Friday, March 25, 2011

Woven Star, Lone Star

Well it's not actually woven, but it has the same look in the end. First I took seven 1" wide strips. They could be any width, but the wider the strip, the bigger the finished star will be. I thought if I chose 1" it would be on the small side, not really knowing exactly what I was getting into, but it turns out it's a kind of big -- close to 24" completed. I didn't measure the lengths, just eyeballed it! I'll cover how I lucked out on the length a little bit down the post, and how to be precise if you're inclined to be, which I usually am, but this time I didn't really know how long they'd need to be.
Then I sewed them together lengthwise.
I made a total of 7 sets of strips each with seven pieces of the same fabrics, alternating the order of the strips in each set (from left to right) like this:
set one (the one pictured above): 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
set two: 2-3-4-5-6-7-6
set three: 3-4-5-6-7-6-5
set four: 4-5-6-7-6-5-4
set five: 5-6-7-6-5-4-3
set six: 6-7-6-5-4-3-2
set seven: 7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Next I trimmed the bottom at a 45° angle. I used a 8" square ruler for this because it's got a 45° line running through the middle of it. Again I eyeballed it by lining up the two sides of the strip with vertical lines on my cutting mat. I laid the 45° line of my ruler along the horizontal lines of my cutting mat and perpendicular to the strips, then cut along the angle at the bottom of the ruler:
And I got this:

To cut the pieces of the star sections, I just moved the ruler up the strip by 1" and cut again. My ruler has little white lines running parallel to the edge which I used to get an accurate 1" cut. The width of the cut is determined by the width of  the original strips, in my case 1". If I'd cut my original fabric strips 2-1/2" wide, then I'd also cut these pieces 2-1/2" wide. So I lucked out on the length of my strips when I didn't measure -- I had just enough length to cut 8 pieces at this step and that's the number I need from each set of strips to get 8 star points. So this is also how you could determine the length to cut your original strips.

Now when all 8 pieces are cut from the 7 sections of strips, I kept them really well organized so they don't get them mixed up. That would be a big ol' mess since they look almost identical and there's 56 of them. I put them in little piles in the order I mentioned above: a pile of 8 pieces for the first set, a pile of 8 pieces for the second set, a pile of 8 for the third set, etc. I should've taken a picture here, because I know for me a picture makes it easier to grasp, but I didn't. Oh well. So I grab one piece from each of the piles in order of 1-7 and put them together in order so that the colors stagger across the diamond. The picture here shows top piece 1, below that 2, below that 3, etc, to bottom piece 7: 
Does that make sense? I hope so. I like you people and I want to be as clear as I can be!

Now I sew the 7 pieces together, turn it on point and here's a diamond! This is the first one of eight sections of the star:

Do it again and put section 2 next to section 1. Then get really excited, because it's looking awesome!

Section 3 done. Yes!!

You're halfway done now!

Section 5 done.

And here I have an almost finished woven star!

I'll finish the last two sets tonight and then figure how to sew inset seams between those points. Do you know how? Do you have a favorite tutorial or method for it? Send it my way!


  1. If you don't want to sew those 'y' seams into the corners of your lonestar, {wich is looking great btw!} you can divide the squares up into two triangles. Sew the triangles to each side of the star points first before you sew all your diamonds together. That's how I do it :-)

    1. That's how I handle the 'y' seams too. I hate trying to inset those things and it always looks like a 3 handed monkey worked on it (or something). It works sooo much easier. And Dan, your star is awesome! I made a baby quilt using leftover children's fish fabric but forgot to keep my strips in order. Looked scrappy but still cute..a little unorganized tho.

    2. Love this tutorial and the no y seam advice:-) Amie

  2. Now you are really getting me excited about stars. I have never made a star quilt. Love your bright and happy star.

  3. I just might have to try this. Beautiful!

  4. Leila has a good technique. I have made two lone star quilts by machine.(Well, that is, my daughter made the stars by machine and I hand pieced the quilt) It is a lot faster than the hand piecing I am doing now.
    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I am wondering about your picture. Are you a beaver?

