Tips & Tricks: Lone Star Quilt

The traditional lone star quilt is the base for Our Song, Your ReflectionThis beautiful classic design uses strip sets cut on the diagonal to create a large-scale pattern. Here are some tips to make this a successful endeavour! First things first: Don’t be scared. Once you get going, it’s a ton of fun with very rewarding results.

Choosing fabrics: If this is your first time making a Lone Star, pick fabrics that blend into each other well. That means a gradient, or really busy prints in the same colour family. If your points don’t match perfectly, they’re less noticeable. High contrast fabrics are less forgiving.

Tip #1: Hands off. Be as gentle as possible with your fabric. This goes for general handling and when you’re guiding the fabric through the machine. Don’t pull on it.

Tip #2: Starch or pressing spray. The Lone Star is based on 45 degree angles, which means that you are cutting fabric diagonally across the warp or weft (straight grain) of the fabric. These are bias edges and can be stretchy and unwieldy. When you are sewing your strips sets together, use your favourite starch or pressing spray to keep your fabric behaving before you starting diagonal cuts. As you continue along, you can continue to starch/spray when you’re pressing but the first time is the most important!

Photo by Deborah Wong.

Tip #3: Pressing direction. People ask me which way I press — and I say, I don’t worry about it when it comes to Lone Star construction. My reasoning is that the seams meet at a 45 degree angle and are never going to be outright stacked. The seam is going to be “spread” along a distance of the seam and are not terribly bulky (see Tip #5 for a visual of how the seams meet). If you want to be fastidious about it, you can alternate pressing directions when you are assembling your strip sets.

Tip #4: Checking your 45 degree angle. As you cut your strips from your assembled set, your 45 degree angle may start to stray from a true 45 degree. Check you 45 degree along a few “interior” seams to avoid your angle from “creeping”. If it’s starting to creep, trim off a bit to make it true again.

What a creep! The 45 degree angle is off after a couple of cuts.

Always check at a few interior seams to see if your 45 degree is on.

Tip #4: Diamond piecing. If you are sewing two diamond shapes together, mark a 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of one to get them to line up properly. Finger press the seam before pressing gently with an iron. Using a 1/4″ seam guide helps here.

This is how two 45 degree diamonds go together.

Tip #5: Matching points. When it comes time to join two diamond strips together, mark a 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of one strip. I mark at the intersections only.

Align your strips, right sides together. When you fold back one layer right on that 1/4″ line, your to seams should make a nice diagonal like this:

Want to see that again? Here:

Pin them in place and sew.

See? Lone Stars are so worth the effort. Go for it and don’t look back!

 

6 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks: Lone Star Quilt

  1. Lucinda Jones says:

    Thank you for all. The tips & tricks ! Ibe wanted to do a lone star or I should say try it again after 25+ years. The last time I made this pattern it was my 2nd quilt and the center of the star puffed out like a mushroom growing in the center of the star!
    Needless to say this is my nightmare pattern😁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *