I was reading Moda, the Cutting Table this past weekend and learned about a sew along in which I just have to participate. Carrie Nelson, of Miss Rosie fame, is now working for Moda (talk about a dream job...) and one of her responsibilites is writing the Cutting Table blog. If you don't follow it, I know you'd love it. Her style of writing is terrific, and who wouldn't like to know what Carrie is up to and what's new in the world of fabric?
What I learned from reading The Cutting Table, is that Barbara Brackman, the historian, Civil War fabric expert and Moda fabric designer is hosting a sew along on her blog Civil War Quilts. She calls it Stars in a Time Warp Sew Along and is using her stash of Reproduction fabrics to make at least two Sawtooth Star blocks each week for a year. At the end of the year, she will share various setting suggestions, and everyone should have over one hundred six inch Sawtooth Star blocks in Reproduction fabrics to make a quilt. Make fewer blocks, make a smaller quilt, make more, make a circus tent, it's all good.
The fun thing is, each week on Wednesday, she is going to focus on a different color or style of Reproduction fabric. Her first week was all about Turkey Red fabrics. She shared examples and some really fascinating information about antique fabrics. Barbara is a dedicated historian and gives you facts not just on fabric, but on the society and culture of the time them fabric was popular.
So, not only do you get the encouragement to make a couple of blocks each week, but you learn something new. For instance, did you know that with antique quilts, there is a big problem of brown dye rotting away when in contact with an iron? A fabric with a brown dot may have just the brown dots rot away, leaving holes with the batting peeking through. Weird, but problematic and true. Something to do with the chemicals used in brown dye.
Now, if Reproduction fabrics aren't your thing, no big deal. These little Sawtooth Star blocks would be amazing in any fabrics you pull from your stash. The scrappier the better. Talk about a stash buster. Dig into your French Generals, your Bonnie and Camilles, your Fig Trees, your Cotton and Steel (whoa, can you see it?). The sky is the limit, and it will all be great in the end. And you know what? The block cutting instructions work great for charm packs. Seriously? What is holding you back?
If anyone does make this sew along with Cotton and Steel fabric, you have got to send me a picture. Oh dear, maybe I will have to make two Sawtooth Star quilts...