I’m Seeing Stars

by Mary Beth Krapil

As I viewed the quilts at the AQS QuiltWeek in Daytona Beach this year, I started to realize I was seeing stars. Turns out, I was in the special exhibit Singular Stars – Lone Star Quilts from Judy Martin. I was amazed at the variety that was created based on one of the oldest traditional quilt patterns. In a Lone Star quilt the large central star is made up of diamond shapes that form the star points. There can be 6, 8, or even more points. Other names for the same pattern are The Star of Bethlehem, The Mathematical Star, Morning Star and Star of the East.

This is not an easy quilt to piece as it involves bias edges of the diamond shaped pieces and set in Y-seams when adding the corners. Variety can be achieved by color selection and placement of the colors. Traditionally, the colors were placed so that they create concentric circles around the center of the star.

You know how when you don’t know any better, you can sometimes take on more that you bargained for? The first quilt I ever made was a Lone Star. Yes, I had no idea. And, I HAND quilted it. This was one of the two quilts that convinced me I needed a longarm machine. After hand quilting them, I counted up the number of quilt tops I had waiting to be quilted, then multiplied by the hours it took me to hand quilt and I realized I would need to live to be 300 years old. And never do any more piecing!

Here is my quilt:

Lone Star
pieced and hand quilted by Mary Beth Krapil

 

Can you see the circles formed by the colors? The colors and fabrics kinda give away the era that I began quilting, don’t they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will see from the following collection that Judy Martin created some great variations of this simple lone star.

Queen of Diamonds
pieced by Judy Martin
quilted by Lana Corcoran

 

 

The diamond sizes gradually change to create the look of this quilt and Judy added a diamond border and satellite star blocks to embellish the quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star of Wonder
pieced by Chris Hulin
quilted by Carol Westercamp

 

 

These star points are asymmetrical and this is just one of the many ways they can be arranged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiral Radiant Star
pieced by Chris Hulin
quilted by Jane Basin

 

This was based on Jan Krentz‘s Spiral Lone Star. The placement of the colors creates the spiral effect. I love how the spiral effect is carried out into the border.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest Lone Star
pieced and quilted by Chris Hulin

Harvest Lone Star Setting Variant
pieced by Chris Hulin
hand quilted by Judy Martin

These two quilts are variants with the same colors. How different they look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wave on Wave
pieced by Chris hulin
quilted by Lana Corcoran

 

 

Graduated blue diamonds and parallelograms form an undulating Lone star. So cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppermint Twist
pieced by Margaret Sieck
quilted by Beth Hauersperger

 

 

Appalachian Spring
pieced by Judy Martin
quilted by Lana Corcoran

detail of Appalachian Spring

 

I love how how this scalloped lone star has a border print background. It almost looks like multi-colored embroidered stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Galileo’s Lone Star
pieced by Judy Martin
quilted by Lana Cocoran

 

 

The bold colors of this star are quite striking against the white background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shiloh
pieced by Judy Martin
quilted by Lana Corcoran

 

 

Multiple stars make up this spectacular quilt. Check out the border!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Howdy Ma’am
pieced and quilted by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

Here’s a miniature Lone Star that I made several years ago. It measures 20″ x 20″ and has some unusual embellishments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiral Lone Star
pieced and quilted by Mary Beth Krapil

 

And I tried my hand at a Spiral Lone Star too. I took a class with Jan Krentz to get me started on this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you made a Lone Star quilt? Put it on your bucket list. They are fun!