Anna’s Hardest Quilt – The Star of Bethlehem
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So I took some pictures of my hardest quilt. I literally cried over this one before I was done. Little did I know that “Star of Bethlehem” (aka Lone Star, Witness, and several other names) is considered one of the toughest patterns. Why? Because if your template is the least bit “off”, it won’t work.
I got my template from a Spanish quilting magazine many years ago…and later discovered that particular mag had pirated the pattern entire from an even older American quilting mag, when someone gave me said American mag and the pictures were identical! Well guess what–the template was way off! I didn’t know that, so I merrily cut and stitched the little diamonds together by hand–no strip-cutting, I just went ahead and made my 8 points. Stitched them together two by two, fine. Four by four, no trouble yet. Joined the two halves together and GUESS WHAT: the centre of the quilt rose up to a point and there was no way I could get it to lie down. I ripped it apart and sewed the points together again…same result. (This is where I cried, at least once). Put it away.
Fast forward a year or so and I met an Australian lady who looked at it and said, “Eight points? Forty degree angle, luv. Your angles are daggy.” Turns out “daggy” means “messed up”. Then she said, “Leave it with me” and proceeded to trim the points so it would lie flat. Shazam!
Then I got to do the fun part (for me)–the hand quilting. Just for a difference, I used a circular motif between the points and outline-quilted each diamond. It’s not exactly rectangular because I didn’t have enough background fabric, and there wasn’t any more where that came from–story of my life. It’s too small for the bed, but it makes a nice cover, and I have been known to throw it over the dining table (hence the tea stain in the centre. I don’t do that any more.)
But I learned a lot. Lesson One: Just because a template is online or in a book doesn’t mean it’s right. Lesson TWo: Just because a project doesn’t work does not mean it’s your fault it’s not working. Lesson Three: None of my friends can quilt, most can’t even sew–and they are all impressed with my daggy little quilt!!
I love my daggy little quilt. But no, I don’t think I’ll ever make another one of these.
Sharing over at: Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday at Quilt Matters, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
LOL! Great lessons to learn. You just expressed all the reasons why I haven’t tried a lone star yet. But they are so beautiful! Way to go on finishing this one, Anna! You did a wonderful job with it!
I feel your pain. I’ve only done small Lone Stars but have struggled every time. Yours looks great and was worth all the trouble xx
A lovely finish though, despite everything! And beautiful hand quilting.
It looks great. Thanks for the tips. I’m hoping to make one of these.
Thanks to all! As Douglas Adams put it, “You live, you learn–or at any rate, you live.” And there’s the old quilter’s proverb: As ye sew, so shall ye rip!
I have always liked the look of this pattern, but never been tempted to try it. So glad it all worked out. And especially excited to see it hand sewn and quilted -as I am a hand sewer also.
Lucky you to have an Aussie Angel to help you out!
I live in New Zealand and we consider ourselves “coussies” (cousins in other words) to the Aussies although we are bitter rivals on the sports fields when our respective countries are pitted against each other. There you go – a little history/geography lesson.
You are very brave indeed to attempt a Lone Star quilt – way out of my comfort zone. Lovely hand quilting, and congratulations on your finish!