Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate Colleran | McCall’s Quilting Blog

Welcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs! Kate’s new large throw quilt pattern, Winter Sunset, is on the cover of the January/February 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Read on and don’t miss the fabric giveaway at the bottom of the article!

Hi everyone! I am Kate Colleran from Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs and it is great to be back with you guest blogging for McCall’s Quilting. Today I am talking about my quilt, Winter Sunset, in the January February 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.

When you start a new quilt project, where do you start? The pattern? The fabric? For me, every time is different. Sometimes I start with fabric that I love and work with that. Sometimes I start with the design. For my quilt, Winter Sunset, I started with the design and a general idea of color.

wintersunset 500 Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate Colleran

But what about the quilting? To be honest, one thing that I rarely think about before I start a quilt is the quilting. I don’t know why but I usually have no idea how I am going to quilt a quilt until the top is pieced and I am standing with my friend Crystal, an amazing long arm quilter, and she asks me, “So, how do want to quilt this?”


Sometimes I have a general idea if I want swirls or florals or something geometric, but sometimes I have no clue. None. So then we start looking at the quilt and we may pull an idea from the design of the quilt, or maybe look at an element in one of the fabrics and find a design that is similar.

Sometimes, we just look at designs until one says “pick me”!

Once we have the design, then we have to pick thread. Oh, the choices of thread we have to pick from- colors galore!

Do we pick a neutral thread that blends in? Do we pick a bright color that pops out and makes a statement of its own? Do we pick a solid color or a variegated thread?

threads Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate Colleran

With so many options it can be overwhelming. For Winter Sunset, we could have picked a blue or dark grey to blend in with the darker blues in the quilt. Or we could have picked a soft blue, green or lavender.

To help us decide, we usually lay thread options out on the quilt top and see what works. And all these would work. They look pretty good. Just depends what you like.

Threads against fabric Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate Colleran

In the end, for this quilt, we went with hot pink. Bright and bold, it really pulled all the elements of the quilt together. And we thought it was fun. Sometimes a quilter just wants to have a little fun and that is reason enough to pick a bright color!

Close up pink quilting Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate Colleran

So, how do you pick your quilting design and thread? Do you know ahead of time what you want or wait until the the top is pieced to decide? Tell us about how you pick your quilting design and thread and be entered to win a fun 4 FQ pack of True Colors fabrics.


4FQs for giveaway 300x300 Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate ColleranThanks, Kate! And thanks for providing this super prize! Leave a comment below before midnight November 30, 2016 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. The winning name will be drawn on December 1 and notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.


This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. 


If you’d like to make a Winter Sunset quilt of your own, kits and backing fabric are available in our online shop, and they are going on sale on Cyber Monday at 30% off!

If you’d prefer to use your own fabric and don’t already have a copy of the January/February 2017 of McCall’s Quilting, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Winter Sunset quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

CU HomeDecor 300x250 Winter Sunset: A Visit with Kate ColleranCheck out Kate’s on-demand online class, Creative Quilting for Home Decor! In addition to patterns for pillows, table quilts, and more, Kate shares tips for many quilt making techniques, including foundation (paper) piecing.

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