Thursday, 27 November 2014

Kaleidoscope Stars {Finished!}

Five weeks ago I started a quilty journey that very quickly turned into a bit of an obsession. I haven't counted properly, but I think I've probably spent close to 100 hours working on this quilt. It was worth every single second though - I am SO happy with how it has finished up!


No fancy photo shoot with this quilt I'm afraid, I was too impatient to share it ;o) Hopefully the ridiculous number of photos in this post will give you a pretty good idea of what it looks like anyway!


Almost all the star fabrics in this quilt are from various collections by the hugely talented Jenean Morrison. Her fabric designs are just perfect for fussy cutting, and it was lots of fun creating kaleidoscope effects with them. This quilt is vaguely made using Jaybird Quilts Night Sky pattern - although there are only a few Night Sky blocks sprinkled around the quilt. The rest were made using Julie's Sidekick ruler (which is PERFECT for fussy cutting), but simplified so they don't include the outer star points in the Night Sky blocks. I also mucked around with different sized stars - some are bigger and some smaller than Julie's pattern.


Having the stars different sizes was the perfect way to incorporate lots of quilting into the quilt, too. I added 2 1/2" borders to the small and medium sized stars to bring them up to the same size as the biggest ones. The way I pieced it made it very easy to plan my quilting too - and it meant I did very little marking too as I could just use the borders to guide my quilting. I went all out with the quilting on this quilt, and I am delighted with the results. I feel like I'm a lot more relaxed when I'm quilting lately - I don't need to focus on what I'm doing as much anymore, so it is a very meditative thing to do. The only problem is how sore my shoulders get after quilting a quilt this densely ;o)


I quilted all the negative space first (using 40wt Aurifil in 2021) and then went back and quilted the stars using matching thread. I toyed with the idea of leaving some of the 'borders' around the stars unquilted, but ultimately decided to quilt it all - and I'm really happy with that decision. I think it would have looked a bit weird to have sections unquilted amongst all the dense quilting, and I'm not sure it would have worked all that well once it was washed (something I still need to do, along with blocking it). It does make the background a little busy, but because the thread matches the solid (Cotton Couture in soft white) so well, I don't think it distracts from the stars too much. Plus the quilting is a really important design element on this quilt.


The back is an amazing print from Parisville by Tula Pink - I had just enough for the back, but not enough to match the print unfortunately. I suspect this one will hang on a wall though, so I'm not too phased (and it's the kind of print that isn't horribly noticeable when it isn't matched). I love, love, love how much the quilting shows up on the back - I used a bobbin thread matched to the top thread, and even though there are lots of different colours in there, they all blend into the print.


I used 100% wool batting in this quilt - and I am completely in love with using it. I've gradually been working my way up in terms of the loft of batting I use as I've become more confident with my quilting, and I love how much texture wool gives to quilting. I don't think I'll go back to lower loft batting now I've tried this stuff.


The stars themselves are quite sparsely quilted - I used the fabric design as a guide for the quilting in most of them, and simply stitched around some of the designs to add a bit of dimension to the stars, but still letting them pop a bit.







 Quilt Stats:

Size - 72" x 75"
Fabric - Lots of Jenean Morrison prints, along with a few Joel Dewberry and Amy Butler prints. Background is Cotton Couture in Soft White. 
Quilting - on my domestic Bernina, using a variety of Aurifil threads (40wt in the background, 50wt in the stars). 
Backing - Damask Dot from Parisville by Tula Pink
Binding - Cotton Couture in Soft White. 

Huge thanks to all of my IG peeps for your amazing encouragement during the making of this quilt (and for putting up with almost daily updates!!) As cliched as it sounds, I have loved every single second of making this - but at the same time I am relieved it is done. I have an FMQ tutorial I need to put together, and get back to working on my other projects!!

I'm linking up with Gemma's iQuilt linky party and Crazy Mom Quilts :o)

xx Jess 

46 comments:

Oops-Lah said...

I think this is one of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen; the quilting is just exquisite! And you made it in record time too. Congratulations, bravo, and well done!

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

It is truly stunning Jess! It has been amazing watching the quilt come together and watching you quilt it!

pennydog said...

It's beautiful without any fancy photography :)

Peaches1003 said...

Well done!! It is beautiful. What an achievement

Ruth said...

you certainly went all out with the quilting - it looks fantastic - in awe here with every photo!

Frederique said...

Wow, just gorgeous! Your quilting is very beautiful
I'm running a fabric giveaway, would you like to enter?
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Charlotte said...

O_O

treadlemusic said...

"Galaxies" would also work for a title!! You did a beautiful job on this one for sure!!! I've found that even though I'm super comfortable with my FMQ, I become so focused and "deep into it"/the process that I just don't move a muscle in my shoulders....hence some soreness at the end of the day. Nothing that lingers but definitely there. One question......What is the dimension of the larger blocks (that dictated the borders needed to be added to the smaller)??? I love stars and will try to pull a similar pattern together for myself. Hugs...............

Michele said...

Wow! Oh wow! It truly is gorgeous. Nicely done.

Leanne said...

