6 essential tips to finish the Wish Upon a Star for Spring Quilt

It certainly has been a dream come true to work with these beautiful fabrics from Northcott! This week’s post have featured the amethyst colorway of Northcott’s Stonehenge Gradations Brights as we create the Wish Upon a Star for Spring quilt. Today is the day it all comes together.

Time to quilt the quilt

Make Borders

Use Fabric A 7 – 2½ʺ strips to make borders:
For top border sew together 2 strips and trim to 48″. Press strip-joining seam open.
Repeat to make bottom border the same length as top border.

For side borders sew together strips to make 2 borders each 68″ long. Press strip-joining seams open.

Border added to tulip row

Add Bottom Border to Tulip Row

Pin and sew the bottom border to the bottom edge of the tulip row; press the seam to the border.
Pin and sew the tulip row to the bottom of the quilt center; press the seam to the quilt center.

Add Top Border to Star Row

Pin and sew the top border to the top edge of the star row; press the seam to the border.
Pin and sew the star row to the top of the quilt center; press the seam to the quilt center.

Quilt top with borders

Pin and sew a side border to each side of the quilt. Press the seams to the borders.

Make Quilt Sandwich and Pin

Secure quilt sandwich

It’s important you have a large enough area to lay out your quilt sandwich and be able to get around the quilt to pin.

Make sure each layer is flat and wrinkle free before you add the next. I use green painter’s tape to secure my backing fabric to the floor – this time I even added some to my batting.

Once all three layers are flat it’s time to start pinning. I start from the center and work around in sections. If I know how I plan to quilt an area I make sure to position the pins so I won’t have to move them as I quilt – this will help keep the layers wrinkle free as the quilt gets pushed and pulled through the machine. If I’m not sure yet how I will quilt an area, then I space the pins approximately 2″ apart to make the area as secure as possible. I will usually end up moving these pins as I quilt but I will also have probably quilted the areas around it so I’m not too worried about puckering.

Quilt as Desired

Quilting on a center tulip

Quilting. It’s always a personal preference and usually based on time and abilities, maybe even the purpose of the quilt. This time I wanted to keep some puffiness in the quilt because I like that effect in bed quilts. I’m also still hesitant to do free motion quilting or anything very fancy in the blank spaces. I plan to do straight lines in the background that radiate out from the center star.

It’s general practice to start quilting by securing the layers evenly across the quilt starting in the center. I started by sewing in the ditch of each quarter in the center.

I chose to highlight the different sections of the center tulips using decorative machine stitches – a different one in each section. I used purple thread to blend into this section.

Quilting on star

For the star block row I quilted in the ditch around each star. Then I quilted from midpoint of each side of the square to make it look like a square in a square inside the star. This is enough quilting to keep the quilt laying flat and it also repeats the center design of the quilt.

Quilting on tulip row.

I played a bit with curved quilting lines in the tulips. I used corners as visual points to sew to and went back and forth to each corner. I’m pleased that it’s enough curve to suggest petals and enough quilting so the tulips will crinkle up a bit in the wash : )

Use whatever quilting you’re comfortable with to finish the quilt – just get it done so you can enjoy it!


When the quilting is complete, trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top.

Sew the binding to the front of the quilt by machine, fold it over to the back and hand stitch in place.

One quarter of the quilt

I hope you have been inspired by this week’s posts featuring Northcott’s Stonehenge Gradations Brights and the Wish Upon a Star for Spring quilt. With this fabric’s lovely and endless texture, my mind was on the more creative things like design elements and quilting.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4:  Repeat design elements to lengthen your quilt

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Laura May 8, 2016 - 10:15 am
Really appreciate the great directions and close up photos for this quilt. Love the central mandala impact.
Cathie Scanlon May 6, 2016 - 11:57 pm
I love these fabrics and your quilt shows them off very well.
Sarah Vanderburgh May 7, 2016 - 9:46 am
Thank you Cathie! The Gradations Brights are beautiful to work with - I hope you get the chance;)
Lyn Evans May 6, 2016 - 11:39 pm
Love the quilt block and colors!
Sarah Vanderburgh May 7, 2016 - 9:47 am
Thanks Lyn. The Northcott Stonehenge Gradations Brights are in beautiful colours - so easy to create with them!
Pam S May 6, 2016 - 9:43 am
What a beautiful quilt! And I love your tip on using painters tape. I'm going to do that! Thanks!
Sarah Vanderburgh May 6, 2016 - 10:11 am
Thanks Pam! Yes painter's tape is just sticky enough to hold your quilt and comes off both the quilt and pinning surface easily. Enjoy quilting your next quilt!
Fred May 6, 2016 - 2:42 am
Beautiful fabrics, and nice pattern, I love the rows!
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