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!
Today we’re sharing Louisa Robertson’s version of Magic Stars from the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker.
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.
We named it Magic Stars because the stars appear with a little hocus pocus—you don’t make stars at all.
This is the block. When several are set side by side, you get stars, just like magic.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Laying out the rectangle units
I made all the units – pieced rectangles, half-square triangle units and squares, and put them in place.
Adding the triangle units
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!
Something wrong here, too.
Lots of potential for getting pieces the wrong way!
Magic Stars Block
The centre of the quilt contains blocks made according to the pattern.
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.
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.
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…