  5. Wow! This is beautiful! And you figured all this out yourself? You're amazing!

  6. Dan
    Qué maravilla ese tutorial!!!
    Excelente combinación de colores!!!

  7. Dan,

    Love the bright colors! Can't wait to see the finished star.

  8. This star is just beautiful! I pieced a traditional once before but I love this twist :)

  9. Oh now I have to go back and look at all your stuff--this is just awesome!


  11. absolutely stunning!!!

  12. Oh the colors are just great looking......this gonna be a stunner!

    Happy Sewing

  13. Thank you very much for this tutorial!
    This is on my wish list!
    I never did, but I read it's best to sew 2 pieces at a time. After 2 to 2. Repeat once more. And finally face 4 with 4 and sew the center. This reduces the central seam.
    I hope the data will serve!
    And the description makes sense (I use the translator to communicate)!
    A hug!

  14. Yeah WOW! I'm excited to try this idea! I have been obsessively peeling through quilting/sewing blogs lately (aka procrastinating actually DOING anything creative or tackling my to do list) and this is by far the best quilt designs hands down... I'm totally impressed :-). I just learned last night a good guy friend of mine is a closet 'sew-er' (is that even a word) and it took me aback at first... I wasn't sure how I felt about it? I grew up all Mennonite and traditional and strongly 'women have womens work and men have theirs' and I love that... but sometimes I get stuck in my thinking. I think tho that men see life with a whole different part of their brain and bring such a different approach to things... practical, cutting edge (as far as 'cutting edge' in quilting goes haha)approaching things differently... and I think I can see that in your work. Its kinda nice to see a mans approach to an art that is somewhat dominated by women! Looks great... I think I'm adjusting to this guys and sewing thing... mostly ;-)

  15. This is beyond awesome. You share what ever you want, not sharing your incredible talent would be a total travesty. I wish i was crafty enough or talented enough to do this- awesome.

  16. Incredible - can't wait to try this!!

  17. Wow so beautiful!

  18. I love this! I did something similar recently. Sewed 2 inch strips of about 20 different fabrics together (Jelly Roll Race Style) to use up a stack of blue fat quarters to create a wide and long enough width of fabric to cut out 8 diamonds. So mine is more strippy than yours which creates perfect sub-diamonds. I had a really hard time using the angle lines on my ruler so I gave up and made cardboard templates for the diamond shapes. (Fed Ex envelopes come in handy some times!) Mine turned out about 24" also. Sewing them all together was totally trial and error! It was a pain in the butt so looking forward to seeing how you end up doing it so I can do it right the next time! I ended up paper piecing about 14 other 12" starts and making a Full size top. Still need to add the borders... I have a picture if you are interesed.

  19. Fanatstic! Came across this via pinterest! I'm going to link up to my blog so that I can go to it soon! I have been meaning to do lone star for a while..just need to just get to it!

    Amira @

  20. Amazing! I have never seen a Lone Star that actually looks as though I could tackle it :)

  21. Did you get this finished? Do you have pictures? would love to see the finished result

  22. I'm with Linda would love to see the finished article! Am working on a lonestar myself right now with a group of friends and love seeing how the different fabric choices work

  23. Very helpful tutorial - just what I was looking for to help me understand the "big picture" of what I should be aiming for when cutting my strips. Thank you! I love the bright, beautiful prints you used too!!

  24. This is wonderful! Did you ever post pictures when it was complete?

  25. how do you make the seams to match? i cant seem to be avail to match them.

  26. Hi! This is just amazing! So happy I saw this in pinterest and found you! Thank you for the great tutorial! x Teje

  27. First lone star that has made me want to make one. You make the lone star look like a fun project. I really like the bright, fun fabric. Usually, they look so prim and proper, which isn't my style. This one is inviting and enjoyable!


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