I always knew that one day I’d get into quilting. I didn’t know how it would happen. Because truthfully, the idea of cutting fabric into little pieces and then sewing them back together into crazier formations sounded…too tedious? or unnecessary? to my design brain.
And then quarantine happened.
And we started sewing masks, and masks, and more masks.
And in a weird way, I really enjoyed the monotony and simplicity of sewing hundreds of masks. I liked knowing that whenever I had a few minutes (in between homeschooling and kid life), I could pop into the studio and make a mask or two. I could pick up right where I left off without having to overthink it or remember where I was. And for someone who thrives on feeling productive, this was the perfect kind of pick-me-up.

DUDE. If productivity was a love-language, I’d check that box.

Of course all projects need at break. And after a lot of mask making, I took advice from my friend Amy — who said she was balancing time between service sewing and sanity sewing. I definitely needed some sanity sewing. So I decided to make a quilt!

I spotted this really fun star quilt that my friend Christina was making and her photos just drew me in. Ooooo. That. Is. So. Pretty.
And that was it. A shift happened in me.
Suddenly all I wanted to do was cut fabric and make a quilt!
I wanted to make quilt stars!
And I wanted to make them right now, like the scene from When Harry Met Sally:

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

I don’t know if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this quilt….maybe I did? But I wanted the quilting life to start now! Geez guys. Didn’t know I could feel so passionately about quilting. Haah.

So I grabbed the OFFSET STAR QUILT PATTERN (which is FREE!) from Meghan of Then Came June. And you know what’s really funny….during quarantine, Meghan (who is a hard core quilter) took up garment sewing! It was like a Freaky Friday pandemic switch when I saw that she made a shirt, while I was sewing her quilt pattern. I love what this time has done to us.
And I had the perfect Fabric to use!


This is my new fabric collection with FIGO FABRICS. Sorry I’ve shared more about it on Instagram than here on the blog. It’s a retro, throw-back collection with butterscotch yellow and 70s vibes, inspired by my grandma’s house growing up. You can see all the designs on the FIGO site. And you can purchase them online and in local quilt shops. Just do an search for “Dana Willard Butterscotch” and you’ll see different shops pop up.
Here are some shops that carry Butterscotch:
Hawthorne Supply Co
Fabric Bubb
Etsy shops

So I started quilting! And piecing things together. I learned to make Flying Geese, the anatomy of a STAR, how to line up and nest seams together.

I discovered that never-ending puzzle of arranging the quilt blocks and realizing that one block just isn’t fitting quite right.

I developed (very small bits) of patience when my iron broke, and I waited for another one to arrive so I could finish my quilt top….and patience again when I decided to take photos in a low-light office building because the wood paneling on the walls was so perfect. But you know, low light = potentially blurry pics. Make it work moments!

And I learned which steps of the quilting process I love most. Clara took this pic of me the day I started cutting out fabric and I’m laughing at the pic after it (when I’m binding the quilt) because I’m wearing the same shirt! Haha. That’s quarantine for you.

I would say that this moment is my favorite—hand sewing the binding in place. I love that peaceful feeling of sitting with a project, no machines attached…especially if I can sit outside. This is my favorite time of day in the evening, sitting by the pool while Casey wrestles in the water with the kids and I can watch from the sidelines. This moment makes me want to sew another quilt!

Here you go! The finished quilt!
Oh my gosh, I love this quilt so much. There are flaws and puckers here or there, which gives it personality, right? That’s what I love about a handmade item.

For the quilting on top, I planned to do a diamond grid but once I’d sewn lines in one direction, I loved how it looked with the stars. Almost like they were moving—shooting stars? So I left it at that.

And let’s not forget about the backing. The mid-century chair print from BUTTERSCOTCH! Large scale prints are perfect for the back of a quilt. It’s like two quilts in one. I’m not sure which side I like better??

And then comes a bitter-sweet ending to the quilt story. A few weeks after taking these photos, and sharing the My Heart is Heavy post, I decided to participate in a fundraiser to support Black Lives. I wanted to give something to the cause that was meaningful and personal. I scanned my closet for things I’d made in the past. And then I walked into our front room where I’d placed this star quilt on our couch (it matches our living room so well) and knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to donate my quilt.
I admit, it was hard to give this sweet quilt away! Especially since it represents so much emotion from the quarantine months. And yet that’s why I wanted to share it with someone else. I’m happy to look at these photos and remember this moment in time.

And I guess this just means it’s time to make another quilt! Yay!

  1. 1) bdaiss

    Nice work! That’s a great first quilt! What’s next? 🙂
    (I fully admit, binding is my least favorite part and by the time I get to that point…I just sew that sucker on with my machine so I can be DONE and get it in the wash to make it all crinkly and ready to be used!)

    • 2) Dana

      Thanks Britt! And funny….I can see how binding is NOT fun for some. I think I actually like the slowness of it. But talk to me down the road when I have quilts piling up from needing bindings done!

  2. 3) Lana

    I adore your quilt!!! And I’m happy for you that you’ve discovered the world of quilting- it’s so fun and therapeutic. If your favorite part of making quilts is hand-sewing the binding, you should look into hexie quilts. They’re completely hand sewn and you use a technique called English paper piecing. It might sound overwhelming to sew a quilt by hand, but it is so addictive sewing each little hexie, and you can sit on your butt and watch TV while you do it. 😊

    • 4) Dana

      Thanks Lana! And yes….so therapeutic. I’ve seen people doing EPP stuff and have never ventured there. I think I should give it a try! I love a good TV project 🙂 Thanks!

  3. 5) Linda S

    Yay, you did a great job! Glad you’re hooked! Can’t wait to see your next quilt. Love your fabrics.

