It’s that time of year when the collective consciousness of the country turns to Stars & Stripes. For most people, the phrase evokes images of family get-togethers, fireworks displays and the flag waving in the summer breeze. For quilters, however, it’s that and also much, much more! All the different star blocks one can make start twinkling in the mind, and stripes that can be printed or sewn start darting in all different directions.
In this issue, we’ve gathered starry patterns of all stripes, many of them in shades of red, white and blue, to celebrate the season. Sparkling Skies is a breathtaking showstopper that will build your skills and delight viewers. Stellar Stripes combines stars and stripes in a clever way, and foundation piecing makes it accurate and easy to sew. Many of the featured quilts with stars and stripes would make excellent gifts to honor service members.
In addition to our stars and stripes theme, we’ve also selected some quilts that are all about color—like summer fireworks and flower gardens bursting in every color of the rainbow. Katie’s Garden and Whirlygig are both great opportunities for stash busting and using scraps of happy, bright prints that, if you’re anything like me, you’ve kept on hand just because they’re too great to throw out.
Speaking of celebrations, we’re still in the throes of celebrating our 25th anniversary! We hope you’ve been enjoying the remakes of patterns from our archives and we’ve got another one in this issue. Anniversary Surprise combines stripes, a big star, and shibori-style colors to make a lovely quilt that is fast and fun to sew. It’s just one of the many projects in this issue that may spur your summer sewing!
Gigi Khalsa, Associate Editor
Table of Contents
- Editor’s Letter: Stars and stripes are perfect for summer sewing.
- Fresh Picks: New tools for cutting, piecing, storage and more!
- Quilter to Quilter: See what your fellow McCall’s Quilting readers have been up to.
- McQ&A: Our editorial team reflects on using stars and stripes in quilts.
- Quilt Basics: The quiltmaking techniques you need to make the patterns in this issue.
- Quilts on the Beach. An annual summer outdoor quilt show that sounds like the ideal quilt lover’s getaway.
- Applique Anyone? Get a complete lesson in hand applique from our resident applique expert, Erin Russek.
- I Love This Quilt! Check out this remake of a traditional pattern in bright, contemporary prints!
- Stellar Stripes: A fresh new slant on stars and stripes.
- American Vintage: One block rotates to make a complex composition.
- Sparkling Skies: This medallion-style quilt is a true showstopper.
- Parade of Stars: Stars and stripes go every which way in this directional design.
- Star Shuffle: Little stars dance in and out of large stars in this one block throw.
- Anniversary Surprise: Stripes come together to form an oversize star.
- Desert Bloom: A clever twist on the log cabin design results in this sun-dappled throw.
- Whirligig: Play with shape and scale at this pinwheel party.
- Come Together: Gently curved templates create an interlocking chain.
- Brocade Bouquet: Gorgeous fabric and applique combine into an elegant throw quilt.
- Posy Parade: Power up with easy pieced blocks and adorable floral applique.
- Katie’s Garden: Grow this gorgeous garden bursting with color using scraps.
- Schoolhouse Steps: Foundation piecing and trimming
- Schoolhouse Steps: Cutting curved templates