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!

  • Betz

    March 8, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Gorgeous Blair! And so very you! Do I spy a tiny bit of Stitch Organic in there??? 🙂 Congrats on your beautiful work!

  • blair/wisecraft

    March 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Thank you Betz! I think there is some Stitch organic in there, in the gray area.

  • Erica

    March 8, 2013 at 6:19 am

    It’s beautiful, Blair! I love how thoughtfully you approached the whites. Extra work for you, but such a treat for the rest of us!

  • Daniela

    March 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Oh, this is just beautiful! Love it!

  • erin

    March 8, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Blair! It is gorgeous. I really love the texture you get from using the different prints and at the same time, there is a real sense of cohesion. The back is perfect. And your loops – so smooth!

  • ara jane

    March 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

    wow, blair, this is stunning! i love reading about your process in creating the quilt and about your choices. looking forward to seeing this in person!

  • Jessica

    March 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Beautiful, Blair! Absolutely lovely.

  • julia

    March 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

    i LOVE it- i’ve been wanting to make a star-themed quilt for my best friend’s wedding present and this might be it. as soon as i saw this i thought i would copy your pattern, but maybe i’ll just wait until you actually release a real pattern (then you can do all the hard work!) i really love it.

  • sewkatiedid

    March 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I need some elves. This quilt just makes you want to curl up on the couch under it! Can’t wait to see it on exhibit.

  • Seanna Lea

    March 8, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Lovely. I’m looking to make my first quilt soon, but it won’t be anything as complex as this!

  • Amber

    March 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    This is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing!

  • Carol

    March 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    This is beautiful. Those are my favorites colors, the blues and greys. I also like the traditional/modern combo or juxtaposition, whichever you like. I can hardly wait the year for your book! I also like how you use some new fabrics and some other things with it. Well done!

  • harmony

    March 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This is an absolutely beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing your process:)

  • Katie

    March 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    This is a beautiful quilt… There is an emerald contest going on at Ali Winston’s blog (AsquaredW)…. I think you should enter this.

  • brittany

    March 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Really great. And refreshingly different from so many quilts out there. I like the colors you chose too.

  • karen

    May 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    This is beautiful Blair x

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