The holidays can be the best of times or the worst of times. It really depends on two things: how organized you are and how crazy your family is 😉
You can’t change your family, but you can take charge of your to-do list and get things planned and done in an orderly way.
This will leave you heading into the holiday season feeling calm and ready to enjoy the festivities, rather than scrambling at the last minute, fighting crowds, and generally feeling frazzled and panicked. Ugh, who needs that?
I vote for jolly and ready to celebrate!
So, I’m planning early and getting my handmade gifts and Christmas décor made well in advance so that I’m not stress sewing into the wee hours of the cold winter nights.
One big ticket item that I wanted to make this year was another Winter Star quilt. It’s been such a long time since I last made one and since Pips stole this one from my hubz, he hinted at wanting a new one. Suffice it to say, I didn’t need much arm twisting on this one – ha!
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
How the Winter Star Quilt Along works
In case you’ve never participated in (or heard of) a quilt along, here are all the details you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the QAL:
Who: anyone can participate in the sew-along. Beginners and seasoned quilters are welcome to join the quilty fun!
What: you’ll be making a Winter Star quilt to either keep or gift this holiday season 😉
Where: the fun will be happening in our private Facebook group and on Instagram so that we can get in on all the quilty eye candy and help one another along.
When: the quilt along will run for 6 weeks starting on October 3, 2022, and wrapping up the week of November 11, 2022, so that you have plenty of time to work on your quilt before the holidays arrive without feeling overwhelmed or rushed.
Why: to have some quilty fun, meet other quilters and get holiday ready!
How to Participate in the Winter Star Quilt Along – participating in the QAL is super easy. All you have to do is post your progress shots on Instagram using #WinterStarQAL so that we can easily find your photos.
Prizes: every week a new prize will be up for grabs! By sharing your photo on Instagram during the weekly giveaway period with #WinterStarQAL you’ll be automatically entered into the weekly prizes. Each week we reset so you have a fresh chance of entering the weekly giveaway.
Help along the way! Our Facebook group is where to go for added help along the way. We’re here to help each other so post your top quilty questions in there to get some guidance.
Weekly newsletter: the weekly newsletter is there to help keep you on track and make sure you’re not missing out on any of the top tips and help make this the best quilty experience yet!
Lives: I’ll be going live in our Facebook group every Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern Time to review the weekly assignment and cover any questions that have popped up!
Connection: quilting friends are the best, so don’t be shy! Say hi to your fellow participants and be sure to encourage one another along the way 😉 Check out the #WinterStarQAL hashtag on Instagram to get inspired and get in on the holiday sewing fun!
Get your Winter Star Quilt Pattern here and get ready to play with some textiles!
How I Picked my Winter Star Quilt Colourway
Every time that I’ve made a Winter Star quilt it’s been with prints and a solid background (see the Heartland baby quilt and the Forest Talk throw quilt). This time I wanted something a little more planned and cohesive. I also wanted it to feature all solids so that the emphasis was on the patchwork and colour play rather than prints.
Why those colours?
Well, I fell in love with this print* from Art Gallery Fabrics and knew instantly I wanted to feature it on the back of my quilt. I loved how modern, graphic, and fresh it felt and especially loved that it wasn’t overly Christmassy.
I was inspired by the colours featured in their Christmas in the City* collection and pulled coordinating AGF Pure Solids* for a modern Christmas quilt. This is how the updated Winter Star Quilt pattern came to be 😉 and the pattern walks you through how to re-create this 8-colour version. You can also use the colouring page to plan a new colourway featuring your favourite colours. Or take a peek at some of the mock-ups I share below (and in the pattern) to help inspire you!
Here are the Pure Solids I’m working with:
To make the same version as shown in the Winter Star Quilt pattern (and the one I’ll be making) you can find the exact kit featuring the same AGF Pure Solids in this exclusive quilt kit from Sew Curated.
The beauty of the classic star design is that it’s amenable to lots of different fabric directions.
Fat Quarter Friendly Option
The quickest and easiest way to dive into the Holiday Winter Star QAL is to grab a fat quarter bundle that’s probably already sitting in your stash 😉
If you love mixing and matching your prints and colours, then you’re going to love that you can make your Winter Star quilt entirely from fat quarters! This creates the best-detailed patchwork and can be a hoot to plan out.
This is what I did for the rainbow baby Winter Star quilt I made. If you want it to be extra detailed, then you’ll want to pull 3 FQs for each Winter Star quilt block. You’ll end up needing a few extra fat quarters to make this work, but if you want each star to be unique, then this is the best approach.
