This color palette!! I can’t get enough of it. I am not sure which color is my favorite, they are all so good. You guys this is New Dawn by Citrus & Mint Designs. Now this lady knows color. Each and every line Rachel creates for Riley Blake Designs has a perfect palette of beautiful colors. This one is packed with pinks, oranges, blues, and greens. I think the greens . . . yep, it’s the greens that got me. I can see a whole room designed around these colors and fabrics. Imagine a green desk, a quilty chair, drapes in the white bee with pops of color around at the top. Oh, if I only had a little more extra time; my office would totally get an overhaul. And this Garden Star 2 quilt would be hanging on the wall. 

The Garden Star 2 Quilt

I am in love with how this quilt turned out. The pattern is an easy one. You can totally finish the top in a week and if you are an overachiever like my sister, you can make it in a day. Garden Star 2 is part of my Garden Star series. I have made it a few times now and love how it turns out each and every time (I made if for a fabric challenge click here to see another version of this quilt). It has a big bold design which is made with half square triangles. I love big blocks! I feel like I get to do half of the effort but still get an impactful quilt when finished. 

Garden Star 2 Quilt
Quilted lines
Dried artichoke flower


When I was sifting through my ideas on how to quilt this quilt, l leaned toward an idea I had once before. The first time I attempted this style, machine-stitched line with hand-stitched lines sprinkled throughout, it didn’t go well at all. I left the spaces for my hand-stitched lines on row seams. This gave me two extra layers of fabric to fight the whole way. It was so hard on my hands that I ended up stitching most of the lines in with my machine. This time I learned and started my machine-stitched lines next to my row seams. This helped me keep my lines straight so that was a bonus. I stitched two lines on both sides of the seam and left the middle open for a hand-stitched line. I used a variety of thread colors and types. On the machine, I used a grey and a light blue thread. For my hand stitching. I used Aurifil floss, embroidery floss, yarn thread and chunky thread from Lori Holt. This quilt is so soft and has texture big time, complementing the quilt without taking attention away from the quilt.

Hand quilting and machine stitched  quilting lines
Hand quilting with Aurifil thread

A few hand stitching tips

  • Use an extra long needle, that way you can load a lot of stitches onto your needle. When I started stitching, the first needle I used I bent, so I dug around my box and found a much better needle that was stronger and longer. 
  • Hold the thread from your last stitch as you pull it. This will help prevent knots. 
  • Play around. Hand Stitching can add a lot of texture to a quilt. You don’t have to hand stitch the whole thing. Just adding in a few details here and there can be a game changer. Here are a few examples of when I added some hand stitching to my machine quilted project: Double Pinwheel Quilt, Yoya Quilt
Strawberry Quilt Binding with New Dawn Fabric
New Dawn fabric by Citrus and Mint Designs

New Dawn fabric is at your LQS, so get it while the getting is good. I think I am going to get a few extra yards from the Fat Quarter Shop. I think I need a little more of the strawberries and I am a sucker for each and every ladybug I see. Share your projects on Instagram using hashtag #newdawnfabrics and you can follow Citrus & Mint Designs there, too. If you would like to get a copy of Garden Star 2, click here. To share your quilty photos use hashtag #GardenStar2.

Cheers to making something new and getting creative!!

Folded quilt with New Dawn Fabric
Folded quilt
Brown Bird Designs Quilt label