I always wanted to quilt something this complex, but knew I could never get all those fiddly triangular shapes to match up if I sewed them, so I figured out how to create the pattern on needlepoint canvas -- and THAT I COULD DO!
This is one of the few patterns that uses four variegated Watercolours threads, combined with four more solid color pearl cottons. I was focused on re-creating an Amish quilt, with those rich jewel-tone colors of blues, purples and pinks.
And I LOVED stitching this piece! It looks complex, with all those small elements, but really it was very easy and fast. (Personally, I think it's one of my easiest quilts to stitch...) I worked just one quadrant of the star first (the upper right section), and once I had that section completed, I could use it to continue stitching the remaining three quadrants that are mirror images of the first.
Working the rectangular outer border was a no-brainer, too - except for keeping track of which color goes where! Then I always leave the ecru background for last.... and on this piece, the different stitch directions create a really dazzling play of shifting light and dark ecru. Here's a shot that shows what I mean:
I created this design back in 1998, and at that time I only had a black and white printer to use for the graph. Because this really is such a classic design, and truly one of my all-time favorites, I decided to take the time this week to revamp the whole pattern, incorporating COLOR symbols this time around (woo hoo), so it's much easier to work from the graphs and is a breeze to print on my big color laser printer.
So if you love Amish quilts (like I do) and want something really fast and fun to stitch, please consider my newly-updated SHINING STAR!