Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Glacier Star - Class 1 of 6

This is the picture that suckered me in from the Puyallup Quilt Barn Newsletter ~

Glacier Star by Judy Niemeyer Quilting

I called on a Wednesday and signed up for a class starting on Saturday. On Thursday night I had to drive through the most ghastly traffic leaving Renton at 4 p.m. and getting to the store in Puyallup one hour later (I took back roads - it was faster than the freeway.) I picked up the cutting instructions for the first class and the first set of material so I could get it cut. I got it cut on Friday night after work and a dentist's appointment, got my supplies together and then fell into bed.

On Saturday I got up and headed for Puyallup - much faster on a Saturday morning. I could go the freeway and it took 30 minutes. The classes teach special foundation piecing techniques developed by Judy Niemeyer Quilting who also designed the patterns. The classes are taught by Certified Instructors. I have to say our instructor was wonderful - Linda Tellesbo. The classes are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a half hour for lunch. (And dinner is with Cousin Chris for five of the six classes.)

We had to narrow the stitch length and put in a different needle - and then I couldn't get my 1939 Singer Featherweight to cooperate. It would not make a stitch. I threaded the machine several times, and reinserted the bobbin a dozen times, even changed the bobbin. No luck. Then, I thought, what is different from the last time I used the featherweight - stitch length and the needle! Stitch length didn't make a difference and then I put the old needle back in and it sewed like a champ. I then tried the new needle and it sewed just fine. Obviously, the 1939 Singer doesn't get cranky and make loud noises when the needle isn't right - it just doesn't stitch.

I got to start sewing much later than every one else so I didn't get very far, but I have to say it is a wonderful way of doing foundation piecing.
Fabric is cut out using templates so there isn't as much waste and the cutting is done along the grain line. The templates have "sew here" notes so you can keep it straight.

The patterns are marked with the sewing lines in order and you use the templates in order. The Judy Niemeyer pattern looks very complicated but it has step by step instructions that are very clear when you focus on them one at a time.

There will be five more seven hour classes to go between now and December 6 with the next class on July 19th. I have a lot to get done before the next class and I am determined to have a finished quilt top on December 6th. This weekend I plan on finishing the first block above. I then have seven more to sew. Before the next class I need to cut out the patterns and templates for technique #2 and get the fabric cut and ready to put the templates on for the final cut. I still need to find the right background material for the next technique which in the first picture of the sample is the background that the flying geese go into around the center star. I found something that might do but I think I need something lighter.


  1. Hi! There are sacrifices that must be made by grandmothers! It is the best job ever though! I have seen several of these Glacier Star quilts being worked on by ladies at quilt retreats and they are gorgeous but I don't think I could talk myself into them. I am more of a scrappy quilter but do appreciate the work that goes into them. It is fun to have people commenting on my blog that live close (relatively). I have actually been to the Quilt Barn a few times.

  2. They actually can be quite scrappy which has been hard for me. So much so that I drove to Country Carriage Quilts in Des Moines last night after work (I work in Renton and live in Kent) and bought more of one kind of material so mine would have fewer different fabrics. My mind just keeps saying "co-ordinate" or "more uniform."