Otherwise, you can get a Main and Accent star out of each FQ and then mix and match from there. This will make the most efficient use of your fat quarter and will ensure a lovely cohesive look.
The pattern walks you through how to cut your fat quarters to maximize your fabric and take the guesswork out so that you can focus on the fun of mixing your star pairings 😊
Whether you feature a seasonal collection or go with a bundle that just makes you smile, either way, it’s sure to lead to a fun quilt that you can gift or keep for yourself this holiday season! After all, quilts really do make the best gifts!
If you’re on the hunt for a new FQ bundle, here are some fat quarter bundle ideas to get your fabric pull started:
Embrace the cooler tones featuring these gorgeous blues and purples for a modern Winter vibe with the In-House Curated FQ bundle from Sew Curated.
Go with a Fall inspired fabric pull featuring all the glorious shades of the harvest time in the In-House Curated FQ bundle from Sew Curated.
For a more curated look, I encourage you to consider the 8-Colourway option!
This is a fun one to play with in terms of contrast and showing off your favourite colours.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work on your fabric pull:
To help get your colour mojo in full swing (and definitely, before you commit), pull out your colour cards* to see how the colours you’re gravitating towards play together. I got this amazing new Pure Solids swatch set from Sew Curated and they’re perfect for mixing and matching to your heart’s content. It’s amazing how seeing them lined up next to one another can either make or break your fabric decision.
Try to incorporate a series of light, medium and dark colour values. This will add the most intrigue and dimension to your quilt. Since you’re working with 8 colours, try playing with the balance of the values: 3-3-2, 4-2-2, 5-1-2. For example, the 3-3-2 could be 3 light, 3 dark and 2 medium, or 3 light, 3 medium and 2 dark. See what effect playing with these combinations has on your quilt. Winter Star quilt blocks are perfect for playing with this design element.
Think of adding an ‘ick factor’! What I mean by this is add something that you wouldn’t normally gravitate towards, what I’ve dubbed fabric with the ‘ick factor’. For some reason, every time I include a fabric that I don’t really love (and borderline hate) it seems to add that harmonizing touch. It’s happened in a few of my quilts and it’s shocking how effective it can be.
Tip – I encourage you to think about the fabrics you play with and the feel you want your quilt to have. Prints add more detail, drama and intrigue to your composition, while solids focus on saturation, mood and eye appeal.
Winter Star Mock-ups to Inspire You
Here are some colourways to inspire your fabric play!
Colour Value 3-3-2 Play
Up above I shared the idea of playing with colour value combinations and I thought you might like to see an example! Here I’m showing you how 3 light fabrics, 3 dark fabrics and 2 medium tone fabrics look together.
Non-Traditional Holiday Colours
If you want a holiday-inspired colourway without it being overtly holiday-focused, consider featuring colours that have a nod to traditional holiday colours. Here’s what I mean. I pulled some deep greens that make me think of a walk in the forest and then paired them with some pops of colour to give that happy holiday feel.
Ombré Warm Tone Play
Playing with an ombré colourway is a great way to explore colour values. This one is super easy to pull together. All you need is a series of 8 colours that are all in the same colour family. They don’t have to match exactly, they just need to be similar enough. Here I’ve shown you how the same 8 fabrics can be switched up to have an entirely different look and feel.
Warm & Cool Colourway Play
Did you know you don’t have to stick with either a warm or cool-tone fabric colourway? You can absolutely mix them for a lovely juxtaposition. That’s what I did with these cool and warm-toned purple and purple-red colours.
The first thing I do when planning my own quilt colourways is to pull out my fabric swatches! They’re super inspiring and fun to play with, which is why this week I’ve teamed up with Sew Curated to bring you the chance to win your own Pure Solids Swatch Set!
To enter the giveaway, you must:
- Be following @sewcurated and @shannonfraserdesigns on Instagram.
- Post a photo on Instagram of your Winter Star fabric pull between October 3, 2022, and October 9, 20202, at 11:59 pm EDT.
- Instagram account must be public.
- Tag @sewcurated and @shannonfraserdesigns
- Include the hashtags #WinterStarQuilt #WinterStarQAL
Week 1 giveaway is open internationally.
Happy fabric play!
Never miss a post – sign up for the weekly newsletter.
This post uses affiliate links. For more info, visit the FAQ page.