Thursday, August 14, 2014

The String Star Saga (epic edition)

This quilt has gotten a lot of time on the ole blog here recently. I have actually enjoyed working on this quilt very much! I originally saw this quilt...

in book of antique quilts and knew immediately that I was going to make my own version of it. I had no idea how big the quilt was, or the star, or the star pieces. So I randomly chose a size that would fit on a page from the phone book. I was going to use the phone book pages for my foundations, so it only made sense that the diamonds be small enough to fit on them.

I got busy piecing LOTS of diamonds. Just sewing strips and strings onto the phone book pages.

I marked this ruler that I happened to have with tape, so that I could trim up the diamonds consistently each time. 

Then I laid them out on the design wall and started swapping them around until I was convinced that it was no longer necessary (and no I'm not going to tell you how many days that took!) And I sewed them into rows...

And then I sewed the rows into star points and the star points into the star. 
Finally it was time for borders...
This was my first idea for a border and I pieced all four of them.

But I didn't like it, even after I added a blue inner border, so it came off.

So I made the half diamonds into full diamonds and sewed them into borders and added them.
And didn't like them so I took them off.

And then I made half star units and got very excited about them. I made them to go all the way around the blue border and was grinning from ear to ear when my husband walked through the room and said, Why are those stars broken? They look really weird. That man needs to learn to keep his mouth closed! (But he has other wonderful qualities so I forgave him!) And then I ripped the half stars apart.

Then I went to the quilt shop and bought two more yards of red fabric. I was asked, Didn't you just buy 5 yards of this? I very politely stated that I did NOT want to talk about it. Luckily, they know me at the quilt shop and understand that these things sometimes happen. 

Are you counting? I have now sewn on and ripped off  FOUR variations of borders. Let me just say that I don't usually have this many versions before I find the right one. Actually, I've NEVER spent this much time with my seam ripper. But the quilt needed borders to make it large enough for a full size bed (we use our quilts around here) but not too large to fit the bed. And NO, I didn't want to make it King Size for my bed because that would require repainting the room. And who has time for that?

So I decided to make the borders simple, and just let stars hug the corners. I think they will look nice on the bed and they will be fun to quilt. So if you need me, I'll be pin basting this quilt top. I plan to machine quilt the star because of all the seams, and hand quilt the red areas with pearl cotton thread in a fun design. And NO I haven't figured out what design that will be yet. I'm still reeling from the border issues!

Does anyone need any red scraps? 

Enjoy every stitch!


  1. Wahoo... This is a really fascinating saga! Your efforts were well rewarded, this version is the best so far. I am very impressed by your tenacity and I expect other episodes : especially the hand quilting part!

  2. I love it! All that time with your seam ripper paid off. I can't wait to see what you decide to quilt in those big open spaces. And that pile of scraps is nice to look at too!

  3. great finish! It was a long a winding road but worth it = it's great!

  4. I like the border you ended up with.

  5. An enjoyable read today and a good looking star quilt in the end. The red background sets it off very well.

  6. The final boarders is just what that scrappy star needed. Your patience level is so much greater than mine, I am afraid that after the second failure that quilt would live in a closet somewhere wadded up with much frustration and tears

  7. What a beautiful end product! It's been great to read about your process, and your persistence is amazing! If you're serious about someone needing red scraps, I will gladly give them a home and turn them into something. :) I love the colors you used, and those little squares in the corners really finish it off nicely. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love, love, love the final layout!! I'm interested in your red scraps.

  9. I think you made the right decision--love it!!!

  10. OMGosh! I laughed through a lot of that post. Any chance you could use your red strips/scraps/rejects on the back?
    I really like your end result. It is an awesome quilt!

  11. This quilt is so amazing! I have several string stars that I stitched about 10 years ago - makes me want to pull them out and work on finishing them into a quilt top!

  12. Love the border treatment you came up with - just perfect!!!!! It will look fabulous on a bed. Are you using the other borders you made on the back or are they going to make another quilt??? They are beautiful!!!


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