Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects—great scrap quilt ideas!

QM scrap squadB3 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa RobertsonToday we’re sharing Louisa Robertson’s version of Magic Stars from the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker.

cover350opt Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Below is the original quilt, designed by Janice Averill and made in fabrics by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics. If you don’t have this issue, you can get a digital pattern for Magic Stars instantly.

magicstars450opt Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

We named it Magic Stars because the stars appear with a little hocus pocus—you don’t make stars at all.

magicstarsblock Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

This is the block. When several are set side by side, you get stars, just like magic.

Louisacropped copy 218x300 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Louisa Robertson is from Merritt, British Columbia in Canada.

Louisa, who hails from Canada and therefore spells a few words differently, shares her quilt story below.

*     *     *     *     *

Stars in circles – what fun!

What fabrics might work with this? My shelf of green fabrics was overflowing, so I decided it would be green plus something. I tried all sorts of combinations but kept coming back to a traditional Christmas palette of reds, greens, and golds.

I used fabrics in these categories:

• Greens: A narrow medium range for the centre blocks, and a wider range for the             border

• More greens: Darker, for the chains between the wreaths and in the border.

• Reds, golds and mixed whites for backgrounds.

Fabrics Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

These are some of the fabrics that “made the cut” from the stash.

The “two triangles make a rectangle” unit in this quilt is what gives the effect of the lovely curves. This unit is deceptive because the diagonal seam line seems to be in the wrong place. They aren’t right in the corners the way they’ be on a half-square triangle. As soon as you sew them to another patch, you can tell they were right on target!

long triangle unit complete 300x192 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

The seam line does not go straight to the corner until AFTER the seam allowance is taken up.

I cut these long triangles using the Tri-Recs tools.

long triangles cutting 4 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

I was careful to get triangles slanting both directions.

When we are careful to trim the pieces using the shaped tip on the triangle tool, the pieces line up correctly, as if by magic.

long triangles matching Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

That tiny shaped point helps us match the pieces precisely.

Assembing the units was challenging. The  block we construct is not what we see. I kept mixing up the pieces, so finally I composed the quilt on the design wall.

on the wall 1 296x300 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Laying out the rectangle units

I made all the units – pieced rectangles, half-square triangle units and squares, and put them in place.

on the wall 4 300x264 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Adding the triangle units


on the wall 5 300x252 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Fitting in the border pieces

When I had the pieces on the wall I could decide on fabrics for the centre of the flower.  Since I had only two small pieces of the “glow-y” orange batik fabrics, I did not cut into them until I was sure of the pieces I needed. There was just enough to cut the 20 squares, although I did have to piece one of them.

As I assembled the blocks, I found, as usual, that my stitch ripper got plenty of use!

block assembly oops 1 300x270 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Something wrong here, too.

block assembly oops 2 300x213 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Lots of potential for getting pieces the wrong way!






block 1 Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Magic Stars Block


The centre of the quilt contains blocks made according to the pattern.


border block Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

A chain of 4-patches and scrappy greens make a built-in border.



The rest of the quilt is made of edge blocks.



Sashing strips are pieced of five squares each. A border made up of another row of squares extends the design.

quilting close up Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Quilted with a holly and poinsettia panto and bright thread. There are some very old fabrics here (and some new ones)!

Binding: Should it be red? Dark green? Medium green? Gold? I decided on medium green with a red accent – influenced only slightly, I am sure, by the fact that I already had a stack of red strips the correct width, cut for the little Four Patches, then set aside because I made design decisions as I went and decided to make those dark green instead.


quilt complete Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath is 63″ square. I finally have the Christmas quilt I’ve always intended to make but never did, because I usually get an inspiration in December, and that is too late!

I love my quilt. I realize, however, that some of the stars got lost along the way. I might have to make another version of this. Let’s see, I think I have a bit of fabric somewhere…


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9 Responses to Great Scrap Quilt Ideas: Louisa Robertson

  1. I absolutely love the way you tweaked the design! It’s quite unique. The checked border is a nice addition. I love your Christmas quilt!

  2. Liz Engman says:

    This is definitely a “Wow!” version of the design. To me, though, at first sight, it looked very “Southwest” instead of Christmas. Then I went back and read the commentary. I still think it would be awesome with this arrangement and with a bit more turquoise….

  3. Becky says:

    I love seeing the different patterns that emerge by changing up the color scheme! Fun Christmas quilt!

  4. Claudia says:

    Very nice. Can’t decide if those are Christmas cookies/cakes on plates, candles on doilies on plates, or what–but I like it. Good job.

  5. Karlene says:

    I love the way you changed this. How lovely it will be to use during the Christmas season.

  6. Peg Spradlin says:

    I love! what your edge blocks did for the overall look of the quilt. Great job.

  7. Aunt Marti says:

    Louisa, love your Christmas stars!

  8. Anne says:

    Love it! Your ingenuity inspires me. And don’t apologize for “losing” some of the stars. The pieced border framing complete stars is the part I like the best.

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