Reaching for the Stars

Reach for the Stars is the name of a beautiful sampler quilt designed by Terri Krysan of Lakeville, Minnesota and quilted by Page Johnson of Rosemount, Minnesota. It was pictured on the cover of the Oct./Nov. 2013 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine:

2014-1, QNM cover of sampler quilt
Cover Quilt: Reach for the Stars
(Copyright Quilter’s Newsletter. Used with permission. Photo by Melissa Karlin Mahoney.)

I remember thinking “how pretty!” when my magazine came in the mail in October but I didn’t give it another thought until reading this post by Jennifer of Seams Crazy. Jennifer really fell hard for this quilt, and that prompted me to take another look. I fell too! Quilter’s Newsletter was starting a seven-part series beginning with the Oct./Nov. issue but I wasn’t ready to take on a new project. For starters, I had plenty of quilts on my to-do list, not to mention various Works-in-Progress (WIPs) and Unfinished Objects (UFOs).

But the idea was planted . . . and it took root. This week it dawned on me that I had the perfect collection of fabric already in my stash. Not the tans and creams featured in Terri Krysan’s quilt. As a matter of fact, I have almost no tans in my stash. What I do have is lots of blues and greens, which go perfectly with the Ainsley line of Northcott fabrics that I bought well over a year ago in a moment I can only describe as fabric lust.

Over the last couple of days I auditioned various fabric combinations and started work on Part 1 of the series, the center medallion, basically a star within a star within a star, with hourglass blocks added to the mix. Here is my medallion block:

2014-1, Medallion block
Center Block, 24½” Square

It’s even more dramatic set on point, as in the pattern:

2014-1, Medallion block on point
On Point, 34½” Across

The block has two sets of sashing strips but I am going to wait till I have a few more blocks made before deciding on my sashing fabrics.

I’m already three blocks behind, as the Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter has been out for weeks and I expect the Feb./March 2014 issue, with directions for the next three blocks, to be in my mailbox any day now. I’m going to take my time, though, making each block when time and inspiration arrive at the same time.

What about you? Is anyone else out there Reaching for the Stars? It might be fun to share our progress and cheer each other on!




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24 Responses to Reaching for the Stars

  1. Colleen says:

    WOW!! That is gorgeous! Love where inspiration led you and can’t wait to see more :). Makes me want to reach for the stars too. Just what I need, another beginning LOL.

  2. Vickie says:

    that is going to be a gorgeous quilt and how exciting that you already had fabric on hand that would work for it! I am looking forward to seeing future posts of your progress.

  3. Linda says:

    This is going to be yet another stunner, Dawn! Isn’t it funny how someone else’s excitement about a project or design can spill over to bring us around to that level of excitement? Have fun making your way through this one. You certainly found great fabrics for it!

  4. AnnMarie says:

    You’re on your way to another stunning quilt!

  5. Pam Grogan says:

    Love, love, love it in your fabrics! It looks really fresh and more up-to-date than how it’s done on the mag cover. This has the start of a stunning quilt.

  6. Reigh Hays says:

    So pretty, Dawn! I absolutely LOVE the colors and patterns you chose for this quilt! Looking forward to watching it all come together – another masterpiece.

  7. Diane says:

    Oh! I recognize the fabric. You gifted me with a hexagonal table topper made out of the floral pattern in this fabric line that I use as a center medallion on my dining room table or as a cover for a small vintage fold-out mahogany table in my living room I use when serving appetizers. The topper is reversible too and incorporates another fabric from this line. You can’t imagine how long it takes me to decide which side to display!

    Another FLD creation that I cherish! Thanks Nubs!

  8. Jeanne Ann says:

    Gorgeous! As usual.

