Saturday, October 2, 2010

Out of Control

Lone Star quilt by Laurie Simpson

It's always a wonderful thing to see a reproduction quilt like this one by Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson.
She saw a glimpse of an antique quilt in the magazine QuiltMania.
"It was an amazing example of a Lone Star quilt. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I got out my graph paper and pencil (and lots of erasers) and tried to figure it out. There was a slight mathematical quirk (i.e. mistake) that made my quilt 120" square - but hey, you can't get everything right can you. This is what I came up with."
See her post by clicking here:

I decided to make a Lone Star for my second quilt in 1967. How hard could it be? I drafted a diamond. I hand-pieced 8 giant arms. I put it together. There was room for only six arms.

I had two left over arms. It was a six-pointed star.

How was I to know there is more than one shape of diamond? "Hey you can't get everything right in the world can you?"

I would show you this quilt but my sister mercifully wore it out.

Things could have been worse, however. Here's a nice collection of seven-pointed stars.

The Cherokee Nation uses a seven-pointed star for their symbol. And quilters probably do make seven-pointed star quilts deliberately, but with my experience I have to guess that the seven-pointed stars shown here were a surprise to everyone involved.

If you haven't seen enough of what can go wrong, click on these images from the Quilt Index.

Here's a block from one of Deb Rowden's Thrift Shop Quilts.
Notice there are seven arms meeting in the center.
Oh dear, a left over arm! What to do?
Put it in the top center triangle. It almost fits.


  1. Yes, there is something very humbling about making a Lone Star quilt. Thanks for the mention. I LOVE the stars with 7 arms. I have never seen them before. After making a Lone Star, I believe your theory is right on.

  2. Laurie's is fantastic.. the red is great, and the last one, gives me the biggest smile... love it!

  3. I am making a split lone star - I have my fingers crossed:)
    I saw a seven pointed lone star on the internet and wondered how that would have come about.
    And what about 16 pointed ones - any idea?
    I love Deb Rowden's one. Wast not, want not.

  4. That is hilarious! I'm going to have to pay more attention to the arm of the lone stars I see!!
    If I ever tried to make one I'm sure it would fit into this post somewhere! LOL

  5. Love these!!! Yes, lots can go wrong with the lone star... fortunately, I worked my way out of it.

  6. ya learn something new every day - Winterthur has a Lone Star in their "antique Quilts" collection, that they cannot get to hang straight... saw it at Milwaukee Art Museum end of Aug - life seems to be just one big uneven Lone Star !

  7. I saw this pattern in American Patchwork and Quilting where they M&S published it and had to make it right away..it now is basted and ready for me to hand quilt this winter..I know I am making another one I enjoyed it so much...Lone star is one of my favorite designs..

  8. What a funny post. I bet you still have the one you made :-), show, show.

  9. Lauri does such beautiful quilts and patterns.
    I have painted a star quilt, but never made a real one, lol.


  10. WOWOWOW - Laurie's Lone Star is fantastic! Does it look antique? Did I read correctly? 120" square? Is it quilted? By which army of quilters!!! 120" !!!

    In my 43 years of quilting, I have never attempted this pattern. Terrified of it. Look at all of the biases on those diamonds? But Laurie's quilt tells me, it is time I try! And make the same pattern she did.

    Thanks so much for the fun post, and wonderful photos.

    Julie in TN

  11. opppps, forgot to add: The Cherokee Nation has 7 Clans - thus the 7 pointed star.

    Julie in TN

  12. The Lakota nation makes 8 pointed star quilts.
    I did not know that the Cherokee Nation had 7 clans nor used a seven pointed star.
    I made my first lone star quilt as a wall hanging for a class reunion fund raiser. A challenge for me to be accurate in cutting and piecing. Followed directions in an old quilt book, and found it was not too hard to make. It hangs straight, and the winner was very happy. Raised a nice bit of money for our next reunion too.

  13. I have always wanted to make a Lone Star quilt, but I think this post has cured me. Those 7 pointed stars kind of look like squids. Maybe you should start a blog of Quilt Wrecks. Everybody has one stuffed in their closet, don;t they? Or is it just me?

  14. Loved this post. I am still hand quilting the one and only lone star I intend to make. Humbling indeed -
    great selection of humbled stars here - thanks!

  15. Love them. I think I need to figure out the diamond for a 7 point star. I have never made one that wasn't 8 points. Started as a way to perfect my points. This looks fun.