Early in my quilting career, I made a Lone Star wall quilt as a wedding gift. I almost didn’t give the gift away, as I was somewhat embarrassed that not all the seams met. After all, I was Sewing With Nancy, what would people think! Fast forward many years, and now I’m eager to show you the same quilt block, this time with a technique that’s practically guaranteed to cause pride, not embarrassment. Why my change of heart? I broke the rules and I’d like to share my tips with you. You can also watch me demonstrate this speedy way of making a Lone Star quilt online. Click here to watch the TV show.
Since you can watch the TV show just by clicking here, I’m not going to give you all the specifics—it’s much easier to watch the action. But, I would like to explain why this works so well.
No more Y-seams!
The traditional way to make a Lone Star block is to use a diamond, rectangle, and square. The intersections are tricky to stitch where all three seams meet. (Some may call it a Y-seam, I say, why seam like that!) I find it difficult to stitch all three seams exactly.
The speedy piecing option
Here’s where I broke the rules! I cut the square and triangle in half, and added a seam allowance at the cut lines. The result, a seam down the middle of the square and triangle, eliminating the Y-seams. It’s totally a straight-seam process!
I designed these modifications into templates, Trace ‘n Create Quilting Templates—Lone Star Collection. Each template includes four sizes from 12-1/2″ to 36-1/2″. The featured wall hanging has the large 36″ finished block in the center and four sections of the 12″ block in each corner. The sheer size of the block makes a big impact!
The templates are marked in the upper corners with either A, B, or C. You’ll find that helpful when assembling the blocks.
- Printed on the template are the widths of the crosswise strips needed for each size. After cutting the crosswise strips, spray the strips with Mary Ellen’s Best Press, then press to add extra crispness.
- Trace the template shapes on the strip of fabric. After tracing one section, slide the template over (or reposition) to trace another section, aligning the template on the previously traced line.
- Trace and cut eight sections of each of the three templates per block. Note: I generally cut 2–3 layers of fabric at a time.
Stack and stitch pieces
- On a cutting mat, stack 2–3 crosswise strips for each template shape, making sure the marked piece is on top.
- Place a ruler along the marked line, then cut with a rotary cutter.
- For each block, stack four of each piece, aligning the corners according to template: A-B-C. I call this Group 1.
- Then stitch section A to B, then B to C.
- Next, stack the remaining four pieces in a mirror image of the first. (C-B-A), Group 2.
- Stitch the pieces of Group 2.
- Here’s the aha moment. Sew Group 1 to Group 2—Presto, no Y-seams! You’ll be sewing all straight seams.
- Four quarter-blocks make a Lone Star block that was stitched with all straight seams. No dreaded Y-Seams!
- You can see more online, but I think you get the gist of how the block is assembled!
Two more Lone Star Quilt options
No matter what the quilt block is, there are always design options. Case in point, the Nestled Stars quilt design features a complete Lone Star block in the center and partial blocks that radiate from the center, providing a dramatic image.
I rarely make the same quilt design twice. Tweaking the number of fabric colors, adding sashing, turning the block on point, and/or using portions of the quilt design rather than the entire design are just a few ways to makeover the design, keeping the process fresh. It’s a Lone Star Makeover.
Sew Speedy Lone Star Quilts book and Template combo!
You’ll find the details on making the three quilt project options and the template to go with it, in the book by the same name. Click here for more details.
For a chance to win a copy of the book and template combo, let me know which of the designs you like the best! A random winner will be announced March 20th.
Watch Sewing With Nancy online.
Bye for now,