Recently someone said to me, You make sewing and quilting look so easy! After thanking them I confessed that my seam ripper is one of my most-used notions and that I make mistakes just like everyone else. Since sewing and quilting is my business, the mistakes often lead to new TV topics or developing new products.

Quilting Mistake #1—at least for this blog!

Case in point was a Lone Star wall hanging that I made for my cousin as a wedding present. Flash back 20 some years ago, I can still see the mauve pink, gray, and black—yes 90′s colors—wall hanging that she kindly hung over her fireplace. From a distance you couldn’t see the mis-matched Y-Seams. Up close was another story. With my seam ripper in hand, no matter what I did, the seams would not match. (Notice that I’m not sharing a picture of that wall hanging with you.) I gave the gift regardless of the sewing skills, hoping that my cousin would know the gift was from the heart.

That quilt block design haunted me. Great design—difficult process. There had to be a better way. So, I decided the Y-Seams could be eliminated, creating all straight seams using three easy template shapes. I presented the idea to Clover, the Japanese Manufacture of sewing and quilting supplies. They liked the idea. It was decided that it would be a product.

Quilting Mistake #2—I panicked!

Bringing a product to market, takes about 18 months, including bi-annual meetings with my Japanese counterparts. Six months after our initial meeting, the three quilt template prototypes were given to me at one of those meetings with the comment, Here are your templates, but just how do they go together?

I froze. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the templates to align. Flushed and embarrassed, I explained that I knew they went together, but I needed a few minutes to regroup.

Just how do these go together?

Back at my office, I looked at my original drawings and instantly I remembered my plan. Adding a simple A-B-C to the corners told me and you, too, how to make a Lone Star without a Y-Seam. My mistake, lead to a better product, the Trace ‘n Create Quilt Template—Lone Star Collection!

It's as simple as A—B—C

This is how the templates align!

A side note: Knowing how many of us like to sew, quilt, and create without dedicating days to a project. I decided to make the templates from traditional to super-sized. Piecing a 36″ block instantly creates a design with impact! You’ll find the directions included with the Lone Star template package

Watch this quick video demonstration to see how easy it is to assemble the block.


Thanks for all your comments about how many scraps you have. I sure enjoyed reading them. The random winner of a copy of String Quilt Revival book is Janet Orme Brown. Jane wrote: OK, still thinking! My church quilt group is always looking for a different project that we can adapt to making quilts to give away or auction for church needs. This would be a great idea as many of our older members have a lot of stash from years of quilt projects and the younger ones don’t really have the resources to purchase much new fabric. Share the stash, share the quilts, looking good for 2012. Having a common-sized template would be the absolute best for assembling a group quilt. Bless you for offering this great idea! 


Bye for now,

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