This quilt is stunning. You are truly now an expert quilter - I love both the beauty of your quilting and the way you chose and used your designs. It is one to show off, I love all the photos.

Toohey said...

Just gorgeous! I've been following along on IG and it's been fun and interesting seeing your decisions. I can't believe you used your domestic machine for this! Fantastic.

ann said...

This is beautiful! I love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

Ella said...

Just going to sign with contentment at being able to see such a beautiful quilt. It's a stunner!

Yaharalady said...

Wow! This is gorgeous. Love the design, fabric and quilting. I hope you enter this in a quilt show. It needs to be seen alot.

weavinfool said...

What a fabulous quilt. I am inspired to try one. It just sings to me.

Newbie Jen said...

Jess, it is absolutely amazing! I hope to see it hanging in a show soon!

felicity said...

Indeed this is a masterpiece! Congratulations on this achievement - it's absolutely and completely stunning. I adore all the different motifs you chose for the quilting, and how beautifully they all work together. I'm so glad you included so many photos because I really just can't get enough of this amazing quilt - I loved seeing all the different angles and views. Amazeballs.

Patchwork and Play said...

There are probably not enough superlatives to describe this quilt! I agree- it's a stunning masterpiece Jess! I am generally not a fan of dense quilting but the variety you have used gives it such sparkle! Congratulations this is an absolute winner!

Mystic Quilter said...

Absolutely superb!! Your quilting is magnificent and I couldn't believe that it was done on a domestic Bernina. I have carried out simple quilting on mine but could never attempt anything on this scale -you are to be congratulated!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Stunning! The stars are very cleverly pieced- I must have a closer look at Jenean M's fabrics next time I want to do a bit of fussy cutting. And your quilting is simply amazing! Linda

Willit Neverend said...

I've been trying not to spend too much time on the computer recently, so I've been avoiding checking out all my favourite blogs, but when I saw the picture of this quilt in my Blogger Reading List, I just had to come and comment... Beautiful! The bright colours jump right off of the white background. I love that the stars are different shapes, sizes and colours. And, as usual, the quilting is gorgeous. Great job.

Sarah Fredette said...

Gorgeous!!! The quilting choices and execution make this quilt. Truly wonderful and inspiring job! :D And done on a domestic to boot.

Donna said...

One word: masterpiece!

Cheryl said...

Simply stunning!

Farm Quilter said...

I love the way you made hexies with the quilting around each of the stars!!! I love your quilting choices and you did a fabulous job with this quilt!!! This should be a quilting ribbon winner, IMHO! You have given me an idea for a challenge quilt that I have to make for next year! So glad you didn't choose to leave areas of the negative space unquilted - that would have been so unbalanced and would not have the stunning impact this quilt has!!!

Miggsie said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! The quilting is amazing, and all the elements - fabric, design, layout, quilting - work together perfectly to make a stunningingly beautiful quilt!

Catherine said...

The quilt is absolutely stunning. The negative spaces really show off the superb quilting. You are so talented!

Beverly Holl said...

this is such a wonderful amazing kaleidoscope-quilt. this maybe my motivation to start one. thanks for showing!! wow!

Renee said...

This quilt is just stunning! I love the stars, fussy cuts, layout, and especially the quilting!

MC said...

Wow, both the piecing and quilting are stunning!

Ioleen said...

This is one beautiful quilt. The quilting is outstanding. Love all the pictures. So much eye candy. Thanks

loganstitches said...

I think this must be in my top 5 favorite quilts of all time. The work and care you put into it is very apparent. Thank you for sharing.

knitnkwilt said...

Your quilt is beautiful! I'd never have even considered saying the quilting was busy; I think it perfect. And I love your idea of using the frames instead of marking lines.

Lisa in Port Hope said...

I think the different sized stars are fantastic, and I wish I could do FMQ swirls as wonderful as you.

CapitolaQuilter said...

Crazy amazing and that timeline - obsessed might be an understatement. Congrats on a beauty.

MsMidge said...

Seriously Amaze-balls Jess! How you have not lived at a chiropractor after such an effort is beyond me! x

Barb N said...

It's a stunner! Your enthusiasm for the project shows through in your post. A labor of love!

Gretchen said...

Wow!

Katy Cameron said...

It's absolutely stunning! And yeah, speechless...

Dianne said...

Wow! Just....WOW!!!!

Heulwen Price said...

That's STUNNING! I love equi triangles and hexies, I may have to try something like this myself! Love it! Out of curiosity, did you find you needed a lot of fabric to get the repeats you needed?

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

I have been one of the lucky ones following the progress of this on IG. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. The construct of the kaleidescope stars alone is gorgeous. But your quilting...well, is perfect. Congratulations on an exceptional finish!

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Jess I love this quilt so very much!! It was beautiful as a top, but your quilting just sent it into another stratosphere of stunning!! Seriously gorgeous work.
Amanda

leanne said...

gorgeous quilt Jess and seriously awesome quilting - wow !! thanks so much for sharing the photos and details !

DeborahGun said...

I agree with everyone else - one of the most beautiful quilts ever :-)

Rachaeldaisy said...

Your quilting is out of this world!!!