I'm Joining the Expanding Stars Quilt Along!
The first time I saw the Expanding Stars Quilt from designer Emily Dennis of Quilty Love, I was immediately smitten. The bright and bold graphic nature really spoke to what I look for in modern quilt design. The design features a center block rooted in the traditional saw-tooth star design ringed by ever growing bands around the outside. The quilt also features four arrows pointing back into the star for emphasis. All around, it is a clean and modern take on a traditional block with plenty of opportunities for color, pattern play, and all types of quilting.
The Expanding Star Quilt pattern also stuck out to me because it uses just two types of blocks to make this quilt layout, half square triangles and regular squares. Such a bold look, yet with such straight forward, simple construction. Emily also writes her patterns so well. Instructions are easy to follow and include necessary diagrams to further help with explanation for those of us who learn better visually. She has also started including a coloring page at the end of her patterns to help you plan out your fabric layout - very clever and helpful!
Also, I love stars! Star designs in quilts just seem to get me every time. The star is an image that works for so many ages, genders and styles, so you get a lot of versatility for your pattern purchase. You can make this one patterns again and again and have a different look each time depending on color and fabric choice. To get an idea of what I am talking about, just do a quick Instagram or Google search of the Expanding Star Quilt. Some are more modern, fresh and fun, and others are more traditional. I love a pattern that can speak to a variety of quilt makers as well as quilt recipients.
I have made the Expanding Stars Quilt twice so far in the larger throw size which measures 80in square, as well as the baby size which measures 40in square. The large throw was made using a variety of subtle, modern prints with a nod to autumn. The gray and black graphic center print from Art Gallery Fabrics expands out into the golden band of trailing dots and falling leaves. The next band features a bold red in another graphic print with hints of metallic gold sourced from Jo Ann fabrics. The final band around the outside fades the design into the background using a more subtle black and white dot print from Michael Miller. For my accent arrows, I added another hint of metallic gold in the form of Quarter Dots, again from Michael Miller.
For my baby version of the Expanding Stars Quilt I went with all solids in a more masculine color scheme. The center star in a cement gray ringed by a soldier blue. I then added a ring of fresh Kelley green and a bright golden yellow to define the shape of the star against the deep marine blue background. The arrow accents on this quilt are a light sky blue. I love the design overall for the quilt pattern, but for a crib quilt I prefer the length a bit longer, so I added a few borders around the outside of the star panel to give additional detail and extend the dimensions to 54in by 43in.
Emily is hosting a quilt-a-long of the pattern in just a few weeks which will walk you through the process of making the quilt over the course of about a month, and I plan to join. Honestly though, you can make this quilt in a lot less time, especially if you make the baby size, as the construction is relatively straight forward. However, I am really looking forward to making this quilt again and along with the growing group of other talented quilters over on Instagram. Follow along with the Expanding Stars QAL (Quilt-A-Long) hashtag #expandingstarsqal over on Instagram to see all of my progress, as well as what I am sure will be plenty of other beautiful versions of this fun quilt!
Overall, I love making this quilt! It is a straight forward make that is relaxing and fun. Emily writes her directions in an easy to follow style, which adds to the enjoyment of the process. I would say, if you are a long time quilter, or are interested in starting or expanding your quilting skills, I would make the Expanding Stars Quilt Pattern from Quilty Love. The quilt along runs April 22 through May 20, 2019, so grab the pattern now and get ready to quilt-a-long! xoxo, Janice
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