  9. Thanks for the shout out to my blog Dawn! I’m so glad my post had some inspirational effect! Now, you know I will have to start my quilt if you start yours … LOL! I have actually been collecting more fabrics to use in this quilt … I found the panel from the original quilt fabric collection and I have bought some of the black/white prints from the Downton Abbey collection that will be great also. I’m going to do a post soon on my fabric choices now that I have everything together. Can’t wait to see more of your blocks! Your first one is so perfect, I wasn’t sure at first if it was a picture or an actual fabric block. I love how your fabric choice in the middle areas look almost like clam shell piecework. See you soon!

    • Dawn says:

      I’m so glad we will be working on “Reach for the Stars” together, Jennifer! I’m looking forward to your posts on it. Love your plan of using some of the Downton Abbey collection!

  10. Auntie Em says:

    Hi Dawn,
    I am seriously considering making this quilt, and am very inspired to see your center medallion. I love the fabrics you have chosen.

  11. Jennifer B says:

    Gorgeous! I think I may need to add this one to my list of to-dos! Hope the pattern is still available.

  12. Lisa D. says:

    Your fabric selections are great. I’ll look forward to following your progress!

  13. Denise Carbaugh says:

    I am also working on the “Reach for the Stars quilt” but struggling to complete the center medallion. Could you tell me what the finished dimension is for the center star ? Which is in your quilt is black and white. When I finished my center star it is smaller than then the next strips that need to be attached. Appreciate your help getting this started correctly.

    • Dawn says:

      Denise, I am excited to hear that you are starting on “Reach for the Stars!” I’m sorry to hear that you’re having problems getting that center star to fit. The block finishes at 6″, with the center square finishing at 3″. The corner squares finish at 1 1/2″ square, and the flying geese sections between the corner squares finish at 1-1/2″ x 3″. I will email you privately to give you information about how I cut my fabrics and constructed the block. Please, tell us what color palette you are using! My fellow “Reach for the Stars” makers will definitely want to know!

  14. Anita Wilbourne says:

    Dear Terry,
    I love your design “Reach For The Stars” . It is stunning! I would love to send you pictures, but I don’t know how to attach a picture to this email. I am writing to ask permission to sell my quilt that I have made from your design, “Reach For The Stars”. Please email me at: When you email me back at my email address I can attach a picture
    for you.

    • Dawn says:

      Anita, I have passed on your message to Terri Krysan. I hope you hear from her! I would love to see a picture of your quilt. Would you be willing to send a photo to me? You can send it to dawn(at) I have a “Reach for the Stars” board on Pinterest and would love to add your quilt to my board.

  15. Linda Zacchilli says:

    Hi, I am very interested in this pattern. How would I go about purchasing the pattern? Thank You, Linda

  16. Pam Wermuth says:

    I started this quilt November 2015 and had to make myself stop to get Christmas going. Other things came up and I have gotten back to it–finally. I am stuck on adding the pieced border. There is a small triangle that gets added to the top and bottom borders. It’s not clear to me which side of the triangle connects to these borders==the longer side or a shorter one. And then how does the longer border then hook up. Or does that become clear once the top and bottom borders are sewn on? Can someone help me?

    • Dawn says:

      Hi, Pam. Sounds like you are getting close to finishing your quilt top! I didn’t have to deal with those small triangles because I finished my pieced border differently. I wanted my borders to be symmetrical (they’re not in the original quilt) so I wound up redrafting them. I wrote about it on my blog and included pictures. If you’re interested in how I finished mine, let me know and I’ll fill you in. — Dawn

  17. Pam Wermuth says:

    I wish I had known this earlier. Now I see why some people did different borders. The pieced border is gorgeous but what a pain. I finally figured out how the puzzle went together and am to the part where I sew the mitered corners together. I’ve never made such a large quilt before and probably never will again!


  18. Wanda Hughes says:

    I would like to know how I can get a copy of the pattern.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi, Wanda. Directions for Reach for the Stars were given in seven consecutive issues of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine beginning with Oct./Nov. 2013. You might check with your local quilt guild to see if anyone has kept copies. A friend of mine was able to find all seven issues at her local library and copied the directions. Good luck!!

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