I happened across one of my posts the other day that was written in October 2012, a little over five years ago when my blog was in its first year. I was writing about three fabric groupings in my stash that I was wild about even though I hadn’t yet decided yet what to make with them. What a pleasant surprise to discover that I have, in fact, used all three groupings!
The first was this one, a mix from several lines anchored by the red and aqua floral print in the center from Denyse Schmidt’s line, “Flea Market Fancy,” reissued earlier in 2012:
Several of the fabrics wound up in this sewing machine dust cover . . .
. . . and this set of king-size pillowcases, both made in 2013:
The second group was this one, primarily from the “Ainsley” line by Northcott Fabrics:
From this group came a small project, a kaleidoscopic table topper made in 2014 . . .
. . . and a large project, my queen-size sampler quilt Catch a Falling Star, completed in 2015:
The third group was from the “Scarlet” line by Pamela Mostek for Clothworks:
These fabrics remained in my stash until 2017, when I used them to make my current Junior Billie Bag . . .
. . . and matching accessories:
Now when I see a new group of fabrics I just can’t live without, I’ll remind myself that the fabric in my stash is indeed getting used. I’ll just need three additional lifetimes to sew my way through all of it. Can you relate?
Among the many special exhibits at last week’s Northwest Quilting Expo (held in Portland, Oregon) was a small one called “Reach for the Stars” featuring quilts made using Minnesota quilter Terri Krysan’s design of the same name. The quilts were made by Portland quilters who had seen my version on display at the Pine Needle and wanted to make their own.
Here is Maxine’s bold and beautiful quilt in black, white, and blue:
Joie’s quilt is a vision in green and purple, one of my favorite color combinations:
Lana’s lovely quilt was made as a fundraiser for her grandson’s school (it sold for over $2000!):
The owners of the quilt graciously loaned it to Lana so it could be part of the special exhibit.
Andrea’s quilt was made from the same line of fabrics as Lana’s but with a more limited palette of blues and greens:
So serene! Did you notice the different border treatment? Andrea opted not to carry the checkerboard blocks to the outer borders so she put the unused ones on the back:
You can see some of the lovely motifs that longarmer Kazumi Peterson used.
Sharon R.’s scrappy checkerboard border cleverly pulls together all the colors used in her blocks:
Sharon S. used the bright colors in her butterfly focus fabric to great dramatic effect, then calmed it down with her earthy brown and black checkerboard border:
This is my version, also displayed in the exhibit:
Andrea was out of town during the quilt show but the remaining six of us gathered for group shots in front of each quilt. Here we are in front of Maxine’s:
Left to right: Sharon Schaper, Sharon Ripley, Joie Lattz, Maxine Borosund, Dawn White, and Lana Kamerer. With us in spirit: Andrea Hinderhofer.
You’re looking at the center medallion and first five blocks of Annette Holder’s Reach for the Stars quilt. Annette lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We met online as part of a community of quilters making the dazzling sampler quilt designed by Terri Krysan that was featured as a series quilt in Quilter’s Newsletter magazine during 2013 and 2014.
By June of last year Annette had completed her quilt top:
A few weeks ago she sent me pictures of her completed quilt and I am delighted to share them with you. Look what she has the pleasure of sleeping under:
Like many of us who started with Terri Krysan’s sampler quilt design, Annette made some design modifications. She replaced one of the original blocks with this friendship star, whose center square shows off her beautiful paisley focus fabric:
Annette credits “Jana and her elves” at Jana’s Quilting in Jonesboro, Arkansas with the longarm quilting. Here are a few close-ups:
I spy a lot of stitching in the ditch to outline the blocks and give dimension to the quilt:
Annette named her quilt Oh My Stars.
If you’d like to see other versions of this stunning quilt design, take a look at my Reach for the Stars page on Pinterest. If you’ve made your own version, I would love to hear from you! You can email me at dawn (at) firstlightdesigns (dot) com.
