument to mark those lines.  I love the Sewline pencils, they are ceramic chalk which provides a nice fine line for you to sew on, but it eventually flakes off, and therefore doesn’t damage your quilt. They come in 5 colors and are great!  Make sure to take the time to draw the 2 lines, you will be much more accurate than with just drawing 1 center line and gauging ¼” on both sides of that line.  
You will want to mark the wrong side of the Background and Light-Medium Squares

Once you have the HST, you will draw 2 more lines on the wrong side of one of the units
  • Set your Seams - I like to set my seams after I sew, prior to cutting my Squares on the Diagonal.  I feel like they should be flat before I cut them in half.
Set Seam

Then cut in half, between the lines

Press towards the Dark

Press towards the Dark
  • Nest those seams - Alternating your Dark fabrics, make sure to nest those seams prior to stitching.  Also, I always put the seam flap away from me when stitching so that my feed dogs help keep the seams nested. 
Alternate and nest 

Have the seam flap open away from you, let your feed dogs help you.
  • Swirl your seam - When making QST or 4 Patch units, it is always a good idea to swirl your seams, they will lay much flatter. 
Set your Seam

Using your thumbs, push the dark fabric seams towards the other fabrics

This will create a small 4-Patch at the center of the seam intersections.  Press carefully.

Turn it over and give it a good press from the front. 
  • Take you time - Especially when trimming, making sure to take the time to line up your Tucker Trimmer.  Remember when trimming to a half inch measurement, you use the half circle corner in the upper right, if right handed or upper left, if left handed.
Right Handed  ~ Line up and Trim

Right Handed ~ Rotate, Line Up and Trim

Right Handed ~ Tada Perfect!

Left Handed ~ Line up and Trim

Left Handed ~ Rotate, Line Up, and Trim

Left Handed ~ Tada! Perfect
  • Last Tip ~ Keep your orientation- Take the time to lay out your blocks, double check, then use the See It, Flip It, Sew It method. 
Very important to lay out your Blocks!

Tada!  For sure!  I love the Ohio Star, it is a classic and fun! 
My Holiday version!

My Vintage Christmas version!
We have over 310 members in the Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Group.  They are sharing their completed blocks in such fun ways, that I have to give it a try.  

My Holiday Clues 1-3

My Vintage Christmas Clues 1-3
Love it!  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am.  It is never to late to join in.  Remember if you miss a clue, you will be able to get Clues #1-8 after week 8 and Clues #9-17 after week 17 for a nominal fee.  Join in on the fun!

Well, that is it for this week.  I'm off to New Jersey this weekend, to visit with my family.  My nieces have their big dance recital this weekend.  I look forward to it every year, they are so talented. 

Don't forget to check out the Sunset on the Sound Slideshow (above) and to share your completed blocks in the Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Group.

Keep Stitching,


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