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Archive for the ‘window star’ Category

Here it is…the final week of The Summer of Color challenge that is being hosted by Kristen at Twinkle Like a Star. This has been such a wonderful project, and helped motivate me to:

– do some projects that I’ve wanted to do for a long time,
– create new window star patterns,
– try existing window star patterns in different colors, and
– make a quilt.

Projects I’ve Wanted to Do

I did several embroidery projects during the weeks when the featured color was pink and green.

Embroidered Greeting Cards
Pink hand-embroidered greeting cards.

Embroidered Dala Horse
Green hand-embroidered Dala horse and tree.
They can be used as ornaments or tags.
For the Blue Week, I did some sewing projects – a bunting and tablecloth.
Blue Bunting Close Up
Blue bunting.

Puzzle Tablecloth
Tablecloth that I made by tracing puzzle pieces
onto pieces of fabric. Each are hand-cut and then ironed onto
the white fabric using an iron-on adhesive.

Create New Window Star Patterns as well as Use Existing Patterns to Make Window Stars in New Colors

For many of the weeks, I enjoyed making window stars in a variety of colors. It was fun to create new patterns and see what the new window star would turn out like.

Trio of Purple Window Stars
Trio of purple window stars.
The pattern on the bottom is one I created.

Equally exciting for me was to see what window stars look like in different colors using patterns that I normally use.

Trio of Brown Window Stars
Trio of brown window stars.

Two orange window stars.
I’ve made these patterns before, but never in orange.
The pattern on the left is one I’ve used before, and
the pattern on the right is a new one I created.

Two yellow window stars. The pattern on the left is one I created
and the one on the right is one I’ve made in different colors
but never in yellow until The Summer of Color challenge.

Creating a Quilt

My on-going project during the summer was a quilt. Each week, after the color was assigned, I created two quilt blocks that were about 11 1/2″ square. Each square included seven different patterns of fabric – to represent the seven days of the week.

My goal was to use only fabric, thread, and batting that I had on hand.  This wasn’t a challenge when I was doing the squares – it seemed like I had plenty of fabric to choose from.

WIP - The Summer of Color Quilt
Five weeks’ worth of quilt squares.

However, once I got to the backing and batting, it became a bit more difficult. I didn’t have either the fabric or batting in the size I needed for the quilt. So, I had to piece both elements together to create the quilt.

The batting needed to be hand-sewn in order to attach each piece to one another (there were three pieces of batting used). For the quilt back, I used one of Sophia’s floral-print sheets and cut about a six-inch section off the end.

By cutting that in length-wise and sewing the pieces together, I was able to create enough fabric to sew to the other piece…thereby creating a quilt backing.

Quilt squares bordered by 3″ white fabric strips.
The white fabric strips are from
bed linens that were discarded from a hotel.
I washed the sheets and was able
to use the fabric to make the quilt.

What I like about the quilt is that it is made entirely from fabric, thread, and batting that I had on hand. I didn’t have to purchase anything to make it!

The Summer of Color quilt that I made
during June-August 2011.
Lots of color will be welcome during the middle of winter
when the landscape is all white and
the temperature is well below zero.
Sophia, Olivia, and I will use this
soft, colorful quilt when
we homeschool and read together.
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For those of you who also have been participating in The Summer of Color and/or who are following along each week, thank you for all the positive comments about what I’ve made each week. Thanks to

During the challenge, I’ve enjoyed creating a variety of window stars and quilt squares in each of the featured colors. The encouraging and uplifting comments have been such day-brighteners for me!  Thank you! 

I’ve been enjoying seeing the creativity and beautiful items that the participants create each week. It’s amazing how diverse all the items are even though we are all using the same color. 

For this week, Kristin assigned the color orange. So, I made two orange window stars that have 16 points each.  Each star is made with a special translucent paper that lets the sun’s light shine through and illuminate the pattern.

Orange Sunburst Star with 16 Points
Orange window star to brighten a room.

This past week I had an interesting thing happen: a hummingbird visited one of the window stars I made that had four colors in it: red, orange, yellow, and pink.

It hovered around the window star for quite a while which was such a treat to see!

Autumn Window Star
I’m wondering if the hummingbird will come back
this week and visit the window stars.

I added a couple more orange stars on August 2nd:

I usually don’t make a lot of orange window stars,
but the summer sun seems to make the patterns more defined.

I finished two more quilt squares so there are now 16 squares ready to be made into a quilt. 

Two quilt squares in orange-patterned fabric.

I’m beginning to think about how to put all the squares together into The Summer of Color Quilt. I’m committed to only using what I have on hand, and it looks like white is the color of fabric that I have the most of – so that will (most likely) be the background of the front of the quilt (in between each of the squares).

