I have saved my favorite Everett Star Quilt for last! Also, it was the last quilt sample we made, so that's also why it's last. ha. The Midnight Quilt showcases our Yardage + Gradient Star Design Style. It is moody, it is sparkly, it is perfect.
Okay, let's start from the beginning. I made my first test quilt for this pattern using this design style - the Baby one. After making the baby version of this design, I REALLY wanted to make a bigger size. And at this point, I had confirmed what would be our cover quilt and our other sample to show the third design style. You can read up on those here:
We had a Baby sample, two Throw samples and no Large Throw size. But we were super crunched on time, could we actually get this sample made in the time we had? This pattern is more meticulous and time consuming than the majority of my other designs. At the end of the day, I just knew I wanted to make the Large Throw size. One for the variety, two to make a larger quilt, and three to physically test all sizes provided.
I played with some different color combinations, here are some of the first mock ups I made trying to decide what palette to go for.
As you can see, I pretty quickly latched onto the blues train. I was imagining this quilt being released towards the start of winter and I wanted the moody vibes. Also, I wanted to make the gradient star shine and be a big focal point. The idea of a night sky became important and that's how I decided on the final colors. I know the darker blue reads more black but it isn't. It is a deep navy blue.
Everything about this quilt is meant to be subtle yet impactful. The blues are deep but do have contrast. The four colors in the gradient stars are very similar but with the white centers, it really makes them shine.
These solids are all Bella Solids for Moda Fabrics. Peacoat, Admiral Blue, Caramel, Harvest Gold, Citrine and White.
The Yardage + Gradient Star Design Style is pretty simple to cut (even though there is a lot to cut). You cut almost all of the pieces needed for the blocks out of your two main colors and then the center stars are made up from an additional four fabrics.
The majority of every block repeats so being able to chain piece and work in batches is super easy. OR you can still make block piles and go block by block. To me it's the classic case of 'do you want immediate gratification?' aka that is block by block. OR 'do you want delayed gratification?' then that is batch sewing and chain piecing. For this quilt, we did a mix.
We decided to separate all of our cuts into what was needed for the Cross Blocks, Diamond Blocks and Gradient Star Blocks.
From here, we batched sewed. We focused on the Diamond Blocks and made all the large flying geese at one time. Then we'd make all the small flying geese for the four corner stars and sew those together, etc. And once all of our components were finished, we moved onto the Cross Block. And it was only when all the pieces were to be fully assembled into blocks, did we make the blocks. It was a mix of instant gratification and delayed.
This stack is neat and tidy and doesn't fully show all the work that went into creating it. Let's break it all out. The Large Throw size is 16 blocks, which means we will have 16 Gradient Stars.
I mean... HELLO YOU GORGEOUS GORGEOUS STARS! I haven't done much tiny piecing and this really makes me happy. I am not sure I could do an entire quilt with this tiny of piecing but I do see how satisfying it can be.
Next we throw in all the corner stars and large flying geese and boy do we have a quilty party!!!
It's like an explosion of components and makes you see all the work you've done and how soon it will all become blocks. Now look at all the work stacked back up all pretty in their piles.
Now we were off to go assemble these into their official blocks - 8 Diamond Blocks and 8 Cross Blocks.
Then I laid them all out, alternating between Diamond and Cross Block. I couldn't stop taking photos. THEY ARE SO PRETTY.
Now that all the blocks are ready, it's time to sew them together! The Large Throw is a 4 x 4 grid so you make 4 rows of 4 blocks, alternating between Diamond and Cross. And this quilt, you absolutely need to use pins. There are a lot of seams and points to match and pins help with the success of those connections.
Look at all those pretty pressed seams. Once the blocks are sewn together, now it's time to work on the HST Border. And I did not photograph any part of this. We were in super crunch mode where I just needed it finished so I could get it off to our quilter. So once it was all finished, I snapped a ton of photos and it felt so worth it.
I am incredibly proud of this quilt. And to have my vision come to life with the quilt top, I am thrilled. I had several people tell me it reminded them of Starry Night by Van Gogh and that is one of the best compliments I've ever been given.
I posted an Instagram Reel of me walking up the studio stairs to show this quilt top. It is pretty magical and so many people connected with the quilt and what I wrote about it. Here is what I said:
" Some days the way my life has turned out takes my breath away. The internal battles we each fight every day, most of which no one will ever know, create the balance we need to witness all the good around us and in us. This life scares the hell out of me and yet I know it’s unfolding exactly how it’s meant to. Waking up each day and facing what it brings, there is no other way. Most days I cry and most days I know the tears are unsaid feelings, emotions, thoughts and they bring relief. A relief I no longer am ashamed of. I shed the tears to let myself feel and express and be a witness to humanity, my humanity. This midnight quilt is a reminder that amidst the darkness, there is light."
I had to be very decisive with my pantograph choice for two reasons. 1. I had no time to debate, I just had to decide, our quilter has essentially one day to get this done for us. 2. I had to pick a pantograph that wasn't complicated or time consuming to actually stitch out because of said time constraint.
Emily of So Sunny Quilts so graciously fit us into her packed schedule as well. And she sent me a few recommendations of pantographs and I chose Dunes. I really wanted a modern simple design that helped highlight the idea of a night sky or clouds. Dunes is perfect and we chose a shiny mid tone blue thread.
I really don't have many words. The photos say it all. IT IS SO GOOD.
We backed this quilt in Bella Betty's Blue which is a lighter medium blue. And then we bound it in Carolina Gingham Black and White 1" scale repeat.
This Midnight Kit has been our most popular and has been hard to keep in stock! If anything is out of stock, sign up for the notification email when it's available again. We love how much you guys have loved this version and here are the links:
We had our TCJ Winter 2023 Open House in December, the week before our official Everett Star pattern release. We hung up each of our samples and had all the kits and patterns available exclusively one week early. And when our son walked into the studio the day before our open house and saw this quilt on the wall, he said "YOU ARE NOT SELLING THIS RIGHT?! I WANT THIS IN OUR HOUSE!" It was like a demand and a shout and it made me very happy.