Half Star Quilts

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How it all started.

For those who are passionate about sewing and all things quilting...

I've been interested in crafts since I was young, and like many of us have been guided and encouraged by family members past and present. My Nan was a keen knitter, in between her many days spent sequence dancing, and would never stick to a pattern, always adjusting the sizing. My Mom taught me to do tapestry, cross stitch, knit and crochet, so it only seemed fair to drag her along to patchwork classes with me when I started about 18 years ago. We have been partners in quilting crime ever since, and have also roped my cousin and daughter into the craft along the way. Creativity is very much in the family with my Dad being a wood carver and my brother being a sculptor and artist too. I started my Etsy shop a number of years ago selling bags and book covers that I had made until my day job and family commitments made this more difficult. Since then I started to look more towards designing than making quilts and projects, adapting patterns just like my Nan and her knitting!

Whilst students of Patchwork and Quilting we were introduced to Joy Edgington, who at the time was the South Birmingham co-ordinator for Project Linus UK. Since the many years ago that we met we have become the best of friends and have been working together ever since. I currently maintain her website for the fantastic business that she runs teaching Patchwork, Quilting, Crochet and Embroidery . If any of you are in the local Midlands UK area please check out the classes that she runs by clicking the button below. That’s me hiding behind the quilts!)

It is through helping Joy that I gained the skill of writing patterns. She tasked me with creating some block patterns to give to her students in the Project Linus Club that runs each month. The rest is history, so they say …
I love the disappearing patch quilts as demonstrated by Missouri Star Quilt Co, and from that came my first and still most successful quilt pattern called Crossroads (pictured below - photograph courtesy of the Cotton Patch)

One of my favourite fabric ranges is Moda Grunge which had the perfect muted rainbow colours I was looking for too. A good friend, Diane of Stitchscape, hosted a quilt along of this pattern over lockdown 2020, where I met some great people who I’m hoping will remain lifelong friends. It was great to see how different each quilt looked dependent on the fabric choices. We still meet up over zoom and have a bit of a round robin quilt on the go where we each nominate a block each month to make. I’m looking forward again to seeing how different they all look.

My second design, Hopscotch (pictured above - photograph courtesy of Quilt Now magazine), was designed very much for improvers wanting to add skills to the basic four and nine patch blocks by adding sashing, and also gave me a great challenge of using nearly every last piece of a fat or long quarter metre of fabric. It’s also great for showcasing a larger print fabric in the large squares. This quilt was featured in Quilt Now magazine in September 2019.

This was followed by another rainbow inspired quilt, Rainbow Starburst, which is made in a medallion style and can be finished at a number of difference sizes to create a cushion cover, a child’s quilt or a larger bed quilt. This was featured in Quilt Now magazine in January 2020 (above left photograph courtesy of the publication). I’ve always loved star blocks and fabric with star designs and so this was great fun for me to make. I used Stuart Hillard’s Rainbow Etchings fabrics which suited the design and colour palette perfectly. I don’t often make a quilt design more than once, but couldn’t resist making it again in a Safari animal fabric range and smaller size for our new nephew born early 2020.

Now for a bit of quilting. I’ve always loved the patchwork side of quilts, and like many have been wary of the quilting in case I spoil the lovely piece that I have spent so long making. Over the last year I have been in touch with another great teacher, Laurel Byrne of Treasure Quilts, who is based in the Wirral, Merseyside. She specialises in patchwork and quilting and is an accredited Westalee Ruler ambassador. Together with a group of friends from the Crossroads quilt along I attended an online short free motion quilting course, which gave me much need confidence to try a bit of fancy quilting on this Bargello Landscape quilt that Laurel had shown us how to make in our zoom sessions too. I’ll show you more when it’s finished, but I’m so pleased with how it is coming along. The fabrics were a gift from a very special cousin who knows my soft spot for Tilda designs! You can find out more about Laurel through her website below (p.s. she’s started on an exciting adventure too with Diane from Stitchscape).

You can purchase this pattern through my Etsy shop by clicking the button below