Skip to main content


The Next Lone Star

I am continuing to practice lone stars.
This time I tried a different tutorial.  Each one I find is slightly different so I get to try different techniques and see which ones work best for me.
Since I've gotten better with points and the quarter inch seam allowance and need to work on keeping the diamonds from stretching I picked this tutorial.  It has fewer, bigger diamonds so it should go faster.  It also doesn't have the set in squares and triangles so it will be easier to finish if I choose to do so.
As soon as I started cutting the diagonals I realized I forgot the starch.  I just jumped right in and missed the main point of the block.  So, I decided to continue and focus on being as careful with the fabric as I could.  Guess what, my diamonds didn't stretch out this time!
I got some stretching when I sewed on the triangles, however the block still turned out OK.  A couple of points are slightly off but most of them are right on. There is a slight hump in the center …
Recent posts

Up next ... lone star

The cause of the delay has been a Lone Star block in the middle of my quilt.  I've been practicing pieced diamonds but I'm still not ready to attempt the real one.  So far, I'm a big fan of this tutorial.

At first, I had trouble with the quarter inch seam and getting the points lined up.  After a few really wonky blocks I had to pause to get some starch.  That helped and the blocks are getting better.
So, I started another strip set and another round of diamonds.  The points turned out much better this time.  So did the quarter inch seam.  Each block is 3.5 inches across and the center diamond has perfect 45 degree angles.

But, the blocks are not 45 degree angles on the outside so there is still some stretching going on. I'm going to have to work on my starching technique and/or mix up a stronger batch.
The good news is that I'm getting closer.  At first I thought I wouldn't be able to pull it off but I think I can with some more practice.  
So, I'm off to…

Vintage Stripes and Plaids

As I've worked at copying an old quilt the most difficult fabric to find was suitable stripes and plaids. This block had 3 plaids and one stripe.  I was only able to find 3 plaids so they all had to go into my reproduction whether I liked them or not.

I consider myself lucky to have found the stripe fabric that I did - it was from a collection of Christmas fabrics.  

I love this tan stripe with the leaves.  Of course, I couldn't find anything like it.  Wouldn't that be a great fabric in lots of different colorways?  

My modern block is boring in comparison.

Here's a Monkey Wrench block with different white and brown stripes.  I looked through the prior posts and didn't find it.  So, maybe I missed it.  I hope I didn't miss others.

I couldn't find any pictures of it and it's overcast and raining so all you get is a blurry photo.  I had to use the Christmas stripes again and have a passable brown stripe.  Still, I think the modern block isn't as exci…

Pieced by ...

The old quilt that I am copying has 2 blocks with information about some ladies that may have worked on the quilt.  I have no idea how reliable the information is but I have done some research.
First we have Ruth who was born in 1796 and died in 1864.

Obviously, this wasn't written by Ruth but the dates match what I can find online.  
Next is Sally who was born in 1789 and died in 1881.  Again, the dates match up with the records.

Her block  is said to have been pieced on April 7th, 1879.  What happened on that date in 1879 so that the date was remembered?  I found nothing on "on this date" lists so it must have been something local.  I need to do more searching and see if there was a birthday or a wedding on that date.  It's also possible there was a note with the block or a diary entry.
So, what do I know?  If these are to be believed the quilt was documented and assembled after both ladies died.  But when and by who? How many of the blocks did Ruth and Sally make…

not quite the same

These are my favorite fabrics from the original quilt that I'm copying.  They appear in many of the quilt blocks.

Stripes and polka dots in 2 different colorways!  I need this fabric.  Someone please print it again.

Here's what I managed to find:

I didn't have any luck at all finding any old-fashioned looking light blue prints.  I settled for this light teal calico.  I was able to find black prints and this was the closest I found to polka dots.

Here I used a black calico and a gray fabric with tiny polka dots.

And finally another dark gray fabric with small polka dots.  I did find a white fabric with red dots even if the scale is off.   Notice how I ended up with white, ecru and tan for the light blocks and how similar the light blocks are in the original?

Comparing Stars

I've been showing you blocks that I've been making  based on an old quilt I have.  Actually, it's not a quilt.  I think you would call it a coverlet.  The blocks are sewn together and the edges are finished but there is no backing or batting.
Since progress is temporarily stalled, I thought I'd start showing some of the original blocks and my reproductions.  
I think I did pretty good on this block and it's a mixed bag.  
First, the mustard yellow fabric is nearly identical to the old fabric.  The colors are slightly different but otherwise there's no real difference.  That did not happen very often.  I quickly learned that I couldn't be too picky when selecting fabrics.
At the other end of the spectrum is the black fabric with blue flowers that are the star tips.  I couldn't find anything even close and I tried and remained hopeful through the last quilt shop I visited.  I don't know if it was a striped fabric or a border print but I would love to…

Block 31 - Another Star

Here's the next block.  The quilt has been filled with 9 and 10 inch blocks so far.  This is the first and only 11 inch block.  It will not have sashing and therefore has to be accurate.  That's why I did the other Le Moyne stars first.
I've searched and haven't found this block documented.  I probably haven't looked at the right sources.  I found a Blazing Star which is a Le Moyne with the star points made up of 4 patch diamonds. And the Liberty Star is a Le Moyne Star with the star points made up of 3 strips like a Rail Fence.
The center of this block is a Le Moyne but the star is extended.  I pieced it just like I did the other stars, but I had to piece the diamonds first.  The proportions are different but otherwise it is the same.
My first one went to plan.  The second one did not.  With this block it's hard to tell until the very end and I got the results I was expecting when I did the first one.  The center sticks up like a mountain and the size is way …