Spots of Bright, Spider Quilt, Plates and Stars Quilt

This post is in response to those who have asked for the pattern and details of the construction of the quilt, Spots of Bright. Some call this a spider quilt, I think of it as a plates and stars quilt.

black creek two 001

The pattern is a variation on the traditional four point star block seen below.

ethan's birthday 001

The basic block goes from centre to centre of four adjoining rectangular plates. I have placed my blocks on point.

black creek two 004

Each section of the basic block is constructed separately.

The Plates

Each plate uses six fabrics chosen to provide contrast in colour, intensity and pattern. The eight sections of a plate are cut from a pre-constructed strip 42 in. by 5.75 in. To construct this strip, cut strips from the width of the six bolts of fabric. The strips should range in width from one inch to 1.75 inches. I used strips of the following widths and sewed them together side by side in the following order:  1.75 – 1 – 1.25 – 1 – 1.5 – 1.75 . The 1.75 in. strips must be on the outside. Use 0.25 in. seam allowance and the finished strip should have a width of 5.75 in. and be 42 in. or more in length

I cut sixteen triangles from this strip. Eight with the triangle bases on one side and eight with the triangle bases on the other side of the constructed strip.

ethan' birthday 010


The strip will be somewhat unstable and the sides of the triangle are cut on the bias. I made templates ( 16 of them) from the pattern above from freezer paper. Don’t forget to add the seam allowance. The templates are then ironed onto the strip and serve as the cutting lines.  The templates can be removed and used over and over again.

Four Point Star

ethan' birthday 012

The central triangle is cut from light coloured fabric. Before seam allowances, it has a base of 2 1/16 in. and a height of 2 1/2 in.  The other triangle is cut from dark coloured fabric. Before seam allowances, it has a base of of 2 1/16 in and a height of 1 1/16 in. To construct the point, I sewed the two triangles together then added the two side strips. Rather then pre-cutting the side strips, I cut a strip of medium coloured fabric 1.25 in. wide. After sewing the strip to the side of the larger triangle, I trimmed the strip as required and repeated this for the other side if the larger triangle.


Keep in mind that this is a four point star pattern. Unlike the traditional block, the star is now the receding part and the background of the traditional pattern is now the focus.

Start with a completed star section. Add a section from Plate A and a section from Plate B. ( See the basic block pic above.) Take the second star section and add a section from Plate B and Plate C.  Repeat as appropriate for the last two star sections.

We now have four right angled triangles. Take the two triangles that contain a section from Plate A. Sew these together placing the Plate A sections side by side. Repeat for the other two triangles placing the Plate C sections side by side.  Now finish the block by matching sections from Block B and matching sections from Block D.

For this quilt, one needs a design wall or a flour area large enough to lay out a large section of the quilts sections. I started in the centre of the quilts and added the blocks as I finished them.

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Quilts at the Creek

Quilts at the Creek is a fabulous annual outdoor display of fine quilts at Black Creek Pioneer Village, North York, Ontario. This year the show is August 16 and 17.  Like may other quilters, my stash is growing out of hand with additions from recent projects and gifts from friends. In the summer of 2013, decided that the next few quilts would need to be projects which only used fabrics from my stash. I have selected three scrappy quilts for the Quilts at the Creek 2014.

black creek one 001

Squares Unlimited                                              2014                                                83 in. X 84 in.

This quilt began as a box of 2 inch squares. One of my habits is to cut small remnants into two inch squares. The question was what to do with them.  My granddaughter suggested that we make four patch blocks and then arrange them into a suitable pattern. She grouped them while I sewed the blocks. The centre square emerged.

black creek one 003 For interest we added pineapple log cabin triangles.

black creek one 002

The backing is essentially another quilt. I sewed together the strips of fabric which I have collected from various projects.

black creek one 005

And finally the label.

black creek one 004

This next quilt is constructed mostly from strips of fabric cut from the width of a bolt of fabric.  I sewed together six strips ranging in width from 0.75 in to 1.5 in. to form a new strip is 5.75 in. From this strip, I cut 16 isosceles triangles.  Eight with the base of the triangle on one edge and eight with the base of the triangle on the opposite edge.The triangles when sewn together to form  two circles. The circles look very different because the fabrics arranged in the opposite order in the two triangles.

black creek two 001Spots of Bright                                           2013                                                         81 in. X 96 in.

The final result is most pleasing. Two close up pics follow.

black creek two 003black creek two 004

The backing – patches from the stash.

black creek two 006

and the label.

black creek two 005

The design of the last quilt is squares constructed from 2 in. strips. To get the variety that I desire and eliminate the monopoly of one fabric, I follow the rule to use only 42 in. by 2 in strip from  each fabric. One 42 in. patterned strip is sufficient for the perimeter of three squares. The centre patch is a contrasting plain 2 in. square.

black creek three 001 Fancy Squares 2                                              2013                                                90 in. X 107 in.

I very much like the palisade border.  And the close up.

black creek three 003black creek three 002

The backing – more stash patches – and the label.

black creek three 005


black creek three 004

There are lots more to see at Quilts at the Creek.



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The Remnant Challenge

What do I do with a collection of upholstery fabric samples most of which are chenille that I obtained through the quilt guild?

Make place mats. I wanted both consistency and difference in the design of the individual mats. I decided to add machine embroidery using the free designs available from BFC Creations

I have used a gray scale for the embroidery in order to provide a unifying factor and to eliminate the competition with the bright colors of the fabrics. While the arrangement of fabric blocks is the same in each of the 12″X18″ mats, the sizes wary depending on the size of the embroidered square block.

The unique embroidery compositions have been obtained by varying the size and orientation of the freebies. Some compositions use multiple and truncated application of the free design.

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The Class Project

This quilt was commissioned by my daughter-in-law and will be donated to York School for a fund-raising event.

Ms Selley’s Class                 2012                  45 in. X 54 in.

Fabric paint was spread on each child’s hand then the hand was used as a stamp to imprint the light aqua fabric. The hands were cut out and raw edge appliqued using a blind hem stitch.

The machine quilting complements the geometric design of the sashing and the borders.

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Skeldale House

I have been doing some testing for Robyn Phillips, the owner, designer, digitizer for Skeldale House Designs. The project that I just finished is twelve in-the hoop quilt blocks.

Skeldale Tester     2012            46.5” X 56.5″

The software for these blocks can be purchased from

The finished blocks are 8 in. square. I have added a border which is paper pieced.

I am not a fan of all over machine quilting. Consequently each block is quilted to compliment the design. I have used meandering stipple, echo stitching and quilt-in-the-ditch.

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Spring Jacket

This project stems from a workshop I took with Vikki Pignatelli, . Her work features lots of flowing gentle curves and bright colors. The feature flower on the front and back of the jacket is her pattern, Cabbage Rose.  The front flower serves as a pocket. The remainder of the design was completed using her techniques.

The top for each pattern piece is constructed separately, sandwiched and echo quilted, then cut to the correct size and shape.  After the jacket pieces are sewn together, the seams were spread and bound.

A close up of the sleeve detail.

A close up of the back detail.

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Quilt Gallery

This entry is a log of “traditional” quilts that I have made over the years but not posted.

Bugs    2007                                                                                               82 in. X 98 in.

Fancy Squares    2009                                 84 in. X 100 in.

Fat Cats     2009                                                                       78 in. X  96 in.

Out of the Midnight Sky     2009                    82 in. X 94 in.

Butterflies for Emily    2009                                                         82 in. X 96 in.

Geisha in the Garden       2010                                          80 in. X 98 in.

Midnight Madness  2009                                                                    98 in. X 98 in.

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