The Star Block Exchange Quilt('94).

Pattern: Self-designed, full size. I had joined a block exchange through rec.arts.quilting (?), yes, over the Internet. The rules were to make 12 blocks of a "STAR" block to send to 12 other participants. You would then receive 12 different STAR blocks to make a quilt out of. I don't think I got all 12 in the end, so I designed the quilt around the best 8. Once I started receiving the blocks, I realized I had overlooked the obvious--making a STAR block out of STAR fabric! I had just used any old fabric. So I used STAR fabric in the rest of the quilt.

I drew many possible layouts on paper before reaching this one. I had to incorporate the signature blocks as well, which were 1.5" squares labelled with the creator's name and block title (for example, the yellow square below the blue/maroon block). I really like the colored square motif that leads and blends from one block to the next. Luckily I had fabric already in my stash that pretty closely matched the fabric in the blocks, so I didn't have to buy extra fabric for the colored square motif (you quilters know the sense of accomplishment that brings). The blue blocks on the four sides were added later when I decided the edges needed something extra. I think this is my most unusual and most creative quilt.

Fabric: Cotton, with a 200-thread count sheet as backing. Not only do high thread count sheets feel nicer than coarse cotton, you can buy them in bedspread sizes! Unlike 45" fabric which you have to piece together for a backing--what a pain! The small-print background fabric has thin lines of gold paint on it, which have tarnished to a green. I would keep this in mind if I were to use a metallic print again. It is not noticeable unless you look closely at it. Perhaps OK on a large quilt, but maybe not on a pillow, which would get more scrutiny.

Batting: Traditional thin cotton. I was sold on cotton batting after making this quilt. Thick tied quilts are hard to tug and pull around yourself while you're lying in bed--thin quilts are more like thick sheets. This quilt also folds so flat you wouldn't believe it. It washes very nicely.

Notes: Hand quilted.