I have been working hard for months to prepare for my next quilt along, and today I am thrilled to be able to share my most recent finish: Diatom!
I tested the 4 fabric, star setting, twin size version of the pattern. The quilt finished at 72″ wide by 96″ tall (6 feet wide by 8 feet tall).
Based on previous experience, my husband requested that I stop making quilts larger than 72″ square if I wanted him to hold them for me for quilt photoshoots. Oops! Thankfully Debby from A Quilter’s Table has shared how she and her husband navigate these tricky quilt holding situations: using pinned on pockets to the upper corners on the back of the quilt and paint roller handles. We didn’t have any paint roller handles, but we found some small metal tubing in the garage that worked well for my husband. We even lucked out and had a low wind morning out here in the desert and spent an enjoyable morning at Red Rock Canyon State Park.
I used Northcott Premium ColorWorks Solids in Cloud Nine (lightest), Lapis, Royal, and After Midnight (darkest). You know I’m a sucker for all the blues, and after several quilts this year in warmer color palettes, it was a joy to work with my favorite color to test out the Diatom quilt along pattern.
It was during my piecing of Diatom that I paused to reconsider my suggested four-at-a-time flying geese sizes, and I hope that everyone benefits from my sharing my updated knowledge; not just those who participate in this upcoming quilt along.
Speaking of the quilt along: there are two setting options and two size options: the star setting (shown above) and the postage stamp setting (shown below).
The Diatom quilt along is a great skill builder pattern. The pattern is comprised of twelve fun star blocks and they are made using combinations of standard piecing techniques and half-square triangles, hourglass blocks, flying geese, square-in-a-square blocks, and stitch and flip blocks. There will be no paper piecing, appliqué, or advanced sewing techniques (such as Y seams).
The pattern is written at a confident beginner (Star Setting Throw, Star Setting Twin, and Postage Stamp Twin) or intermediate level (Postage Stamp Throw). The Postage Stamp setting layouts require sewing drunkard’s path curves, and the reason I suggest the Postage Stamp Throw is at an intermediate level is due to smaller 3″ finished drunkard’s path blocks (the twin uses 6″ finished which are larger and more confident beginner friendly).
In addition, the Diatom pattern is written to use a fat quarter bundle (with 24 or more FQs in the bundle) for the star blocks along with coordinating background and star point yardage. A few fun options are illustrated above.
I quilted my Star Setting Twin size version of Diatom with a 3″ spaced crosshatch grid using 50wt Aurifil 2740 (Dark Cobalt). After the crosshatch quilting was complete, I added a few extra diagonal lines to create “ghost” sawtooth star shapes in the squares between the blocks. It’s a subtle addition, but I really like how it echoes the shapes in the quilt top and leaves the quilt soft and pliable. I think this must be the least densely quilted quilt I have finished in many years!
Basting the Diatom quilt took up pretty much all of the floor space in my studio, as you can see in the photo above. I couldn’t resist snapping the photograph to include the brilliant rainbow being cast by a large prism that my husband’s grandfather gifted us many years ago.
To make enough room to baste the quilt, I simply rolled the carpet (which lives in front of my design wall) up and rotated my ironing station cart out of the way to free up floor space. As you can see in the photo above, I used North Premium ColorWorks Solids in After Midnight for the backing. I also used After Midnight for the binding.
After basting the Diatom quilt, I moved my ironing station to be perpendicular to my sewing machine. I love how easy it is to reconfigure my studio to serve my current needs! By having the ironing station to my left, it helped hold up the bulk of the quilt weight as I quilted.
I had a lot of fun making this version of Diatom, but I am really looking forward to making a second version with you during the upcoming Diatom quilt along! I plan to make the Postage Stamp Setting Throw version during the quilt along. I’ll be sharing a LOT more details about the Diatom quilt along next Monday, November 14th, when pre-sales open.