Star quilt blocks
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Cover Girl! McCall’s Quilting features my star quilt

Are you looking for a star quilt pattern? The summer issue of McCall’s Quilting is sure to please!

Surprise in the mailbox

Quilt pattern designers, or anyone writing for publication, knows that it is a long waiting game from submission to finally seeing your name in print. I got the thrill of a lifetime this week when my copies of the July/August 2020 issue of McCall’s Quilting arrived in the mail. I opened the envelope and my very own quilt was staring back at me from the magazine’s cover!

McCall's July 2020 cover

Quilters love show and tell, so it is a relief to finally be able to talk about my design, called Starlit Night Skies. When quilt patterns are accepted for publication, the editors ask that the design remain “secret” until the magazine or book is released. Now that it is out in the world I can share the full story!

Designing for Publication

About a year ago, I signed up for notifications from several magazine editors. They send out design requests and share the themes of upcoming issues. When they announced Summer Starry Nights as a theme, I immediately shared my star quilt pattern. Within a few weeks, the editor contacted me with the news that my design would be included in the July/August issue. Several emails flew back and forth as we discussed fabric options and I began sewing in anticipation of the March deadline for them to receive the quilt.

Starlit Night Skies

My star quilt pattern features two of my all-time favorite quilt blocks – an eight point star and the friendship star. Northcott Fabric graciously sent me the fabric to make the sample quilt.

Star quilt blocks

I chose two shades of red for the eight-point star, and a lighter patriotic print for the smaller friendship stars. The background is a navy blue from the Stonehenge collection.

Learn my preferred methods for making half-square triangles in this blog post.

Quilting Motifs

There was a bit of panic during the quilting of my star quilt sample…my longarm machine totally quit working. I was literally in the middle of stitching and the machine died. I ended up taking the star quilt to a friend’s house so that I could finish stitching and get it in the mail by the magazine’s deadline. Quilt friends are the best!

For the small friendship stars, I used a spiral flame design. (By the way, that white spot is part of the fabric texture!)

spiral stitches in star quilt block

Wavy flames add detail to each section of the eight point star.

quilting in the eight point star

An all-over design of loops and stars completed the quilting in the background areas. I left lots of negative space for the quilting designs to shine.

McCalls star quilt by True Blue Quilts

Pick up your copy of McCall’s Quilting July/August 2020 today. Let me know what colors you use. I’d love to see pictures.

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About Author


Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



  1. I love your quilt. I was trying to find the fabrics that are mentioned in the picture of your quilt but obviously your quilt isn’t made with Moda Basic Grey Grunge. You mention the blue being Stonehenge but what are the reds and stars? Thank you. It’s a beautiful quilt!

  2. Totally stunning star quilt! I love the dark back ground which makes the full colour of the stars stand out!
    Thanks so much for sharing. All the best, Jay – thesewingwren

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