I got super inspired for this quilt basically when I saw the starry fabric. I dug out navy and yellow scraps and made some borders for the large piece of starry fabric, then used mostly yellows with a strips of blues for the back. So the front could be night and the back day. When I started this back in 2009 (!) I actually called it Night and Day.
I knew I wanted a large focal point that was quilted much like a wholecloth quilt is. I then decided it would be a mariner’s compass design. I looked up a bunch of tutorials on how to draw this mariner’s compass, including making a compass from a pencil and a piece of string. I used chalk to draw the lines on my quilt.
For the straight lines, I used a walking foot and navy thread. This also helped stabilize the quilt. To form the dark and light effect, I quilted with yellow thread on one side of each point and navy on the opposite side. The quilting technique I used is called McTavishing. Love it! I got pretty good at it by the end.
For the background of the compass in the sky, I did a regular stipple, in navy thread. I wanted the central focal point to stand out and the background to fade away.
In the narrow yellow border, I did a rope design – much like a ship would have. The wider blue border I had no ideas for so I’ve left them empty. I can always go back and fill them in. The binding is more scraps of blue and yellow.
You see, I did this quilt for two reasons: my grandfather and my granddaughter. My grandfather was a ship builder. Our home town is by the sea and the ocean is in our blood. On a clear night, I will look up to the sky and find Orion to orient myself.
My granddaughter love space. She insists I help her look up space videos on youTube and find out what the Mars Rover is doing. She talks about spaceships and maybe when she’s bigger she can go to space and visit other planets. In her lifetime this may be possible.
So – from ships on the sea to space ships in the sky, the stars will guide them home.
This quilt is just for me – not for sale, not for any reason but to pay homage to the travellers in our family and the stars in the sky.