I was enamored with the Homestead Star quilt pattern from the moment I saw it, but I am most definitely a beginner when it comes to quilting.
I made the Faster Fourteen quilt last year, and was a little worried that the Homestead Star would be way out of my depth. But the skill level said ‘Confident Beginner’, and I REALLY wanted to make it as a wedding gift for one of my dearest friends.
So, (after some careful thought – see Homestead Star Quilt – Part 1) I threw caution to the wind and gave it a try.
This intricate star design leaves room for a ton of variation! You can choose to use 2, 4, 6, or 12 different fabrics. (There’s also a ‘scrappy’ option.) I, never one to skimp on color and pattern, decided to go for the 12 color option in the largest 80″ x 80″ Bed size.
That settled, it was time to choose fabric.
I selected a combination of fabrics from Boccaccini Meadows’ Wild West and the Ruby Star Heirloom collections. The bride and groom were both born and raised in Montana, and the combination of stylized block prints, chickens, and (swoon!) cowboy boots, was just perfect.
The background fabric took a little longer to figure out. I played with shades of green, teal, and cream, but eventually settled on the Chalk & Charcoal QC in Navy. It looks so good with the rust, orange, and mustard tones present in the other fabrics!
Once the background was picked, my backing choice became obvious – the Mammoth Flannel in Nutmeg!
To cut the diamonds in the Bed sized quilt you can either use an 8″ wide ruler with a 45 degree line OR you can use the included template. I opted for the ruler because it’s easy to become inaccurate as your paper template get more crumpled and/or accidentally trimmed.
This Homestead pattern has good instructions and diagrams which made the cutting out process relatively quick and straightforward.
Quick tip: Make sure you get your fabric on grain before cutting your strips/diamonds.
Once the cutting was done it was time to lay everything out! I did my best to disperse the fabrics evenly, and made sure not to use the navy-colored Garden Rows QC in Bluebell as one of the star tips.
This quilt is doable for a beginner because (though it seems like there would be) there are no Y seams! Instead you just sew together rows of one, two, and three diamonds (plus some background triangles and rectangles). These rows then make up the four quadrants of the star. From there it’s a simple matter of sewing the quadrants together!
The most difficult part is making sure your seams line up. The best way I found to do this was (at a 1/4) to put a pin at the point where each seam intersected. Then, as I sewed, I could continue to double check that I was on track.
A little addition
Once the top was sewn together (navy background and all) I noticed that the eight longest points of my star went right up to the very edge of the quilt. I was worried that the binding would cover these star tips, so – using the leftover Chalk & Charcoal – I added a 1.5″ border around the whole thing.
Sewing the backing was pretty straightforward. However it did require some math and pattern matching to get the plaid flannel to line up. As for the binding, I used the Shining Star QC in Earth because I just loved how it looked against both the navy and the flannel!
I had Vida Anderson at SewFly Quilts do the longarming and it turned out great. She even stitched the bride and groom’s names and the wedding date in for me!
A Cat's Help
My cat Bea was, as you can see, very helpful throughout the entire quilting process. I’m sure all you pet-owners can relate!
The Big Day!
I’ve never been so excited to give a present in all my life. Their big day was absolutely beautiful, and it felt wonderful to realize that this quilt will forever serve as a reminder of such a joy-filled occasion.
An important note
The Homestead Star Quilt pattern was designed by Lindlee Smith, and is based off the Morning Star motif used often in Sioux and Assiniboine quilting. When making this quilt it was very important to me that I avoid cultural appropriation by sharing the Star quilt’s history with my friends. The quilt itself meant a lot to them, but knowing the story behind it meant just as much.
To learn more about this pattern, Lindlee’s company, and the history of quilting on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, please read The Story Behind the Homestead Star Quilt – Part 1.
We cannot undo the mistakes of the past. However, we can acknowledge them and – via research, purposeful conversation, and even donation – take active strides to do better.