Choosing one of Denyse Schmidt's designs to use with her new Hadley fabric was tough. I am drawn to complementary colors these days, and love working with orange in particular, so when I saw Denyse's Crazy Star pattern with lots of orange and blue in her book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, I knew I had to make it. I chose to follow her color scheme relatively closely, utilizing most of the orange/brown fabrics from the Hadley line and supplementing them with coordinating fabrics from Denyse's Modern Solids line. As Denyse works locally here in CT, I was lucky enough to stop by her studio and purchase solids for the star and enough yardage of a beautiful bright blue for the background that matches the tiny blue dots in some of the orange Hadley fabric.
As a relatively new quilter (about a year), this was my first project involving foundation piecing. I opted to paper piece instead of using muslin, and it worked great, though when tearing off the paper I quickly saw the reason for using a smaller-than-usual stitch length. Next time! The fabrics in the star were chosen at random, having stripped the fat quarters into random widths and then paper piecing together using a method similar to Denyse Schmidt's brown bag technique. I simply arranged the strips into three piles based on value from Light to Dark and grabbed within those stacks at random. Arranging the final blocks was my favorite part of the process, as I didn't exactly know how it would look until the pieces on the design wall screamed Done!
I'm in the process of quilting now, using an echo-star design, and the final size measures a square 65"x65" (a bit smaller than in the book). The backing I chose is Urban Flannel, a Valori Wells design from several years ago that is also made by Free Spirit Fabrics, the manufacturer for Denyse Schmidt's Hadley fabric. My kids will love winter mornings hanging out on the couch under this warm, bright and fun quilt, for sure.