    • 6) Dana

      Thanks Linda! YES. I’m ready to make more 🙂

  4. 7) Mary Lou Pollock

    Beautiful quilt!! Love the colors, too. My mom was a quilter – all hand-sewn. I can see her near the living room window seated at her quilting frame during the day.
    So glad you found another outlet for your love of sewing!

  5. 8) Jac

    Bravo Dana pour cette superbe courtepointe.
    C’est exactement le modèle que je souhaiterais réaliser pour mes petits enfants.

  6. 9) Cheryl

    Wow, I LOVE LOVE LOVE both sides!!

  7. 10) Jen S

    You have inspired me to try my first quilt. I just placed a fabric order! Here’s to trying something new in 2020 (and my 40th year!).


    Thank you so much for all you give to others, Dana. My mother was also a big quilter. She made nine-patch quilts and cross stich quilts. I would go to the department store with her to pick out kits for the cross stich quilts. But she always did the other ones by hand. it was such tedious work with al l the little pieces of gingham all over the place. then she made toys out of pieces pf quilts. But I have never found the patience to do such work. I do have some quilting frames in my closet just in case. There is a Sunbonnet Sue quilt which still needs to be finished.
    Stay safe . Thank you for your mask patterns. Susan

  9. 12) Tonje

    What a lovely quilt! Well done!

  10. 13) Sharon

    What a great quilt and thank you for donating it to an important cause.

  11. 14) Shasta

    Congratulations on a beautiful first quilt. It doesn’t look like a first quilt at all. I am sorry (not sorry) to say that once you get the quilting bug, it is permanent. There is no cure or treatment. You are going to have to continue to make more quilts! How wonderful that you are donating this beauty – now you really do need to make another one for the living room.

  12. 15) Hardie

    Hi Dana. Could you please share where you get your tags (labels) that you sometimes sew into your projects? Thanks. Love your tutorials

  13. 16) Debbie S McPherson

    Wow! I’m not sure which I’m impressed more with……your quilt, which is absolutely gorgeous, or the fact that you donated it to such an important cause. You are a beautiful example of inspiration and love! Thank you for sharing!

  14. 17) dorothy

    Love this story, love this quilt, and love that you were able to use it for a good cause! I just started quilting myself (something I never thought I would get into). It’s definitely addicting!! I made 2 quilts for two sisters having babies at the same time and I included some of your adorable burp cloths in their shower gifts! Thank you so much for your adorableness, your beautiful spirit and all of your fun projects!!

    • 18) Dana

      Oh awesome! I’m so happy you’ve jumped into quilting too! It’s such a relaxing creative outlet. Thanks for the comment and have fun with your quilting adventures!

  15. 19) Rosa

    Dana I love this quilt. I have been seeing so many quilting beginner videos and have yet to make a quick. Learning firstly how To use my inexpensive brother machine Bought 6 years ago at Walmart wanting to start making baby blankets for my granddaughter. Did 1 than found myself with grandma duties moving to downsize and so on and only to sit and start using it during now quarantine Trial and error I’ve managed 2 table runners couple more baby blankets pillow cases and working up the courage to make a quilt. Reading your blog has pushed me to get it going. Wish you camaleón a video I would completely appreciate it especially with some oops in the process. Lol
    Thanks again!!

    • 20) Dana

      Thanks Rosa! I am planning to make some quilting videos when the new year comes. I just need to get to it! I’m glad you’re diving into quilting! It’s a fun sewing adventure 🙂

      • 21) Rebecca

        As I sit cuddled up under my FIRST QUILT EVER, a Hunter’s Star in forest colors, my hand clutches my first quilt baby and my heart cries never never never will I send it away.
        I have some others but my son has laid claim to all family heirlooms already. True he now owns and treasures every crocheted Afghan my mama made, and a delicate crocheted table cloth my Gramma made for my wedding.
        Are you sure you want to let go of your beautiful quilt??????

  16. 22) Joan Hubbard

    Dana. You are awesome.!! I love your creativity. You are an inspiration to all.

    • 23) Dana

      Thanks Joan! You are sweet 🙂

  17. 24) Sara Churchill

    Love this quilt I have been thinking that I might make one soon but a little easier as it will be my first one.

    I just want to know when making a quilt do you have to use a quilting needle? I have a Janome sewing machine that would be perfectly fine in my eyes but I am concerned that it needs a specific needle I don’t intend on doing fancy designs I just wanted to know

    I love all your videos

  18. 25) Marisa

    I’ve been following all your quilting fun on Instagram and you have inspired me to make a completed quilting project a New Years resolution for 2021! Will you be making some quilting tutorials? I appreciate the concise directions and clear steps in your videos that I just can’t find with other sewing bloggers, and I would love to learn quilting from you! Either way, thanks for inspiring others with your creativity.

    • 26) Dana

      Oh awesome! I’m so happy you feel inspired to quilt! Yes! I hope to have quilting tutorials and videos this year…and some new patterns 🙂
      Thanks for following along Marisa! Have fun quilting 🙂

  19. 27) Marilu

    That is beautiful! I’d love to learn how to sew and make quilts. Any tips for a newbie?

  20. 28) Athena CP

    Thank you very much for the beautiful pattern🤩😍 I cant wait to try making it

  21. 29) Jo Ann Hahn

    Would like to be able to print the instructions in stead of refreshing My phone every few minutes

  22. 30) Jemcon

    I started making charity and quilts for others years ago and only made my first quilt for myself during COVID. Both have been wonderful. I have found for me that it is important to wash quilts before gifting them with a note of all the ways it can be used on the path of lovingly wearing it out. For me, knowing that what I’ve made has brought warmth, a roof, or a surface to lay on in the grass is the best.

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