As the needle bends

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Judy Laquidara’s Star BOM – my way?

I’m still working on getting the badge for Judy’s Star BOM into my sidebar – gotta wait until my Resident Tech Support wakes up to get some advice from him. But that can wait. What can’t is my posting my fabric selections for the BOM, because I now have less than one week to get them sorted out, and I think I need some help. Here’s a picture of what I had gathered before this weekend.


Judy’s version is done in purples and greens. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I began collecting these fabrics around Christmas and have been looking for the proper showcase for them. I know I need to add a couple more fabrics to come up with the requisite 8 fabs for the Star BOM sampler – mostly for the backgrounds – but I’m still a little uncertain which fabrics to use in which position. Here’s Judy’s coloration of the whole design:


All I can say about the design, so far, is WOW. This design is glamorous, exciting, the perfect showcase for beautiful fabrics. But, since Judy uses mostly "reads as solid" fabrics, I am having brain-lock in trying to figure out which of my beautiful fabrics, in need of a showcase, to place in which position.

Fabric 1 – that’s the WOW in her design, and I’m still trying to decide what to use in this spot. I’m torn between a pale cream TOT or the very palest French Blue. Whichever it is, I’ll have to buy it – and whichever I choose, I’m almost guaranteed to not be able to find in the bustling metropolis down the road easily. Harrumph….. Maybe I should just use a tea-dyed muslin… NAH… I don’t think so…

Fabric 2 – the palest lavendar in her design used for setting triangles/background. I’m thinking of using the 3rd fabric from the left for this one. Since I have a bit over 3 yards of that one, quatity is not an issue. But it is a print – a tiny French blue leaf and vine on cream. Does it read as solid enough to use in this area?

Fabric 3 – that’s the medium purple in Judy’s design – used for 1/2 of the ribbon border, sashing, and the narrow framing borders. Hmmmmmm…. Here, I’m thinking of the black with sprigs of green leaves, farthest to the right in the picture.

Fabric 4 – the darkest of Judy’s purples, this one will be a major player in the blocks, the other half of the ribbon border, and the outer border. My biggest dilemma is which of the blacks to use here???? Is the paisley (second from left) too busy to use in the blocks? It is a fairly large scale print but is also a pretty busy one. There’s lots going on in that print. My other choice is to use the black/floral print here, and use the paisley as Fabric 4 in the ribbon border and outer border. But that is also a fairly large scale print. See the reason for my confusion? My mind trying to put prints this big and this bold in the place of "reads as solid" fabrics is causing a total brain-lock in my poor befuddled brain.


Yesterday, I found this fabric, which I absolutely love – but I couldn’t figure out which of the players it should be, so I just resorted to my standard technique… "Give me a yard"… Now that it’s a day later, and the sale is over, the quilt shop is moving, and I’m looking more carefully – I’m thinking I should have gotten 2 or 3 yards, so that I could use it for one of the 3 "major players" – like in place of the medium purple (Fabric 3) but I didn’t… so I guess I should figure it into one of the 4 following:

Fabric 5 – the lime-ish green in Judy’s design…

Fabirc 6 – the darker green in Judy’s design…

Fabric 7 – the paler yellow in Judy’s design… I think I’m going to use the pale gold, fifth from the left, in this spot.

Fabric 8 – the bright yellow/gold in Judy’s design. Here’s where I’m thinking of using the orange, first on the left, in this spot.

So… that leaves the two that were green in Judy’s version for me to "play with." I’m thinking of using the blue floral, above, in Fabric 5’s place, but am at a loss for the other. Since that one is only requires 5/8 yd, I probably have a blue in a batik (dark or medium???), or a green – maybe that’s what it needs – since I’ve already picked up the blues, golds, and oranges, maybe I need to dig through the stash and find a compatible green for the other… But then it’d have to be one that would "play nice" with the blue…

As I am so fond of saying, "So much fabric, so many designs…. SOOOOO LITTLE TIME!"

First I got some advice from Judy L.:

I’m SO not the one to ask. I work almost totally with tone on tones and nearly solids. I am concerned with the prints being too big because in very small pieces, it’s going to end up looking like totally different fabrics, depending on where you’re making the cut. Some of those star points are a bit small and you could end up with a black part in one point and a gold or grayish blue fabric in another point, within the same star. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it’s just hard for me to comprehend.

I love the colors together but those two larger prints scare me.


Then I solicited some advice, by email, from Tracy:

I’d use your busiest fabric there in the dark purple spot (outer border, ribbon & blocks). The other dark floral print is too loosely spaced, and you run the risk of ending up with an all-black star point and an almost-all gold star point from the same fab.

For the background of the star blocks, I’d choose one of the two lightest shades in the gold/tan/brown flowers in your loose floral print.

What about using the loose floral in the lavendar spot – as the next to outside border and setting triangles? I’m assuming that it is from the same line as the paisley, so it will coordinate well, and because it’s so loose, if it’s not used in fairly large hunks, you could run into the problem I described at first.

You could POP the fabric of the tiny sashings and the inner border (is that orange or red that I see?). Is the background of the star blocks the same as the background of the ribbon border? A pop of orange/red between the dark loose floral and a creamy/goldy/whatever would be sharp.

That takes me to the other part of the ribbon border – if that lighter purple is the same as the ribbon’s surrounding borders, the little triangles at the corners of the blocks AND the tiny sashing strips, then my brilliant idea of orange probably won’t fly, unless you implement a design decision and use a different fab just for that half of the ribbon 🙂 If part of the ribbon is paisley, then the other part can be pretty much any of the darker colors from the print. I’d probably go with the darkest of the blues or greens.

The black and the french blue prints will work well in the stars; if you need two more fabs, I’d pick my favorites (dark gold, persimmon, sage green, whatever) from the print fabrics and you’ve got your pallette.

Hmmm. Is the background of the blocks different from the background of the ribbon? If so, then you can further tie in whatever 2nd color you pick for the ribbon by choosing a really pale version of it.

Don’t worry so much about things reading as solid. What you have laid out looks like 2 prints and 4 solids. Leave the pure solids to the Amish.

Now, about that other fabric that you only bought one yard of? Nope it won’t work. In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t work for anything that you have or will ever consider. You’d better just save yourself some headache and wrap it up and send it to me.

After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing, I re-read the email, and I’m pretty sure that I love her suggestions. That “big” loose floral was one that I almost did NOT buy, because of exactly what she described, but it was part of the line and, since I didn’t have a clue when I got the fabrics, what their fate in quilting would be – I got 2 2/3 yd of that one. I’ll have to do some poking around in my stash and figure out which other colors I want to use with these – or which fabrics. I believe that I will be using the orange for the narrow borders and sashing between the blocks… But, the Good Lord knows that I have plenty of time to make that decision before this BOM is done (note to self – check the fabric requirements and pick up some more of that “Fuji Afternoon” while it’s still there :0})

Off to the races for another week.
Thanks for all the comments, advice, and fun!

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July 27, 2008 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time)


  1. I like your colorway for the STAR BOM!

    Comment by Carole | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. LOVE the fabrics you chose! Hmmm .. I know you didn’t ask – but .. the paisley or the darker background I see for the material for the setting squares ..

    LOVE that ribbon border .. that is just sensational .. i can’t wait to see what you do with this 🙂


    Comment by grace | July 28, 2008 | Reply

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