Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hunter Star variation

Last summer, my friend Colleen and I decided to take the Hunter Star class at Along Came Quilting.

Here's a photo of the class sample, made by Kim Morrison, from the Along Came Quilting website, .

This is a gorgeous quilt, in a traditional Hunter Star layout.  This is a 4 day class (over 3 or 4 months), with lots of homework.  On the 2nd day of class, you play with layout designs, as there are many options.  Believe it or not, you can spend a whole day twisting and playing with block arrangement.  Kim, our instructor, warned us in advance not to be too set on the traditional layout, as the fabrics and blocks might tell you how they need to be.

Colleen was sure her quilt would be a traditional Hunter Star, as laid out below.

 And here's another layout option, with the same blocks. 
But Kim was right.  Colleen's blocks did not want to be traditional.

And here's how she chose to set her blocks...

This layout required more light blocks than dark blocks.  Colleen was starting to really like her quilt now, but wanted it slightly larger, and didn't care for the unfinished light stars on the edges, so very cleverly decided to add 1/2 blocks all around the outside edges, which finished the stars and made the quilt the size she wanted.    And, for consistency, and to make it more border-like, she used the same dark blue fabric in all of these blocks.

Isn't it wonderful with those 1/2 blocks added and the stars finished?  Colleen IS brilliant :)

I took a huge number of photos, but not one of the whole quilt after those 1/2 blocks were added.

The fun continued with the quilting.  Silk batting gives a nice loft without adding a lot of weight to this 88x102 quilt.  Whimsical freehand feathers in the border, feathers between stars and some line-dancing in the block centers, giving lots of motion to the quilt.  The stars were stitched around (ditched) to define them, and some continuous curves through the stars for softness.

I had been getting a little discouraged quilting the light areas, as it was very hard to see what I had done, and it seemed like it wouldn't be worth all the time...but then I came back downstairs and the light was just right!!  Hooray, the quilting really does show!

 These photos are while the work was still in progress, so the dark stars aren't stitched in yet.

And, Colleen really wanted pillow shams, but didn't want to piece any more blocks (plus I think she was out of usable fabric for light stars) so she gave me some of her border fabric, and I designed some quilted pillow shams.
oops, forgot to remove the chalk lines before taking photos
 The quilting is hard to see from the front, but when the light hits right, it's visible.

If you're still here, thanks for enduring through all these photos with me.


  1. Michelle you have done a fantastic job of the quilting on this already divine quilt. I love Hunters Star, it's on the bucket list.......... the quilting you have done really compliments the quilt. Great job.

  2. Your quilting is amazing on this one! I love the layout with the special border treatment. Very inspiring!

  3. Wonderful quilting Michelle - may have to steal a couple of your ideas - if that's ok? I have my onw Hunter Star that is still sitting in the queue.

  4. Michelle, fantastic quilting! Love, love, love the quilt top and what you have done!