Gather up all the polka dot prints you can find, then combine them to make a bright and colorful throw.
Designer: Becky Goldsmith
Photographer: Perry Struse
Designer Notes: After choosing the many polka-dot prints for this quilt, designer Becky Goldsmith sorted them into two piles-one a range of lights and one a range of darks. She concentrated the lightest lights in the block backgrounds, then used the remaining lights for the light prints in the star centers and points.
Becky unified the riot of prints in the blocks by making each star primarily one or two colors. She included yellow, black, and white pieces in every block to give each one sparkle. In order to choose the colors for her pieced border, Becky repeated the colors of the stars adjacent to each border rectangle. If you'd like to duplicate this look, use a design wall to lay out all your pieces and help plan the color placement.
2-1⁄8 yards total of assorted dark prints in pink, orange, green, blue, and purple for blocks and border
2-7⁄8 yards of assorted light prints for blocks
5⁄8 yard of black dot for binding
3-2⁄3 yards of backing fabric
66" square of quilt batting
Finished Quilt Top: 60" square
Finished Block: 18" square
Quantities are for 44⁄45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1⁄4 " seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.
From assorted dark prints, cut:
12 -- 3-1⁄2×18-1⁄2" rectangles for border
4 -- 3-1⁄2" squares for border corners
126 -- 3" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for a total of 252 small triangles
45 -- 2-1⁄2" squares
From assorted light prints, cut:
36 -- 6-1⁄2" squares
9 -- 7-1⁄4" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X for a total of 36 large triangles
90 -- 3" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for a total of 180 small triangles
36 -- 2-1⁄2" squares
From black dot, cut:
7 -- 2-1⁄2×42" binding strips
Assemble Nine-Patch Units
1. Referring to Diagram 1, lay out five dark print 2-1⁄2" squares and four light print 2-1⁄2" squares in three horizontal rows.
2. Sew together the pieces in each row. Press the seam allowances toward the dark print squares. Then join the rows to make a Nine-Patch unit; press the seam allowances in one direction. The Nine-Patch unit should measure 6-1⁄2" square, including the seam allowances.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make a total of nine Nine-Patch units.
Assemble Star Point Units
1. Join a dark print small triangle and a light print small triangle to make a triangle-square (see Diagram 2). Press the seam allowance toward the dark print triangle. The pieced triangle-square should measure 2-5 ⁄8" square, including the seam allowances. Repeat to make a total of 108 triangle-squares.
2. Referring to Diagram 3 for placement, lay out a triangle-square and two assorted light print small triangles. Join the pieces to make a light triangle unit. Press the seam allowances toward the triangle-square. Repeat to make a total of 36 light triangle units. Note: The long edge of each triangle unit is on the bias, so avoid stretching it out of shape while sewing.
3. Referring to Diagram 4, lay out a triangle-square and two assorted dark print small triangles. Join the pieces to make a dark triangle unit. Press the seam allowances toward the dark print triangles. Repeat to make a total of 72 dark triangle units.
4. Referring to Diagram 5, lay out one light triangle unit, two dark triangle units, and a light print large triangle. Sew together the pieces in pairs. Press the seam allowances in opposite directions. Then join the pairs to make a star point unit. Press the seam allowance in one direction. The pieced star point unit should measure 6-1⁄2" square, including the seam allowances. Repeat to make a total of 36 star point units.
1. Referring to Diagram 6, lay out four star point units, four light print 6-1 ⁄2" squares, and one Nine-Patch unit in three horizontal rows.
2. Sew together the pieces in each row. Press the seam allowances toward the light print squares or Nine-Patch unit. Then join the rows to make a Dolly Madison's Star block. Press the seam allowances in one direction. The pieced block should measure 18-1⁄2" square, including the seam allowances.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make a total of nine Dolly Madison's Star blocks.
Assemble Quilt Top
1. Referring to the photograph for placement, lay out the nine star blocks in three horizontal rows. Sew together the blocks in each row. Press the seam allowances in one direction, alternating the direction with each row.
2. Join the rows to complete the quilt center. Press the seam allowances in one direction. The pieced quilt center should measure 54-1⁄2" square, including the seam allowances.
Assemble and Add Border
1. Referring to the photograph opposite, piece the dark print 3-1⁄2×18-1⁄2" rectangles to make 4 -- 3-1⁄2×54-1⁄2" border strips.
2. Sew pieced border strips to opposite edges of the pieced quilt center. Sew dark print 3-1 ⁄2" squares to both ends of the remaining pieced border strips. Add these pieced border strips to the remaining edges of the pieced quilt center to complete the quilt top. Press all seam allowances toward the border.
1. Layer the quilt top, batting, and backing.
2. Quilt as desired. The featured quilt was machine-quilted in the ditch of the block seams. The light backgrounds of each block were then quilted with either an allover circle pattern or a meandering zigzag.
3. Use the black dot 2-1⁄2×42" strips to bind the quilt.