Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stars: Clark Gable Underway

I've started the second quilt block on my Stars for the New Millennium piece.  This is called Clark Gable and it is made up of six general steps.  In the photo above, the first three stitches are done and I've completed one of four sides using the fourth stitch.  I'm working this piece upside down or on the side so I can reach everything easily.  My colors are A-violet, B-black, C-terracotta and D-copper.

The first area worked is the center starburst, which is done in C1, which is a lovely Alyce Schroth silk perle in Lt. Rose 241.  I used a different C1 thread this time, thinking that the silk would make a nice central area.  It is surrounded by four plies of my D1 thread, Lume H13, although you don't add the outlines until the second and third areas are finished.

The second areas are all the "kite-shaped" areas in black that surround the central starburst.  These are done in a bargello pattern of upright stitches, mostly over four threads.  The top of the pattern is B3 (Burmilana 3641), the next row is B4 (Gumnuts' Tulips 999), the third is B5 (Felicity's Garden #12), and the tip of the pattern which touches the outside borders is B6 (Tweedie 18 in T491).  I used three strands of Burmilana, two strands of Tulips, but only one of the Felicity's Garden and Tweedie as they are much heavier threads.  The shades of black move from charcoal to deep black from the center out to the tip and the different thread textures come into play in person. This is a subtle and masculine square block in many ways.

Once the black "kites" are in, you fill in the triangular shaped area with A4 (Impressions 6043).  All this went pretty fast but the fourth step, which is patterned couching, took almost as much time as the first three steps combined.  The thread that is being couched is violet A5 (Rainbow Linen R453).  It is held down with one ply each of the black B1 (Soie Crystale 0020) or C2 (DMC 758) worked in a pattern.  There are 15 rows if I remember correctly, and it is a pain to keep checking to see if I'm working the right row as the couching pattern on each row is different.  Still, hopefully I will get the other three sides of pattern couching finished tonight so I can move on to the last two steps which are going to be pretty involved.

In other Stars news:

Donna has stitched her border five times now.  But you are going to be happy with the final version!  Sometimes all that pain is worth it in the end.

Sara Leigh has redone her corner design and it looks great to me.

The biggest Stars news comes from someone who isn't stitching Stars at all.  Glenis just noticed that my photo of Stars in the left column of blog was upside down!  I looked at my copy of the book and the photo there is also upside down.  I wonder how many of the books were assembled this way?  It might have been deliberate, to showcase the design.  When Stars is finished, it won't matter whether the row we stitched first is on top or bottom.  Or it might have been a mistake in assembling the booklet.  I don't know.  It'll be fun to look at all the photos of the book cover we see online and find out if they all have Stars upside down from the way it is worked in the instructions.

Thanks, Glenis.  I've turned my photo upright.  I think you might be Tony's favorite pupil today with your careful observation.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at