April 17, 2015

Counting Stars – A Wedding Quilt for Helena and Mat

I'm so happy to have finally completed this monster quilt! It wasn't supposed to be so big. It was supposed to be considerably smaller but in "winging it", I hadn't properly considered how much space those 3 big stars would need. Ultimately, I didn't want to crowd them, so a giant quilt this became.

It's the most time I've ever put into a quilt. Those little wonky star points took me SO LONG! I had no idea wonky star points could take so long! For each of those blocks ... 4 per star ... you cut, sew, trim, press, square up, sew, trim, press, square up. That's a lot of steps for one little 3.5" block! And multiply that by over 400 ... sheeesh! I'm glad I was a little naive about this project because otherwise I probably wouldn't have started it. But I'm so glad I did. I'm so happy with how it turned out and I'd long wanted to make one like this since I first saw Oh Fransson's "Sparkle Punch" tutorial. I would provide the link to it but I see that the Oh Fransson website is currently under construction. Her tutorial was for a quilt that was entirely made with the medium sized stars. My variation is not original. It is very much copied from a quilt by The Girl Who Quilts.

 The backing fabric is the famous (in the modern quilt blog world) number fabric from Ikea (now discontinued) fleshed out with some black and white "Bramble". The binding is a mix of fabrics used in the stars. I like the rich colours edging all that black and white.

This is a wedding gift for Helena and Mat. Helena's is a good friend's daughter and she's only a month older than my daughter. The wedding was in November but I typically run late on wedding quilts. I almost immediately chose this design for Helena and Mat. They recently had their own house built on the land that Mat farms. It's right out there in the open with expansive prairie views on all sides and a vast sky from horizon to horizon. Imagine all the stars they see every night! I know. I grew up in the same environment and I spent many nights standing at my north bedroom window looking up at the stars. I thought that sleeping under the stars indoors would be appropriate for these newlyweds.

My colour choices came from the multi-coloured fabric in the big star. I chose the medium grey background fabric (Moda Weave) to make the quilt a little less "girly". In fact, I tried to avoid blatantly girly fabrics. I love the background fabric. It has a nice linen-like look to it ... textural ... and it has a nice sheen, too. Depending on the lighting, the grey can appear lighter or darker than it actually is. I was able to see Helena and Mat's house after I'd already started the quilt and I was tickled to bits to see that their house decor includes a lot of grey and turquoise. I think this quilt will nicely compliment their current style.

I just love those little mini-stars. They're so cute!

I like to imagine that someday children will spend time picking out their favourite stars and playing "find the matching stars" game with the quilt before drifting off to sleep. I fussy cut two of my favourite Heather Ross "Far Far Away" fabrics for two of the star centres.The Owl and the Pussycat and the Sleeping Beauty are especially appropriate, I think.

It is always a pleasure to make a quilt with people in mind. With every stitch you think of them.

Quilt Stats:
  1. Name: Counting Stars
  2. Size: 78" x 100" (74" x 96" after washing)
  3. Pattern: Variation of Sparkle Punch by Oh Fransson (no link available) but inspired by this quilt made by The Girl Who Quilts 
  4. Fabrics: Background:  Moda Weave in Medium Grey | Stars: Various fabrics from my stash | Backing: Number fabric from Ikea and Bramble | Binding: Scrappy binding from fabrics used in stars
  5. Quilting: Done by Lisa on her longarm machine

My Mom helped me take photos of this quilt today. It needed taller holders than we pip-squeaks! And thank goodness for the kindness of strangers who kindly operated the camera!

April 22, 2015 - I finished the label. Now the quilt is ready for delivery. I made a scrappy star and wrote on the centre. I'm not very happy with my printing on this one. I think I needed to use a finer pen for starters.

Here are the newlyweds with their "counting stars" quilt.


  1. What a great big gorgeous finish!!! Love the stars and the photos are awesome. Go mom!

  2. This quilt is one of the prettiest I've seen in a very long time! Well done. I love how you quilted it, too! Helena and Mat are going to be over the moon when they receive this wonderful gift. I really enjoyed your pictures, too. You're Lorna's mom? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! xo

  3. It's a beautiful quilt and I am sure it will be well loved!

  4. I came to your blog from an email from Color Order featuring this beautiful quilt. What an awesome wedding gift. And I must ask, where or where are these beautiful rock retaining walls?!

  5. LOVE it finished - even more than in progress! :D