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.
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!!