The back side of the quilt will be the twin sheet that my daughter no longer uses. It’s a very soft cotton with a high thread count.

It has images of lavender pale lavender violets with a plum- and yellow-color center.  There are 1-2 leaves behind each flower.

With purple and green as my favorite colors, this seemed to be the best piece of fabric for the backing.

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Here it is Week 7 of The Summer of Color challenge. This week’s color is one of my favorite ones: purple (another favorite color of mine is green). 

When I was growing up, my bedroom was all purple – the walls, the carpet, and even the decorative stenciling at the top of the walls near the ceiling. Anything I made for the room – a quilt, a picture, a pillow – had something purple in it. 

Needless to say, I was excited to work with purple this week, and made some window stars.  Two of the stars are created from patterns that I have used regularly.

The sun was so bright in the afternoon
which revealed the patterns in each of the window stars.

The third pattern (the star on the bottom in the picture above) is one that I designed a couple weeks ago. I’ve been playing around with the pattern in different colors (solo and color combinations).

This is the newest pattern that I created.

A bit about the window stars: the translucent paper is cut into small pieces for each of the points. I hand-fold each of the points multiple times and then glue the points together. Once all of the points are attached, the pattern of the star is revealed.

Some of the stars are easy. For example, the star on the upper right has only five folds per point (with ten points, that’s 50 folds to make the star).

It took 50 folds to make this star.

Other stars are a bit more complicated. The star on the upper left in the picture above has 10 folds per point. It has 8 points, so that’s 80 folds to make the star.

The most complicated star I make has 26 folds per point and 8 points. That’s 208 folds to make one window star. 

The other project I’ve been working on for The Summer of Color challenge is a quilt. As I’ve mentioned before, each week I make two quilt squares that feature the color of the week. Each square has seven strips of fabric of varying widths to represent a 7-day week.

Two quilt squares done in 7 different patterns and shades of purple.
Two of the fabrics have “glittery” and “sparkly” elements –
the bonus challenge of the week.

All the fabric I’m using is from what I have on hand. I am committed to not purchasing any new supplies or materials to make the quilt.  I think of all the quilts that my grandma and mom made using fabric that was available. They made do with what they had rather than always purchasing new supplies.

Thought this would be a good time to challenge myself to make do with what I have rather than acquiring new fabric (however much I would enjoy going to a fabric store and picking beautiful material that is all color- and pattern-coordinated).

14 squares done…2 more to go!
Eenie (the cat) watched me lay out the squares.
I know he wanted to jump on them and mess them up.
He was a good cat…he showed some restraint….at least this time.

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This month the Unique Women in Business team is doing a Blog Hop focused on Summer Fun.  With temperatures in the 90s (some close to 100 degrees) and dew points in the 70s it feels like it’s quite tropical here in Minnesota.

For me, having fun during the summer means having some flexibility to do things I enjoy doing since the homeschooling schedule is a bit more relaxed compared to the September-May time period. 

During June and July, I’ve been able to make new window star patterns. Here’s a design that I created recently:

Window star in summer colors.
Window stars are available in my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

The window star that is pictured above reminds me of sunsets and sunrises in colors I typically see in the summer. There have been some spectacular ones that have colored the entire sky in shades of these colors.  I am always in awe of the incredible natural beauty that surrounds me.

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Today, I was teaching a friend of my daughters how to sew since she wants to learn how to make her own clothes. The first project I had her do was a little bag with an attached tie.

There were no measurements for this pattern – it was simply an idea presented in a book.  So I showed her how to estimate and create the dimensions for each of the pieces.  By the time she was done sewing her first bag, she had learned some fundamental sewing skills…and felt very happy with what she made.

After seeing the bag (and trying out the pattern I’ve wanted to do for some time now), I made a couple of bags after she left and changed the proportions slightly. 

Two bags that I made.
The bags are a great way to use fabric and ribbon scraps. I’ve made re-usable gift bags using only one color of fabric for birthdays and Christmas.
As I made these bags, I thought they would be good to use for the girls in their backpacks or when traveling. By making the bags in a variety of different sizes and patterns, one’s suitcase, purse, or backpack could be much more organized.
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Last, having fun during the summer means being able to enjoy nature up close. Today I enjoyed watching a bird take a bath in the birdbath in the backyard. For several minutes, it cleaned its feathers…tossing the water in the air and under its wings.
That, in itself, would have made me happy today. But…I woke up this morning and found that two of the butterflies we’ve been raising since they were caterpillars had emerged from their cocoons.
Around 11:25 a.m., the third butterfly was born and we were able to watch its wings unfold, dry, and be strong enough to fly. What an amazing process!
The girls (and Eenie) watching two of the
newly-born butterflies.

