Saturday, March 18, 2017


Here we go with Prairie Star 2.0! I've changed the colour scheme on this sooo many times, but this week I put a freeze on the changes, and cut the fabric.

The new, and final, version of the centre star.

It's been a long road. Prairie Star is a Judy Niemeyer pattern that I bought in 2012. This is another quilt that suffered in the doldrums of family apathy that I described in the recent Hen Party post. And now, I think it will really benefit from the fresh energy I got from that finish!

The original plan was to make it for my dad, who wanted it in red and gold. I struggled with the colour placement:

In hindsight, I can see that a lot of my "design" problems were actually caused by conflicting requirements from my dad. And then, I didn't like that red and dark cream floral background in my first attempt at the centre star:

The floral was too brown, and washed out the lemon yellow. The lemon yellow was going to be a big feature in the square blocks around the star, and I had a lot of it, so that was a big problem for me. Still, I kept going, and the next two sections turned out well:

Then I started to have doubts about that red spiky border. From a feng shui perspective, a bunch of red spikes pointed in toward the centre of the bed is not good. My dad is elderly, and it just seemed undesirable. I tried to involve him in a redesign, but he had come to the point where anything new, even a quilt, was simply too stressful. He didn't want it any more.

What to do? I packed it away, and every so often I'd get out the coloured pencils and try another variation.

Goofy, but appealing too.

In the baking heat last summer, I thought the quilt would be nice in cool aqua and fresh green. If those spikes around the edge were green, that would solve my feng shui dilemma. And they'd be like prairie grass! Light bulb!

I bought yards of a pretty aqua and red floral, and some coordinates. Plus, I wanted to save something from the first version. Since the arcs of red flying geese were the most work, and they seemed to match, I decided to use them. But, this kind of large scale foundation paper piecing requires the iron at every step, so I planned to restart it when the weather cooled off...

Last week I finally opened the boxes and looked at it again. Gosh, were those red flying geese really going to work with the aqua? Hmmm. Where are those coloured pencils? Maybe I need to think outside the box. What about something totally different?


No, that would be terrifying on the bed! Like a hippie tie dye.

What if I just carry the red of the flying geese through the star, I thought? With lots more white. And that lemon yellow fabric I originally planned for the squares is already cut. So how would that look? Hey, I like it! Now, what about fabrics?

No more shopping, I said, let's see what else I can find in my stash. Well, that turned out to be no problem at all. So, I have scrappy greens for the "grass," the original geese and melon spike units that I made in 2013, the original lemon yellow print for the squares, and a range of fun stash prints for the Lone Star. Freeze the plan! I cut the fabrics, and now I'm committed. :D


  1. What a great thought process. I love how you described the evolution and came to your conclusion. I think that your final coloured sketch is instantly more soothing. It's a generous and thoughtful process.

    1. I think you are right, there does seem to be a soothing logic to the final one, that was missing from the others. A reflection of my state of mind, quite possibly! Thank you! It all supports my theory that in art & design, the inner voice is better than the outer voices. :D

  2. Your last and "frozen" color choice is my favorite. I didn't know that about the red spikes pointing in. How fantastic that your stash yielded the fabrics you needed for this project. I look forward to seeing your progress and yes, having the iron on is best in cooler weather! :)

    1. Thanks, Terry! Yes, my stash is in good shape these days -- hopefully there will be no more last minute shopping! Because that is always distracting.

      I feel like it's almost done, but of course, that is not the case!

  3. so much pondering has gone into this star and now you have found the perfection solution. Happy stitching

  4. LOVE the pattern but looks a little complex for me.

    Your primary colors palette looks wonderful. (I like Hippie Tie Dye too...;-) ) Glad you are moving forward on this and have a renewed excitement.

    Glad mentioned about red pointing in on the bed - I'll avoid that in my future bed quilts...maybe there are other feng shui quilty reasons why I have bad dreams and talk in my sleep and never feel like I get a good night's rest!!

  5. It is always interesting to watch people create and see how they choose their palette. I'm so impressed you can work with colored pencils and translate that to fabric. I always have to use greyscale then just set fabrics next to each other. Your way looks such fun. Enjoy!

  6. I struggle with colour choices and buy fabric for one then another then some extra just in case . . . I think I do best when i impulsively jump right in and get at it. I like the yellow in your final selection.

  7. Love it. You are so good at this - recognising a problem, putting it aside then working it through when your mind has cleared. The new centre is just great - both striking and harmonious. So great that you have the patience to try it out with pencils. It's on the way to being fantastic.

    1. Thanks so much, Jillian! I am glad and relieved to have a plan that seems to have come together at last. Let's hope it goes smoothly from here!

  8. Working on any of Judy N. Patterns can be very very challenging. I think figuring out your color scheme has been the most challenging part. Good thing you kept coloring and planning. Your final plan is terrific.

  9. So interesting to follow your thoughts as you work out the colour scheme. I always love the colours in your quilts, so it will be fun to watch this one evolve.

  10. Maybe part of the problem with doing this designer's pattern is that you often work in an improvisational style with scrappy thrown in. I have made one of her patterns and won't do it again because you have to commit at the beginning to the fabrics and color scheme you want to use. That doesn't work very well for me. After making a block or two I will think I should have used a different value or color here or there and then you're stuck with yards and yards of fabric you have already pre-cut.Anyway your block is very nice. Will ve fun to see it progress.


Thank you for your comment! I love to talk with my readers, and I will reply to every comment, either directly via email or, if you are a "no-reply" commenter, right here under your comment.

Google, however, does not always send me a notification if you have a non-Gmail address, or, if you have strong privacy settings on Google+. So if I missed you, I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention!

Happy stitching!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...