I have been dreaming about making a new star quilt pattern for awhile now. My first pattern I released, Inside Out Star, is a beautiful modern take on the star block. I then designed Sienna Burst and felt electrified with designing a star block people hadn't seen before. Then, I released Starry Skies as part of the Modern Holiday Quilt Collection with Lindsey Neill. Then... no more stars.
And the crazy thing is, I LOVE STARS. They are probably my favorite block to create in all of quilting. So I am sort of surprised out of 25+ patterns I've made that only 3 of them are based on stars.
I really wanted to create a star quilt that used some of my favorite sewing techniques - HST, flying geese, chain piecing. Additionally, I wanted to be sure it could be FQ friendly because it is my favorite precut to work with and the easiest for shops and customers to kit and buy.
This design has quite a few versions of itself. It originally didn't have a center star at all, had no sashing, was offset and was more of a negative space design. So, it didn't even start as a star quilt at all. But luckily, this past fall I was working on a quilt just for me - no one has seen it and it used smaller sawtooth star blocks in it. So, when I was really starting to finalize my design idea, a smaller sawtooth star popped into my bed to fill the negative space I originally left open in each block. And boom! the Nova Star quilt was officially born!
I also want to note that I am recognizing a designing pattern in me. I usually release around 4 patterns a year and it's like I go through a certain cycle. I go back and forth between designing quick and larger scale designs and more intricate traditional based designs. Take last year (2019) for example - I started with Run Wild which is a more intricate/time involved pattern, then did a large scale print design that is pretty quick - Flower Tile. Up next, I wanted a more traditional design but made sure it was quick and had picnic vibes - Granny Cabin. Then lastly, I released Radiate which is a mix of all of it, block based, modern, quick but traditional piecing. Then finally, my first pattern of 2020 was Paper Cuts which is large scale print friendly and SUPER quick. So it just made sense to make my next pattern be a more time involved design. I guess it is just how I am haha!
Okay if you've made this far, yay! Now onto the cover girl, my Ruby Star Society Nova Star. I worked with RSS to come up with some quilt ideas with their newest lines for 2020 Spring Market. I kept coming back to this design and realizing it would be such a fun design to showcase some of their basics in. RSS has an amazing range of basics and I love them all! I went a little out of my wheelhouse with the color palette but I super love it! It is like a color explosion!
Here is exactly what prints I used in this quilt:
Background fabric - Speckled in Confetti
Cornerstones - Speckled in Black
(10) 1/2 yards for the blocks
- Speckled in Peach
- Speckled in Earth
- Add it Up in Copper
- Add it Up in Black
- Spark in Dove
- Spark in Lipstick
- Spark in Orange
- Spark in Roadster Red
- Grid in Denim
- Grid in Papaya
I love love love this fabric so much. The second I took those bundle photos, I just wanted to start cutting it all up to mix and match it!
The Nova Star quilt pattern comes in 3 sizes and 2 design options - Color Explosion and Modern Solid. This specific quilt uses the Color Explosion option in 1/2 yards. That means every 1/2 yard gets you 2 blocks which creates a little more cohesive look than using FQs. I really loved the flow and excitement of repeating this colors throughout the quilt.
When I am working on this design in the Color Explosion option, I organize myself into little block piles. I start the stack with the largest cut of fabric which is the outer most HST and finish the stack with the smaller cut for the center star. So I work out-to-in within each block. Then it makes it easy to tell the blocks apart if you stack them on top of each other. The largest cut of fabric means the beginning of the next block.
I became so obsessed with these blocks as I was making them. It is SO fun to see how all the fabrics interact with each other in a single block. I took a lot of single block photos because they look so different.
Seeing multiple blocks next to each other also was bringing the whole quilt to life even more. The blocks really give a lot of variety and movement to the overall design.
With this specific quilt, I kept the blocks in the same position as the mock up I made for RSS.
Outside of creating a fun new star quilt pattern, I really wanted this design to "punch you in the face". haha It was the only thing that made sense! I wanted it to have impact, bold, chaotic, constantly changing and moving. Spark something in you! And by adding the sashing and cornerstones, it prints the second design of the pinwheels to life.
When this was finished, we had a non-rainy day here and I knew immediately where I wanted to take a full quilt photo. I had driven past this super colorful, playful wall next to an abandoned lot in downtown Portland. Perfect spot because I didn't want to worry about cars being in the way or anything. I actually asked my neighbor to come help me and it was perfect!
This quilt went to Michelle of Mariposa Quilting here in Portland and we came up with a super fun quilting design. Michelle does all free motion quilting so it took us a bit to get to the design idea but I wanted something "splashy" and "poppy" haha. Obviously I am a joy to work with haha. She really brought the whole design to life with this fun sparky quilting design!
My usual set up for a quilt release is to make samples, test the pattern and do a photoshoot of my finished samples. Well, the stay at home order for COVID-19 put a kink in my pain. Luckily, my photographer, Amy lives locally in Portland and has a beautiful house. I asked if she wanted to take photos in her home and have her husband help just hold up a quilt for a few full shots. She said yes and she delivered. Thank goodness she is pure magic and her house is stunning. I wanna live here.
I love the Tiger print I used as the backing. It is so fun and cute. Also, Amy's cat made an appearance in the shoot.
Who else wants to move in to Amy's house? It comes with a husband, 2 little boys and a cat. They even have a downstairs apartment that they use to rent out on Airbnb. Look at my quilt in this space!
Up next, the Modern Solid version I made using Kona Solids!
Nova Star Quilt Pattern is out now! And don't forget to tag me on social media with #novastarquilt and #thencamejunepatterns. I can't wait to see what you make!