After lunch, we released the butterflies in the backyard. The black tiger swallowtails flew off immediately. One flew right to the purple flowers in the butterfly garden in the backyard where it visited lots of flowers while its wings beat quickly.

The butterfly was flapping its top wings so quickly
(thus, the picture is blurry on the top).
It was such a joy to be able to watch them
change from caterpillars to butterflies during July.

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I can’t believe this is already Week 6 of The Summer of Color challenge. This week’s color is red; and I did a couple of things with this color.

First, I made two red window stars. They are made from translucent paper that lets the light shine through so the pattern of the star is revealed. 

Two red origami window stars.

The 8-pointed star with the sharp points is folded 9 times per point. With eight points, it is folded 72 times before it is glued together.

The other star I made is folded 19 times per point. With 8 points, it is folded 152 times before being glued together.

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I also made two quilt squares this week. There are twelve squares now…the quilt is coming along.

Two red quilt squares. Seven different fabrics are used for each square
to represent seven days in the week.

As I mentioned last week, I’m using only fabric that I have on hand for the quilt. I’m not purchasing anything new. It’s definitely one of the most resouceful, “make do” quilts I’ve made. Only four more weeks left – or eight quilt squares – before I’m able to start arranging them and laying out the quilt top. 

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Although the red isn’t as vivid on this little bird as it is on adult robins, it fits the challenge of incorporating something winged into your work (in this case, a quick photo).

I was walking to the garden on Friday afternoon, and a ball of feathers moved on the ground.  A baby robin had fallen from its nest.

Baby robin on the ground.

It was quiet for a while, but very curious and eager to be fed.

When I moved the camera a bit closer,
it opened its mouth slowly to be fed.
After a call to the wildlife rehabilitation center, they said that it would be fine to pick up the bird and put it back in the nest if it had not already flown back up to the nest. Birds have a very weak sense of smell, so there’s not a problem with the mother rejecting the baby.
By the time I went back outside, the baby bird had flown back into the nest. I felt so lucky to have been able to see the young bird at this stage of its life. Normally, the robin nests are so high and well-protected that the young ones are not visible until they are fully-grown.

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I’ve been enjoying the past four weeks of The Summer of Color challenge. Week 5 is no different.  This week’s color is brown, and I made three origami window stars as well as completed two more squares for my Summer of Color quilt.

Window stars that I made with brown translucent paper.
Each of the star points is folded multiple times and glued. Then, the points are attached to one another to reveal the window star’s pattern.
I’ve made this pattern before, but never in brown.
It’s interesting how different color paper
can completely change the look and feel of the window stars.

The sun was particularly bright on Sunday afternoon. With a 68% humidity level and temperature in the upper 80s, it felt quite tropical outside. And, to think, about two months ago there was snow on the ground. With the sun so bright, it almost makes the window star points glow.

This would be a good window star to
put up around autumn or Thanksgiving.
The quilt is coming along. I have ten 12-inch squares done which is good.
Ten quilt squares are done.
My goal is to use only fabric that I have on hand rather than buying new fabric.
For each of the quilt squares, there are seven different fabrics used.
Seven represents the number of days in the week.
I’d like to use the fabric that I’ve had for some time now and put it to good use.
This is not the order the squares will be in for the quilt.
I’m going to have a plain-colored piece of fabric in between each
row and column to break up the squares.
(Yes, that’s a dog nose in the upper right hand corner of the picture.
Montague is resting near the quilt squares.)

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I’ve been enjoying the past three weeks of The Summer of Color challenge. Week 4 is no different.  This week’s color is yellow, and I made two origami window stars. 

Both of the window stars use some of the folds that I regularly use in the suncatchers I make, but each one is my own design.

The star on the left side is folded 11 times per point. With 8 points, that’s 88 folds to make the star. The suncatcher on the right side is folded 17 times per point. With 8 points, it is folded 136 times.

By playing around a bit with the size of the paper used for each point, the way that the points are folded, and then the final arrangement of the points – it’s possible to create a variety of different suncatchers.

I’m also working on a multi-week/multi-color quilt. Each quilt square will have a variety of fabric prints all in one color.  For each week of The Summer of Color challenge, I’m making two quilt squares.  Nothing fancy…just 7 rows of fabric of various widths. The final size of each quilt square is 12 inches x 12 inches. 

By the time the challenge is done, I’ll have 20 fabric squares – enough to make a nice size quilt while using up scraps of fabric.

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