I don’t know if you’ve seen it before but Wishwell Designs and Robert Kaufman fabrics have this *free* quilt pattern titled “Starlight” for a beautiful Lone Star quilt design available on the Robert Kaufman site. It features the “Moonlight” fabric line designed by Wishwell which has ever so slightly glittery folk-art/tarot card stylized suns and moons. I fell in love with the fabric so I made the Emerald Colorstory model for Gruber’s Quilt Shop. I did a few things differently – including strip-piecing the Lone Star sections – and I wrote a lot of notes in order to share them with more makers. This is *NOT* a Beginner Friendly pattern so if you’re a beginner, go ahead and download the pattern and these notes but then go back and work your way up to this one. I mean, it’s a really lovely Lone Star design but there are Y-seams in it plus all those diamonds that even if you strip piece, you’ll want to be familiar with handling so much bias and getting your points to match up decently probably. You could maybe avoid the Y-seams but even then, I would want you to have some more experience than just a couple of basic quilts under your belt. Anyone else wanting to take on the challenge, read on!
For starters, make sure you download the latest version of the pattern – there were some corrections to the original pattern so whatever’s on the Kaufman website is probably the most recent one. In the version I had, there had been corrections to yardage but on Page 3, for Fabric B cutting instructions, I found I needed Eight Template 1 cuts, not Four. Additionally, from Fabric D, the second border should be cut at 31/2” x 661/2” – NOT 651/2” as was written in the copy I had.
If the Fabric D cutting instructions you downloaded still have the wrong measurement, then you’ll probably also need to adjust the next two borders:
From Fabric I (G in this colorway) side borders should be 31/2” x 661/2” and the top/bottom borders should be 31/2” x 721/2”.
From Fabric K (H in this colorway) side borders should be 2” x 721/2” and the top/bottom borders should be 2” x 76”.
On Page 5 in Step 6, your seams won’t nest when sewing. Your seams will overlap at the quarter inch seam allowance. As you create the strips of diamonds for each large star “point” section in the previous Step 5, if you press the seams of one strip to the next to opposite sides instead of open, they will nest when you sew them together in Step 6. I use different colored arrows here to indicate how I pressed the seams in alternating directions from strip set to strip set:
The yardage in this kit/Emerald Colorstory is generous to the point of being excessive. If you are fussy cutting every single Template 4 and all the others, maybe, just maybe you’d use up the yardage but I don’t think so. If you purchase the yardage as is for the Emerald Colorstory you’ll have a lot of leeway. I can’t speak to the Astral Colorstory (blue) as the cutting instructions are different and I’m not delving into it.
Extra fabric can be beneficial if you make a whole bunch of miscuts or if you want to fussy cut the diamonds in the Lone Star, especially of the suns and moons. Like, if you are careful, you could strip-piece all the other fabrics except Fabric E – the suns and moons – and just FILL that row of diamonds with the artwork by fussy cutting each Fabric E diamond with Template 4. I think that would be gorgeous and PLEASE SEND ME A PICTURE IF YOU DO THAT. Additionally, there’s enough of Fabrics G & H that you don’t have to make the borders as in the pattern. So you might wish to first cut only the pieces for the center of the quilt top and then make decisions about the borders later as I did. If you make the borders bigger, remember you’ll need more binding because your top will be bigger. I had a healthy quarter yard of Fabric F left over from piecing plus the 5/8 yard included for the binding so I should be able to get more strips for binding from it. When the flimsy is quilted, I’ll evaluate it then. Another option is instead of a 21/2” binding strip, I could bind with 21/4” strips and I think that would be fine.
In my version above, Border 1 of Fabric D is the same as the corrected pattern. Border 2, from Fabric G, I made slightly narrower however, I have almost a full yard of fabric leftover so I could have made it wider too. The final border, Fabric H, I made substantially wider and included cornerstones cut from remnants of Fabric E (fussy cut to have a moon or sun in the middle of each) at the same width as the final border.
Border 2, I cut strips 3” wide by 661/2” long for the sides and 3” wide by 711/2” long for the top/bottom. Border 3/final, I cut at 6” by 711/2” for all 4 sides. I added four 6” square cornerstones of Fabric E to each end of the top and bottom strips before sewing onto the quilt top.
Here’s how I Strip Pieced the Lone Star Diamonds. First, I cut SCANT 25/8” strips of the various fabrics, sewed them into strip sets in the order indicated following.
You would need:
3 strips of B
3 strips of A
6 strips of C
4 strips of H
5 strips of G
6 strips of F
5 Strips of E
4 Strips of D
You then create/sew these Sets:
B – A – C – H – G – F
A – C – H – G – F – E
C – H – G – F – E – D
H – G – F – E – D – C
G – F – E – D – C – B
F – E – D – C – B – A
When you sew these strips together, you can offset each strip a couple inches to “save” fabric since you’ll be cutting the whole 6-strip piece at an angle later. Here you can see I sewed my 2nd strip a little over 2″ to the right of the edge of the 1st strip – the teal stars on the bottom. My 3rd strip is also pinned a couple more inches to the right:
Next, you cut the completed 6-piece Strips Sets at a 45 degree angle into (8) substrips at SCANT 25/8” (You can and should use the Template 4 as a guide to make sure your strips are the same width as it is.) In this photo, I used the 45-degree marking on the mat to trim the edge of my strip set.
Then, I used a Creative Grids Itty-Bitty Eighths ruler to cut a SCANT 25/8” slice off of the left side. Ruler positioned in this photo:
Once they’re all cut, you can assemble the diamond units as in Steps 5 and 6.
Next, let’s talk about Y-seams a little bit. ok, you only have 8 of them to deal with or 16 if you, like I do, always start at the Y intersection and sew outwards. I only had to rip out a couple of them and redo them. IF YOU WANT TO COMPLETELY AVOID Y-SEAMS IN THIS TOP: You could split Template 1 in half lengthwise and add on your seam allowance. This would result in a Template 1 Left and Template 1 Right. There’s plenty of Fabric B in this Colorstory to do this. You would then construct the Triangle Units on Page 4 in Left and Right halves with the other templates, 2 and 3, except don’t sew the large Fabric E triangles on in Step 3. Instead, sew the Template 1 half units onto the sides of the points of the diamond units. Then as you sew the 8 diamond units together, you just continue sewing the seam through the split Template 1 out to its end. Once your star is all assembled, you would sew the large Fabric E triangles onto the corners to make the center square. If I ever make this again, this is totally what I’m going to do (and I will get some more photos of how I’m doing it.)
In conclusion: these notes are not a guarantee of results. This is an intermediate to advanced pattern and my recommendation is that you should be comfortable with either testing this pattern with scrap fabrics at various points to make sure you’ll get the results you need, or that you are confident enough in your skills that you’re sure you can get through all this.
Have fun and enjoy the pretty fabrics while you’re doing it!