August 16, 2023

Back in June (2023) I was teaching at the Minnesota Quilt Show in St. Cloud. Often I get so busy at shows I hardly have time to run through the quilt exhibits, but at this show they asked each instructor to give an award to a quilt, so I made time to take a close look at all the quilts.

When I look at quilts in a show, I'm not only looking for quilts that really appeal or impress me; I especially look for quilts with interesting quilting that I can share to inspire you all. That quest brought me to Lori Pace's quilt, North Star.

The label on the quilt says "North Star by Judi Madsen", so I assume that means the pattern is by Judi. Perhaps the quilting designs are too, I couldn't find anything to confirm that. If you've read this blog for a while you know that I really love Judi's quilting techniques, so I'm not surprised that this quilt caught my attention: the quilting does a lot of the things that I admire in Judi's work. I want to point out some of these techniques so you can learn from them in creating your own quilting designs!

In my Layers & Lines classes (click the link to see when the next one is happening online), I talk about looking at the relationship between the piecing and the quilting in a quilt. Quilting can be contained within piecing, or it can expand beyond it in various ways. Judi Madsen is a master of expanding quilting, and Lori has used that technique really effectively in this quilt. 

In the detail below, I've outlined the stars. Look at how one version of the star stays within the block, but another star rotates 45 degrees and expands beyond the block to become part of the in-between blocks! Simple, but such an effective way to interconnect the blocks.

Another simple but very effective technique is to use just a few motifs but repeat them in a variety of ways.

The star appears in four different sizes.

The entire quilt is divided into diamonds. The diamond appears in three different sizes pieced, and three sizes quilted. Each diamond is filled with a grid, an orange-peel outline, quarter-square triangles or pebbles. 

When you break it down, you can see how the quilting on this elegant quilt is very simple and very beautiful!

Happy Quilting! ~ RaNae
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