April 6, 2015: “We are stardust”

Greetings! I loved the article in yesterday’s NYTimes Sunday Review, “Our Cosmic Selves.”  It starts out:

“Joni Mitchell beat Carl Sagan to the punch.  She sang ‘we are stardust, billion-year-old carbon” in her 1970 song ‘Woodstock.”  That was 3 years before Mr. Sagan wrote about humans being made of “star-stuff” in his book, “The Cosmic Connection” – a point he would later convey to a far larger audience in his 1980 TV series, “Cosmos.”  By now, “stardust” and “star-stuff” have nearly turned cliche.  But that does not make the reality behind those words any less profound or magical: The iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones and the oxygen we breathe are the physical remains – ashes, if you will – of stars that lived and died long ago.  That discovery is relatively recent.  Four astrophysicists developed the idea in a landmark paper published in 1957.  They argued that almost all the elements in the periodic table were cooked up over time through nuclear reactions inside stars – rather than in the first instants of the Big Bang, as previously thought.”

We really are made of stardust – amazing when you stop to think about it.  And perhaps that is why I have been so obsessed with making stars these past several weeks.  I feel a profound connection with stars and the cosmos.  And I think “We are Stardust” is what I am going to call my quilt make from the 6 inch stars!

This week’s star was to use fabric that is a “foulard.”  Go to Barbara Brachman’s “Civil War Quilts” blog post of 4/1 to read about this type of fabric design popular in the 19th century.  The pattern is “offset” so that it is on the diagonal.  Here are my 2 of my 3 “foulard” stars:

If you look carefully you can see that the sprigs in the center are actually set on the diagonal (it would be easier to see if it were a larger piece of fabric).  The fabric between the star points is also a foulard if being on the diagonal is the main criteria.  And you can see I finally used 2 different fabrics in the background!

4615 blue foulard star


This star features a gold foulard in the center.  The points and background fabrics are also diagonal sets:

4615 gold foulard star


I made a third foulard but forgot to download the picture so will show it next time.  Then I made 2 “extras” just because I had to…

4615 green extra star4615 pink dargate star

Here’s what my design wall looks like now ( I took down the Improv quilt pieces to make room):

4615 designwall full

Here’s a close up of the doll quilt with the 3 1/2 inch stars.  All 12 stars are done and the next step is to sew them together and figure out what to do for a border (click to enlarge):

4615 DW doll quilt

And here are the 25 six inch blocks that I have for the “main” large quilt:

4615 DW 6%22stars

And here are the 4 inch stars that I will use for a crib quilt set on point, I think:

4615 DW 4%22stars

I have been gradually getting the red strips on the borders of Joyful Noise stitched.  I now have 3 of them stitched and here is what the top looks like laid out on the floor.  I didn’t want to take the stars off the design wall!!

4615 Joyful Noise 3 borders

Once I get the borders sewn onto the main top and miter the corners, I will stitch down the red strips so that they “criss cross” and look like this corner from another one of my quilts:

4615 quilt corner (OM #2)


I finally, after about a month break, pulled out “Spirit of Japan: The Wheel” and started to do some more hand quilting so that’s whats “in the hoop” right now:

4615 inthehoop#1

And here’s a close up:

4615 inthehoop#2

I love these authentic indigo fabrics mixed in with other authentic Japanese fabrics in shades of red, brown, and other blues.

Thank you for visiting!  Delight in the gift of life and be grateful!  Gladi


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