Revisiting Reach for the Stars

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:

annette holder's 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:

Judi Schwenk's RFTS quilt

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:

Judi Schwenk's RFTS detail

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:

Chris Tabuteau RFTS
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 Tabuteau RFTS corner detail

Chris also pieced a lovely back, a finished quilt in itself . . .

Chris Tabuteau RFTS back

. . . and made a set of pillowcases from the very last of the scraps:

Chris tabuteau RFTS pillow

Thank you, Annette, Judi, and Chris, for sharing your beautiful creations!




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10 Responses to Revisiting Reach for the Stars

  1. Colleen says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. Those are beautiful!!

    (And don’t think for a minute I missed the “at least started” comment ;D!)

    • Dawn says:

      I am reminded of how beautiful your RFTS blocks are, Colleen! Looking forward to seeing more . . . 😉

  2. Diane says:

    It is interesting to see how the same patterns take on very different looks with fabric choices. Each of the quilts you showed here are very lovely, but I confess I do love your color choices the best. It must be a twin thing!

  3. Chris Tabuteau says:

    Thanks for posting Dawn. Great to see different interpretations of a similar design.

  4. Newly inspired now for sure! All wonderful examples and interpretations of the quilt and I so appreciate that you were a willing receptacle for collecting all of these and sharing them out. I hope to share my quilt finish some day with you as well!

    • Dawn says:

      Jennifer, you are so close to finishing your Reach for the Stars top! I would love to see you get back to it.

  5. Terri Krysan says:

    I was shocked when my husband sent me your link!
    It is very humbling to know that my quilt….Reach for the Stars….has had such broad appeal! It truly gives me goosebumps to see the amazing adaptations that have been created!
    Thank you everyone!

    • Chris Tabuteau says:

      Thanks to you too, Terri, as your design gave me the framework for my sampler quilt, and steered me in the right direction for combining that large number of fabrics (40!) in the fat quarter pack.

  6. Wanda Hughes says:

    I have not been able to find the pattern for this quilt. Do you know where I can get it?

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Wanda. The directions for Reach for the Stars appeared in seven consecutive issues of Quilters Newsletter magazine, starting with the Oct/Nov 2013 issue and ending with Oct/Nov 2014. The magazine is out of print now and copies are hard to find on eBay or etsy. My best advice is to check with your local quilt guilds to see if any member has a collection of QNM and can loan you the issues you need. Good luck to you! — Dawn

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