Friday Favorites: Echo Star Patchwork Quilt

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.


Updated to add: The Echo Star quilt is now available as a PDF pattern here and here!

Sometimes making a quilt from my head is all about exploration of what looks right together, or what type of patterning might seem harmonious, really just playing with the possibilities, hoping I will like the outcome. (That was definitely the case with Sunshine Medallion.) But there are times when my mind’s eye has a crystal clear vision from the very beginning of what I want the end result to be. That was the case with this quilt, Echo Star.

(“Echo Star” original painting)
Way back when I drew and painted my very first version of this quilt, I knew I wanted to turn it into a quilt. When Katie presented the idea of a star quilt-themed exhibition at Island Quilter this summer to the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, I knew this would be the one right away.
 This is my favorite type of patchwork design… symmetrical, modern spin on a traditional look, a careful play of subtle shading. I chose to piece small individual blocks for all the white space, instead of using larger pieces of white. This is definitely a fussier, more time-consuming way to work, but it’s so worth it to me. All those different whites create lots of surface interest that forces the eye to spend more time in the “negative” space.
The blues of the stars are a combination of Kona solids and repurposed fabrics. In the gray areas I used a men’s shirt I was quite in love with for several of the squares. There will be lots of this old and new mixing in my upcoming book, it’s my favorite way to make a quilt, or anything, really.
The center diamonds each contain a black and white or black and cream print. Some of the prints are dense, some more open designs (there was a favorite men’s shirt used in a few of these too). I wanted to go subtle in the center spaces because the original sketch and painting both had such saturated centers.
 The making of this quilt allowed me to experiment with basting the layers together on my studio table top instead of the floor, as I mentioned a few posts back, and I’m happy to say I had huge success! Huge! So much so I am going to write a proper post to explain how I basted this quilt (and any others I do from now on). (Edited- How I sandwich my quilt layers on a tabletop.) I free motion quilted the all-over loop d loop pattern on my machine, using the patchwork squares as a guide. The Echo Star pillow I did had walking foot straight line quilting that literally echoed the stars, but I wanted to try something different. I was surprised how quickly this worked up, even though I came THIS CLOSE to sewing through my finger!
 The binding is from Laura Gunn’s “Painter’s Canvas” line. As for the backing, I wanted it to be bright and unexpected, somewhat unrelated to the front, and I chose Amy Butler’s “Folly” in Butterscotch, and did a little scrappy piecing with “Forget Me Not” in Midnight (not pictured).

The pattern is available now!

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