top of page

Foundation piecing: why I should have paid attention in geometry class.

Project number three from Deena Rutter's Offshore 2: I literally can not help myself! It's too darn cute and it's sooooo cold outside, how can you not be dreaming of the beach? Okay, full disclosure: We're in Alabama, it's not really that cold. But other people are cold and how can we not think of other people first? That's what my Dad always taught us to do.

Speaking of Harry, that's his chair behind our pillow. I was thinking about him a lot while working on this project. Only fitting we should photograph his chair.

He was a sailor, so of course that, but more because of the woody station wagons that I fussy cut into those star points.

We had six kids in our family so a station wagon was a given...until the summer of 1967 when my Dad came home from work in a brand new dark green Corvette. Yes, six kids, a wife who didn't drive and a Corvette. We said goodbye to our woody station wagon and began going to church in three trips. Thank goodness seat belt laws were pretty lax back then or it would have been four trips. Looking back, he must have had a really good commission check and a mid life crisis that month.

Sadly, the Corvette didn't last long. We lived in Buffalo, NY. By the time the first snow fell the Corvette had moved on to someone else's mid life crisis and we were back to a station wagon.

Back to Harry's desk chair. It sat in the front window of our living room and he often made his phone calls there. When I look at it now, I see him sitting there. I'm not even sure when it came to me but I love having it and it seemed a fitting place to prop our pillow.

This is a foundation paper pieced pattern that we've decided to call the Surfer's Star. When I was looking at star and compass blocks I chose this because the center piece was large enough to have a nice fussy cut piece. It's important to use a block that matches the scale of the art in the fabric. When the block parts are too small you lose too much of the design.

This block is 16" before I added the dark blue 2" border. It finishes as a 20" pillow. The front was quilted with a muslin back and then sewn to a square of aqua canvas and stuffed.

If I hadn't been such an abysmal geometry student I would have realized the sheer folly of using a plaid on these irregular angles. I thought it would make me a bit crazy that the plaid didn't match but I got over it.

If you're game to try out a block here's the FREE download.

One note on fabric: The large pieces (blue plaid and turtle fabric) were cut out of fat quarters that I had used some of in the Beach Row quilt, but I had plenty to work with.

I hope you find Deena's fabric as charming as we did and make something wonderful!

Smooth sailing,


bottom of page