I’m a big fan of block of the month quilts, especially for new quilters. Taking on a quilt in small, monthly bites keeps it manageable and motivating. Take a look at Jodi’s Festival of Stars quilt, a block of the month she picked up at a local quilt shop. It’s gorgeous and I immediately fell in love with the polka dot fabrics. Jodi asked me to custom quilt this for her and she gave me permission to play!
How I Quilted the Festival of Stars Quilt
Don’t you love the jewel tone stars? They really stand out against the lightly polka dotted background. As you can see from the pictures, there are six different star blocks in the quilt. The repeated stars all use the same fabric colors. This was my first clue to the quilting plan – each color of star would receive the same quilting treatment. This creates a nice consistency throughout the quilt.
All of those stars appear to be floating in the quilt with diamonds and a unique wavy sashing separating each block. I wanted to create a frame for each of the stars that you’d normally see from a traditional sashing. A double circle around the larger stars that fit snuggly within the sashing was perfect. The smaller green and brown stars received a more squared off frame with doubled arcs in the corners. Within the stars I used a variety of design elements. You’ll find E’s and L’s, stacked curls, wishbones, Terry’s Twists, and even feathers.
The floating diamonds also received frames. I added a little interest with wishbones inside the two outside diamond’s frames. The center diamond has E’s and L’s inside the polka dots. I kept things simple in the wavy border and quilted a line that matched the curve of the piecing. The border received a simple beadboard design that carried into the inner border. I also added some wishbones to the black sashing between the two borders.
Thread and Batting Choice
Choosing the right thread color for quilts with lots of colors and lots of white space can be challenging sometimes. Initially, when Jodi dropped off her quilt we talked about using a white thread. In the end, I thought that might not be the best idea because I use the same color thread on the top and the bobbin. Jodi chose a fun dotted backing fabric called Spot On. I was worried a white thread might stand out a little too much against all that black.
So instead, I used a light grey thread from Glide. This is a 40 weight thread and has a little sheen that I absolutely love! I thought the light grey would speak a little more evenly across the white spaces and the colorful stars than a white thread. If you want to know more about choosing a thread for quilts with lots of contrasting fabric, take a look at this article!
For her batting, Jodi used a cotton/wool blend from Hobbs. This batting has a little more loft than 100% cotton battings so there’s a little more definition in the stitching lines. And the 20% of wool adds a little more drape and softness to the quilt. I haven’t heard yet how Jodi felt about this batting blend, but I hope she loved it!
Jodi’s Festival of Stars quilt was like a quilter’s playground! There was so much beautiful space to play in. Thanks Jodi for trusting me with your lovely quilt.
If you’d like to know more about my quilting design process, you should join me for my live Quilted Joy Clubhouse meetings! In these online machine quilter’s guild meetings, I spend some time each month showing how I come up with a quilting plan for a quilt. You can watch the replays of all our previous meetings here.