I’m excited to share pictures of four more versions of Reach for the Stars, Terri Krysan’s stunning star sampler quilt that was featured in Quilter’s Newsletter magazine three years ago. By writing about the construction of Catch a Falling Star, my own version, on this blog throughout 2014 and into 2015, I became acquainted with other Reach for the Stars quiltmakers locally and from as far away as Australia.
We have all become fast friends, bonding over our love of quiltmaking and our fascination with Terri’s design (even if some of us decided to modify it a bit, swapping out certain blocks or making changes in the border, for example.)
Candy L. from Colonie, New York, is one of my newer cyberspace quilting friends. She recently finished this beautiful version of Reach for the Stars in blues, yellows, and greens on a crisp white background:
Did you notice the fussy-cut butterflies? If you look closely, you can also see the feather quilting motif in this close-up of the center medallion:
The next three Reach for the Stars (RFTS) quilts were made by quilters I know from teaching at the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, Oregon. First up: Lana K., who started with a lovely floral print that allowed her to expand her color palette to include a range of colors. Note how just a few touches of pink and gold act as foils against the main blue and green color scheme:
Lana made this quilt as a raffle item for her grandson’s school. The winning bid came in at $2,000! I know how much time, effort, and money went into the making of that beautiful quilt. What a generous heart Lana has! If I had made that quilt, it would have been very difficult for me to part with it.
Joie L.’s quilt features a deep purple and forest green color scheme, with pops of fuchsia and lime to liven it up. Joie wanted her quilt to be wider and not quite as long as the original design, so she modified the borders in a clever way to make that happen:
Sharon R. did something unexpected and wonderful with her version of Reach for the Stars:
Doesn’t her multicolored checkerboard border make you think of harlequins, those colorful characters from Italian commedia dell’arte dressed in checkered costumes? Sharon’s border ties all of the colors in the individual blocks together in a bold and innovative way.
I’ll continue to publish photos as more of my friends from near and far finish their versions of Reach for the Stars, so please stop by from time to time. If you type in “reach for the stars” in the SEARCH ME box on the right side of my home page, you will be taken to all of my RFTS posts in chronological order.
Reach for the Stars, the spectacular sampler quilt designed and made in 2012 by Terri Krysan of Lakeville, Minnesota, continues to enchant quilters all over the world. Terri’s quilt was pictured on the cover of the Oct./Nov. 2013 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter. My guess is that hundreds, if not thousands, of versions have been made — or at least started — since then.
Directions for the quilt were presented in a series beginning with that issue of Quilter’s Newsletter and ending with the Oct./Nov. 2014 issue. My version, named Catch a Falling Star, was completed early in 2015. During the year I spent making my quilt, I became part of an on-line community of Reach for the Stars makers that continues to this day.
About a year ago I heard from Annette Holder in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who was just starting her RFTS quilt and had a construction question. A couple of weeks later, Annette sent this picture of her center medallion and first five blocks:
In addition to the center medallion, Reach for the Stars contains 14 pieced blocks. Annette replaced some of the blocks in Terri’s original quilt with some more to her liking. (I did the same.)
Just a few days ago Annette sent me photos of her completed quilt top. It is gorgeous! See for yourself:
Here’s a view from a different angle:
Beautiful, Annette! I can’t wait to see it quilted.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Judi Schwenk, a quilter from Vancouver, Washington — just across the bridge from my home in Portland, Oregon. Judi’s version of RFTS is called Shadows in the Fog:
Perfectly named, considering the misty blues and muted lavenders and greys in the quilt. Here’s a close-up of the center medallion, which also gives you a glimpse of the lovely swirly quilting motif:
This is a stunning achievement, given that Judi is a relatively new quiltmaker.
Chris Tabuteau of Melbourne, Australia is also a beginning quilter. She, too, created a fabulous version of Reach for the Stars. Chris bought a set of 40 Barbara Brackman Richmond Reds fabrics “on a bit of whim,” as she recalls. She thought a sampler quilt would allow her to use most of the fabrics and develop some sewing skills.
An avid gardener, Chris replaced some of the star blocks with her own very stylized adaptations of flower blocks. The result is Cottage Garden:
Can you believe this is Chris’s third quilt? This close-up shows her accurate piecing as well as the fine work of her longarm quilter:
Chris also pieced a lovely back, a finished quilt in itself . . .
. . . and made a set of pillowcases from the very last of the scraps:
Thank you, Annette, Judi, and Chris, for sharing your beautiful creations!
The first day of 2016 is here! It’s a time for looking ahead but also a time for looking back. Specifically, looking back at what I accomplished in my sewing room in 2015. I never accomplish as much as I think I will, especially when it comes to finished quilts, but I have to remember that I made a variety of small pieces and craft items last year in addition to quilts. It will be fun to revisit them as well.
First up, the quilts.
My first finish of 2015 was Catch a Falling Star, based on Terri Krysan’s star sampler, Reach for the Stars:
Then came Toile Story (73″ x 89″), started in 2009 but not finished till 2015. Designed by Alex Anderson and featuring fabrics she designed as well, Toile Story was quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC:
Next: Olivia Twist, a 31″ x 76″ bed runner made using my own 4-Patch Wonder with a Twist pattern. It was quilted by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts:
Using leftover fabric from Olivia Twist, I made Billie’s Star (56″ x 55″), an original design inspired by my favorite quilt teacher Billie Mahorney, who taught me a lot about drafting and sewing star blocks:
Next came Simply Dashing (58″ x 74″), a simple design that combines 4-Patch Wonder blocks (my name for four-patch kaleidoscope blocks) and Churn Dash blocks set on point. Simply Dashing was featured on the cover of the Pine Needle Quilt Shop’s fall 2015 catalog. Quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC.
Pieced in 2014, I finished Sun Flowers, a wall hanging based on my Season to Taste pattern. It’s #9 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts and the third of four quilts I’m making to reflect the seasons of the year. It measures 18½” x 55½”:
My final quilt finish of 2015 was Loose Leaf, begun in a workshop with fiber artist Pat Pauly. Made from her New Big Leaf design, it finishes at 24½” square:
I quilted the last two pieces myself but was happy to have the larger quilts go out to some extremely talented longarm quilters.
In my next post I’ll show you the array of Pretty Little Things I made in 2015.
Catch a Falling Star, my quilt pictured above, hung in the Northwest Quilting Expo show in Portland last week (Sept. 24-26). It was a terrific show, with over 650 quilts on display. A friend and I spent the entire day there, walking slowly up and down every aisle, admiring the quilts and enjoying the vendor mall. Really enjoying the vendor mall, if you know what I mean. Someone did not come home empty-handed.
Northwest Quilting Expo is a juried show, and entrants could opt to have their quilts judged, with written comments delivered when the quilts were returned after the show. I decided to do that. These are the comments from the three judges:
“Lovely color palette. Sampler blocks are very well balanced.”
“Exceptional border treatment and frames central panel well.”
“Wonderful selection of quilting motifs.”
Those are very nice comments. I’m not sure what I was expecting — perhaps something about what I could have done better?
I was very pleased to see that last comment because Loretta Orsborn, the longarm quilter who quilted Catch a Falling Star, did such an outstanding job. On the day I took my quilt to her studio, we spent three hours looking at designs and choosing motifs. She expertly combined digitized and free motion quilting. If you’d like to see some close-ups of her work on my quilt, you can check out this earlier post.
It’s the center medallion of my quilt Catch a Falling Star, based on Terri Krysan’s Reach for the Stars star sampler quilt. During all of 2014 I was engrossed in making this quilt. Regular readers were with me each step of the way.
Here’s my quilt, 84″ x 105″, reduced to a thumbnail:
Back in February 2014, after making the center medallion and a couple of blocks in the quilt you see above, I started playing around with a different set of fabrics — Barbara Brackman’s Morris Tapestry line for Moda. I made a couple of test blocks to see how I liked the focus fabric:
I liked it.
