The Star Surround was made during a wonderful quiltalong hosted by Melissa at Happy Quilting . Melissa had such great instructions, it was an easy way to make a quilt.
To see the parade of all the lovely finished quilts, go here. It's fun to see how the different fabrics and different sized blocks change the way the design looks.
This isn't perfect, but I actually managed to quilt it myself, despite an angry shoulder. Luckily the baby isn't a quilter (yet) so she probably won't notice the rough spots and longer stitches.
One thing I did learn (note to self), is if you make a two sided quilt, you have to have a design that works on both sides, and unless you can line the two sides up perfectly, you shouldn't plan on using straight lines or things that follow the blocks of the one side if the quilting won't look right on the other side.
This swirly quilt design solved the problem and worked great for both sides.
Also, if you choose a thread that won't show much, you shouldn't be surprised to find you can't see where you are at when you are quilting and lose track! (This is Aurifil 50 wt.)
Another thing I learned is that when you use a batting that shrinks a bunch, it might be a good idea to wash the quilt after it is quilted, but before sewing the binding on. The batt I used was Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon cotton, which I used to use years ago, but I don't remember that much shrinkage (or having to quilt as close as every 2 inches).
My quilt now has little waves in the binding area that weren't there before I washed it, and the shrinking was significant (it now measures 44 1/2", but it started out at a finished 48" (in theory only since I didn't measure but it was close to that.) I do like the old fashioned crinkled look the batting gave the quilt, though.
Now I just need the baby's name to make a label.
I think this is the earliest I've ever finished a gift--the baby isn't even due until November. Boy, it sure feels good to have finally finished something! And thanks again, Melissa, for hosting such a lovely quiltalong!