Creating an Ombre Nordic Star Quilt

blue ombre fabrics

Want to create your own ombre Nordic Star quilt but unsure where to start with your fabric selection? Read on for tips on selecting fabrics and bundles for creating the perfect ombre quilt!

The Ombre version of Nordic Star uses the following number of fabrics:

  • Lap size (12 blocks): 8 fabrics
  • Throw size (20 blocks): 8 fabrics
  • Bed size (36 blocks): 10 fabrics

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Nordic Star is created to use two main dominant colors and a gradient that draws you from the first main color to the second main color, going from dark [top left corner] to light [center] and back to dark [bottom right corner].

throw size Nordic Star blue ombre quilt

Looking at the throw size above as our example, colors 1 & 8 are the darkest, and then you work your way into the middle lightest colors, which are colors 4 and 5. Not only are colors 4 and 5 the lightest colors, but I view those as your transition colors from one dominant color to the other. You’re looking for a fabric, or fabrics, that straddle the line between your two colors, allowing you to create the ombre look.

For example, with the Unruly Nature fabric Nordic Star quilt, my two dominant colors were yellow and red, and the important transition fabric between them was Palmiers in pecan, which had a creamy yellow base fabric with a red line design drawn on top. It allowed that transition between yellow and red to happen more easily. Everyone on Instagram keeps calling this the “strawberry lemonade” version and they definitely have a point!

Here’s another example of creating an ombre quilt with two very different colors. I mocked up with Nordic Star quilt using Rifle Paper Co. Holiday Classics collection. I wanted my quilt to go from red to green. I started with the darkest red fabric in the top right and the darkest green in the bottom left and worked my way towards the center, using the fabrics in the collection to create an ombre. If a low volume fabric had gold or red I used it to make the transition from the red side, and if a low volume fabric had green or was a pale blue in color it was used to make the transition from the green side.

Since I was limited to the fabrics in the collection, the ombre gradient isn’t perhaps as “perfect” as the blue solid cover quilt is. However, it is still a very effective ombre quilt.

In this quilt, every block is a different fabric, using a 1/2 yard bundle to create the look. (You can read more about using a 1/2 yard bundle in this post).

Throw size Nordic Star quilt in Rifle Paper Co. Holiday

Another example using a 1/2 yard bundle, this time for the lap size. The lap size is a little harder because you have less blocks available to make the transition. I used the More Pie Please! fabric collection coming out next year from FIGO fabrics. In this example, I used the yellows, lighter red and light blues to make the transition from one side to the other.

lap size Nordic Star quilt in More Pie Please! fabric collection

Although written for an ombre from dark to light and back to dark, you could choose to do a light to dark (or dark to light) ombre gradient. I used a 3/8 yd bundle to create this lap size that goes from pale blue to dark blue.

lap size Nordic Star quilt in blue ombre

An effective ombre quilt won’t go just from light to dark, but will have almost a trickle effect, where there’s a slightly darker block in a light section and a slightly lighter block in the dark section. This brings movement in the quilt and gives the illusion that the blocks are fading into each other, creating that gradient look. This can be trickier when doing the lap size Nordic Star since the blocks are big and you don’t have a ton of them to re-arrange. You can see how effective the ombre looks in Wonderie, and how much that transition fabric helps to bring you from the yellows to the purple/reds in the quilt.

Wonderie quilt in Unruly Nature fabrics

There are a few shops online that create beautiful bundles that would work well for creating the perfect ombre quilt. Although mostly sold as fat quarter bundles, you can reach out to them about buying yardage for a Nordic Star quilt. Please note fat quarters are NOT recommended for Nordic Star. You need 3/8 yd per block. Here are some bundle examples. Since print fabrics tend to be more difficult to visualize, I’m using mostly those as my examples.

The blue one on the left would make a great light to dark ombre, while the bundle on the right has a great transition from purple to green by using various coral fabrics.

I absolutely love this bundle below. It has lovely transition from pecan to purple. If you wanted to use a bundle like this for the throw size (20 blocks), you would either need to remove fabrics until you had 8 and get yardage of them, or add fabrics until you reached 20 and get 1/2 yards.

The bundles by Global Fiber Shop below are both examples of ombre. The more obvious one on the right, but if you rearranged the bundle on the left, you could get a nice gradient ombre.

While at first glance you may not think these are ombre, when rearranged, you can see how you could go from one dominant color to the next with transitions in-between. Each one would give you a different spin on a Nordic Star quilt. Each creating a unique ombre quilt!

Creating the perfect ombre quilt can feel a bit daunting in the beginning, but you can create a beautiful and unique Nordic Star quilt! Simply use two dominant colors and find your transition fabric or color for the center, and you’ll have an amazing ombre quilt!

You can find Nordic Star in my shop along with all my other patterns.

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