I decided then and there to make a second version. Those two blocks were as far as I got, though. Now, several months after finishing Catch a Falling Star, I have returned to that idea.
Here is the center of medallion of my Reach for the Falling Stars, Version 2 quilt:
You must think I’m crazy. Or maybe just star crazy.
Ah, but there’s a method to my madness. You see, I am not going to make the 14 blocks that surround the center medallion. My Version 2 of Reach for the Stars is going to be a bedrunner. I’m going to choose my six favorite blocks from the 14 I made for Catch a Falling Star. I replaced a couple of blocks in Terri Krysan’s quilt design for some I liked better, and at least one of those will wind up in my Version 2.
Either I’m a committed quiltmaker or I should just be committed. What do you think?
Thanks to modern technology, I made virtual friends last year with several quiltmakers who, like me, were enchanted with Terri Krysan’s star sampler quilt, Reach for the Stars, and decided to make their own versions. Directions for the quilt were released in serial form by Quilter’s Newsletter beginning with the Oct./Nov. 2013 issue. As each issue was released, our little band of quiltmakers would share our progress and cheer each other on.
Last fall I began corresponding with Fawn S. of New York, who was working on two versions of Reach for the Stars — one as a birthday gift for her mother and one for herself. Several of the quilters in Fawn’s group, the Honey Bees, were also making RFTS. Now Fawn has sent me photos of quilts and quilt tops made by her and her quilting colleagues Rose, Linda, Nancy, and Janet. I am so happy to share those photos with you.
First up, the quilt Fawn made for her mother:
This quilt, featuring fussy-cut cardinals, was made with deep reds, tans, and browns. Here’s the center medallion . . .
. . . and here’s a close-up of one of those fussy-cut cardinals:
Fawn quilted this herself on her mid-arm. Beautiful!
Rose’s finished quilt is a handsome combination of blues, greens, and tans, very dramatic against a white background:
Love the batiks. And did you notice the accent pillow?
Linda’s focus fabric is a lovely floral on a soft blue background. Her palette of greens, pinks, and creams, combined with that floral focus fabric, yielded this romantic result:
The version of RFTS that Fawn is making for herself is made with teals, tans, and browns:
It features a different bird print than the one she used on her mother’s quilt.
Nancy’s version also features birds. Her color palette includes deep reds, tans, and blues:
Can’t wait to see both of those quilts with the borders added.
Although this next photo is not in sharp focus, you can still appreciate the gorgeous combination of fabrics in Janet’s quilt top:
Rusts, corals, tans, and greens on a cream background — so striking. And the batik print in her checkerboard border sets off the inner fabrics beautifully.
Thank you, Honey Bees of Honeyville, NY, for sharing your beautiful quilts with me! I hope seeing them inspires others who are also reaching for the stars to keep working on their own versions.
My regular readers know all about this quilt. A year in the making, Catch a Falling Star is based on a design by Terri Krysan called Reach for the Stars that was offered in Quilter’s Newsletter over the course of seven issues, beginning with Oct./Nov. 2013 and ending with Oct./Nov. 2014.
Using my own color scheme, which is quite different from the original, I replaced three blocks and made a few changes to some of the other blocks. I also challenged myself to incorporate a fussy cut image into every block and redesigned the border to make it symmetrical.
The Jacobean floral fabric and a few others in the quilt are from the Ainsley line by Northcott Fabrics. The remaining fabrics came from my stash.
Many of my blog posts in 2014 are about the creation of this quilt. If you are interested in seeing how it came together, block by block, simply click on the “reach for the stars sampler quilt” link at the bottom of this post. All of the posts will come up in reverse chronological order. In particular I hope you will look at some of the close-ups of longarm quilter Loretta Orsborn‘s beautiful free-motion and digitized quilting designs.
But wait, there’s more! There are 10 other categories of quilts in the festival: mini, small, appliqué, art, hand quilted, home machine quilted, original design, ROYGBIV, scrappy, and viewer’s choice. Be sure to check them out. And prepare to be inspired!