Friday, January 8, 2010

Mexican Star Wall Hanging

Early December brought this year's Homemade Gift Exchange party. I've known about the party all year long and have thought and thought about what I wanted to make. Towards the beginning of the year I seriously contemplated making a twin-sized quilt. Haha! That would have been too, too much.

I decided to make what I thought was called a Mexican Wedding Star. I made one when I was first married from materials that I thought were beautiful. The material was beautiful, but too many dark colors all together. I pieced the star on my own and it shows! Haha! I was quite the novice. The seams are all off. Squares that should be the same size are 1/4 to 3/4 inches off from one another. My borders are not straight at all. But hey! My points all lined up. :)

"Mexican Wedding Star"

I've wanted to redo this wall hanging for twelve years now. However, I was just too nervous to give it a try. So I kept putting it off. The reason? I wasn't sure what colors I wanted to use and this is a very special quilt pattern to me with a lot of history. I wanted the next one I made to be perfect and look gorgeous hanging in my home.

The Gift Exchange provided the answer. I could make a wall hanging, experiment with colors, and then give it away to someone who would love it. Kind of a practice round. :)

I made a master drawing of the block, then began figuring out what size the pieces were supposed to be, as opposed to the sizes they actually were. Thank goodness Geometry is one of my strong points. However, consistency was not a strong point of mine when first quilting. My pieces were so wonky! Haha! After slaving away on my master drawing, figuring out most of the pieces, but still wondering if I was on target, a light bulb went off in my head. And I felt really dumb.

My Mom has the actual pattern!!! With the exact sizes!!!

After kicking myself for a few minutes, I called my Mom. Turns out the quilt is called "Mexican Star". My Mom called it the Mexican Wedding Star because she made them for all of her nephews when they got married. The pattern was designed by Georgia Bonesteel. (It doesn't look like any of the Mexican Star patterns I've seen online. I like Georgia's pattern best.) It's made using templates. I don't like templates unless I'm doing applique'. Oh well. My Mom, bless her heart, measured each piece for me. Most of the measurements she gave me matched up with the measurements I had figured out. That was a relief. And here it is:

The pieces all laid out, ready to be sewn.
(That's Mr. J's arm trying to grab my pieces.)

The Finished Top with Borders

The Finished Back

I tried to machine quilt it, but just made a mess. After unpicking and trying again four times, I opted to hand quilt it. I could have added more quilting to the borders. Maybe next time. Overall, I think it turned out very good.

Since we're back in Arizona, I made Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing as my treat to share at the Gift Exchange. They were delicious! I love Carrot Cookies.

At the end of the Gift Exchange, I came home with this cute item. I plan on hanging it in my girls room. They are thrilled with that decision! :)

1 comment:

Christina said...

It turned out great! I love the colors you chose, although I think you are being pretty rough on yourself because the first one looks great to me too.

I have several holiday quilts that I made when I first started quilting and every year I pull them out and almost get embarrased by them. Then I remind myself that I had to start somewhere and they make me happy because they show me how far I've come (although I still have a very long way to go!).

Oh, and I love the gift you came home with. What is it made out of?