Forest Talk Winter Star Quilt

Winter Star quilt - Forest Talk version featuring red, pink and beige linen | Modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #starquilt 

A winter quilt in spring with summer riiiight around the corner? 

Yup! This one is for my fellow quilters currently gearing up for winter in the Southern Hemisphere! Or, to inspire anyone tackling Christmas in July who wants to get a head start on holiday projects 😉 (I keep meaning to give this a try!) 

Winter star quilt in the winter wild featuring Forest Fables collection with beige Essex linen and hand quilted for lots of texture. Quick, easy and fun quilt pattern by Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltsinthewild

Get the Winter Star Quilt Pattern.

In all fairness, I actually made this quilt when it was the dead of winter and we were experiencing a polar vortex here in Montreal. It was some of the coldest winter days that saw me all snuggled up underneath this quilt while hand stitching away. Everyone was complaining about the cold and I was snug as a bug in my quilt!

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Machine and hand quilting detail on the Winter Star quilt featuring holiday fabric from Andover. Fat quarter friendly modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #quilting

Well, not MY quilt, my mum’s actually.  I totally designed this version of my Winter Star quilt pattern with her in mind and with the intention of gifting it as a Christmas present. The fact that it didn’t actually get handed over to her until Mother’s Day is an entirely different story all together!


Instead, this is the story of how the Forest Talk Winter Star quilt came to be. 

It all started when I won a fat quarter bundle of Cathy Nordström’s Crisp Forest Talk fabric collection for Andover Fabrics. It was an Instagram giveaway that I vaguely remember entering. 

Fat quarter bundle of Forest Talk wrapped in a navy blue grosgrain ribbon and then shown stitched into a stack of half-square triangles for the Winter Star quilt | Beginner friendly modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #halfsquaretriangles

I never think I’m going to win these Instagram giveaways and usually participate because I want to support a fellow designer or because I’ve been tagged! So, to get the notice from Cathy that I’d won was super surprising. There were two colourways to choose from – a green/ purple or blue/red. I’m not usually a fan of red, but my mum LOVES red and since I hadn’t made her a quilt yet, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do so. 

With a quick email to Cathy with my fabric choice and mailing info, I got to thinking of what quilt design would be a good fit for the collection. The prints are super cute – especially those bunnies – what is it about bunnies?! 

Winter Star quilt block in red, pink and beige linen, back of Winter Star quilt shown in winter wild and Forest Fables fat quarter bundle from Andover fabrics | Modern Quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #starquilt

My mum’s décor tends to be more on the traditional side and since it was a fat quarter bundle heading my way, I wanted a pattern that would use all the prints. My Winter Star quilt pattern was perfect on both counts. Based on the fabrics you choose; the pattern can look either super modern or very traditional. And the scale of the prints was perfect for the star block design. 

Only thing left to decide was the background fabric and how to pair up those fun prints! 

Once I received the bundle, which took quite awhile since it was coming from Europe, I sat one afternoon and played with the pairings. That was the fun part! Getting to decide which combos looked best. When isn’t playing with fabric the best?! There were lots of ways I could have gone here, but I love the combos I ended up choosing. 

Since I only had a FQ bundle, I needed some additional fabric to make a generous lap size. Plus, I needed some yardage for binding. 

Winter Star lap quilt in blue, pink, red, beige and linen featuring machine and hand quilting details on this holiday version | Fat quarter friendly modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #handquilted

To help pull the collection together, I initially thought I would use a light blue Linen Texture fabric from Makower UK. Once I had it on the cutting table, it looked amazing with the collection, but I was worried it wouldn’t be my mum’s cup of tea. So, I opted instead for my trusty *Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax by Robert Kauffman. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve found a project where that linen doesn’t work! 

The one choice that was a no brainer was the red Linen Texture fabric from Makower UK. Thankfully, my friends over at Madabout Patchwork were super helpful in bringing some in specifically for me. I couldn’t find the red anywhere and they worked with their supplier to get it in. That’s what I love about local quilt shops. They’re ALL about customer service. You can read more about why I love them here. Or check this list for all my go-to online fabric shops

Chain piecing Winter Star quilt blocks on my Juki TL-2010Q | Fat quarter friendly beginner modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #chainpiecing

Blue, white and linen Winter Star quilt block from the Forest Fables lap quilt | Perfect holiday quilt to make this Christmas season for your loved ones | Modern Quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #holidayquilt

What's awesome about this pattern, aside from getting to play with lots of prints in one quilt, is how quick she comes together. This pattern lends itself very well to chain piecing (tutorial here), making quick work of the quilt top. 

Blue floral print, beige and essex linen with red Makower UK backing featuring the machine quilting with 40wt Aurifil Thread and big stitch hand quilting detail using pearl cotton thread | Winter Star quilt pattern - fat quarter friendly | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltpattern


There are quite a few quilting designs featured in this quilt. It took me quite a bit of time to finish it all up, but it was a great reminder that the time invested in a quilt always pays off (at least I haven’t regretted my quilty efforts thus far!). I opted to play around with quilting in the negative space between the stars using a square diamond shape. This involved quite a bit of thread burying, which is not a personal favourite task of mine (hence why my Molinari inspired mini is still a WIP). But I’ve learned that if you bury as you go it’s not so bad. I then added some big stitch hand quilting detail using *pearl cotton thread in size 8 between those quilted lines. This bit is what took me forever, but I love the look from the back. Don’t you?! 

The binding was another element that I really enjoyed. I really love the classic combo of navy and red and feel the small scale of the Blue Crosses print really frames the quilt perfectly. I love when a binding choice works out!

Blue and white binding for the Winter Star quilt - Forest Talk version | Beginner friendly modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltbinding

And finally, you know me by now that I don’t consider a quilt finished until it’s been labeled. As always, trimmings from my project inspired that pretty little detail (which I thought I photographed, but can't seem to find anywhere...). You too can make your own – see all my tips here

Oh, and don’t toss those selvages, they really do eventually come in handy. Case in point – rather than dipping into my ribbon stash, I opted to dip into my selvage and thin trimmings! Here’s the selvages from the backing fabric I used for the quilt. Nothing like “free” ribbon that coordinates with your project 😉 

Winter Star lap quilt folded and tied with selvage from the red linen texture Makower UK | Winter Star beginner friendly quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #selvage


Here's a full overview of the materials I featured in the Winter Star quilt: 

Crisp Forest Talk Fat Quarter Bundle
Forest Talk Blue Crosses 
Forest Talk Red Jumping Rabbits  
Forest Talk Blue Mountain Flora 
Linen Texture in Red
Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax
Aurifil Thread 40wt in Silver White for quilting 


Winter Star lap quilt out in the winter wild | Forest Talk + Essex Linen + Makower UK Linen Like | Fat quarter friendly modern quilt pattern | Shannon Fraser Designs #quilt  

I love how this one turned out. So much so, I’m tempted to make another! I know I've said this before, but that's what I truly love about quilting. You can work with the same pattern but have a completely different end result just by switching up your colourway. The original version I designed back in 2017 had a very Scandinavian look.  

What would be your go-to colourway choice? Share in the comments below. 

Happy quilting! 



PS Knocking it off my Q2 2018 FAL List!


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