Friday, December 28, 2018

Stars in Her Crown Quilt Along---Next Week

Perhaps we occasionally ARE amused.

This should be fun!
Stars in Her Crown: Victoria's Royal Children

A Quilt Along with a weekly pieced pattern for 10 weeks, January-March, 2019 here at the Material Culture blog on Saturdays in the winter. The first block will be posted Saturday January 5, 2019. If you subscribe to the blog by email you'll probably get an email on Sunday.

Each block is named for one of Queen Victoria’s nine royal children. Weekly posts include short biographies of the children with suggestions for reading more about their lives, their family relationships and their influence on 20th-century Europe.

Nine blocks based on triangles

We have a FaceBook group: StarsInHerCrownQuiltAlong. Ask to join and I'll be glad to OK you. (It's not like being presented at Court---everybody gets in.) Click here:

Paper Piece the Weekly Blocks Or Cut Templates

Each pattern is a square in two sizes. Choose 8" or 12".

Example from Block 2
You'll work in triangles, 8 for each block.
You can piece the triangles over a paper foundation
or use the pattern to make templates.

Block 5
You can see that beginners will be challenged, but if you have some
skills in paper piecing or template piecing you will want to try it.

For Paper Piecing:
By the time you are finished with the 9 blocks you'll be a paper piecing paragon.
  • Print the square so you have 4 copies.
  • Cut each square into 2 right triangles with a diagonal cut on the line.
  • You need 8 triangles, 4 going one direction, 4 the other.
  • Piece the fabrics to the triangles leaving a quarter inch seam allowance around the edges.
For Template Piecing:
  • Print one copy of the pattern sheet.
  • Use the triangles for templates. Note Piece A, the edge triangle in a blue violet above is the same for all the blocks and border so you need to make that template only once for all 9 blocks.
  • Add seams when cutting fabric.
  • Cut 4 each of A, then flip the template over and cut 4 more.
  • Do the same for B & C, etc.
  • Join the pieces into triangles.
  • Then assemble triangles into 4 squares.
  • And join the four squares.

You might want to place marks on some of the rather odd shaped triangles so you know how to match seams. Pattern makers traditionally use small arrow points.

Becky Brown's fabric choices

Read more about fabric and the patterns here:

For the 12" blocks I'd buy:
Background: Neutral or statement-1-1/2 yards
10 related fat quarters if you want a lot of variety
Or 5 half yards for a less scrappy look.
For the 8" blocks---Maybe 3/4 of a yard for the background.
           6 fat quarters

1877 The Royal Mob
From Frank Leslie's Newspaper & the Library of Congress

You'll learn perhaps more than you want to about Queen Victoria---a difficult woman revealed in  her letters. She like her contemporaries was hard on her children, hypercritical, picking favorites, playing them against each other, not speaking to them (for 7 months at a time!) etc.

Her great grief at her husband's death when she was 42 caused her to become even more erratic and difficult. But she did recover, something mentioned in her kind consolation to newly-widowed eldest Victoria the Princess Royal in 1888:
"May your children be some help, some comfort, as so many of mine were. Though at that time there was bitterness....I have now been a widow four years and a half more than I was a wife....After a time the sense of being of use to others made me wish again to live on." 

I will try to remember that letter, written when she was 69, as we look at her offspring who often  suffered from imperial parenting.


  1. Thanks for the clarifications, Barbara. This looks interesting, but I'll probably be behind by week 3! I'm not much of a paper piecer.

  2. I will follow along with your progress but will pass on this qal. One of my goals is to finish up some projects before starting any new ones. But thanks for your time and generosity . Happy New Year

  3. You guys can just read along. I'm not making it either. I'm leaving the precision piecing to Becky, Denniele, Mark & Janet.

  4. Thank you for just letting us just read along. I too hope to finish many already started projects. But I do love hearing and understanding more about her and her life and children. I understand she grew up as the only child of her mother, very cloistered and nearly suffocated by dear Mum. Many tried to rule her life, but she finally made her own way. I've been working on reading We Two about her life and her life with hubby. But so many other things keep getting in the way of progress with the book.

  5. Patty-I believe that is a chiffon mohawk. Quite a trend.

  6. I love PP and hope I can handle the more challenging blocks! Looking forward to this

  7. Seré una asidua lectora, me fascina la vida de las personas ilustres. Deseando empezar a coser. Un saludo