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!
We just finished one series and we’re off on another scrappy adventure. Today we’re sharing Margaret Kennedy’s version of Magic Stars from the new 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.
Margaret Kennedy is from Lake Frederick, Virginia. She shares her story below.
Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia
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I was thrilled when I saw the pattern for this quilt – stars! And the illusion of circles! These are some of my favorite things in a quilt. I liked it so much that I decided to go bigger – queen size.
I had trouble seeing where one block ended and the next began, so I drafted the pattern in EQ7 to play with colors and layout.
Here’s how I colored my block. When it came time to select actual fabrics, I used many prints in each color for a scrappy look:
And putting those blocks together would give me this:
Perfectly fine. However, when I was flipping the blocks to get them into my layout, I noticed that the “curvy” parts would make all kinds of interesting, wavy shapes! I ended up with a medallion layout that I loved:
And I had some ideas for borders that I’ll show you later.
Let’s talk construction. I decided to order an Accuquilt die for the half-square triangle units that finish at 2.5″. While waiting for my die to arrive, I made the half-rectangle units. Since I didn’t have a die in the appropriate size, I used a rotary cutter and specialty template.
This pattern requires left and right units, so it is important to cut mirrored shapes. Here are my stacks of patches waiting to be assembled.
When my new die arrived, I cut the half-square triangles. Cutting with my Accuquilt system saves me time and helps me attain very accurate piecing while having just a little bit of waste. I think these are my best “shreds” ever!
Here are the stacks of cut triangles ready to be sewn. I have laid them out according to my plan. There are many different fabrics in each stack for a scrappy look.
I sewed triangle pairs into squares, and then squares into 4-patches. The 4-patches were sewn to the half-rectangle units, and the blocks assembled.
As soon as I had a few blocks done, I raced to the design wall to see how they looked. Here are some of my actual blocks in the original layout:
And here is the center of the quilt showing how twisting the blocks changes the design into a medallion.
I decided to add an inner border of pink, and an outer border made of partial units. Here are the partial units I used: 4 corner units and 12 each of the left and right partial blocks.
Side Units – Mirror Images
When I finished assembling the quilt top, I quilted an overall feather pattern with multi-colored thread. The bobbin thread matches the blue backing.
And the quilt would not be complete without its label. The Philip Jacobs print surrounding the lettering is the same one used in the middle of the light stars.
Here is the finished quilt with its inner pink border and the outer border that extends the medallion pattern.
I titled the quilt “Magic Star Twist” since I changed the design by twisting the blocks in the layout.
Margaret’s “Magic Star Twist” in its glamour shot—what a wonderful scrap quilt!
Want to make a smaller project? Here’s an idea for a table runner inspired by this quilt.
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The Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker is on newsstands now, or from our shop site in print or digital versions.
Get just the pattern for Magic Stars and start sewing instantly!
QM’s Devoted to Scraps holds great scrap quilt ideas.
Some of Quiltmaker’s best scrap quilt patterns are in Devoted to Scraps. You’ll love it!