Classic Quilting: The Lone Star

Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Quilting | Comments


When it comes to star patterns and quilting, many would argue that there is none more stunning than the Lone Star. It’s one of the most recognizable quilt patterns out there as well as one of the oldest.

But this is a difficult pattern to piece. It is not uncommon to find unfinished Lone Star quilt tops, stars without a background, or halfway pieced stars. Small pieces and complex Y seams make for a challenging quilt.

Despite that, these stars are a beloved favorite that can be a lot of fun to make!

Lone Star Quilt

Photo via Gone Aussie Quilting

What is a Lone Star?

It is a large, single star that covers most of the quilt top.

The star has eight points, and each section is comprised of pieced diamonds. Once the star is finished, large triangles and squares are sewn in, creating a large, square quilt top. The star can also be appliquéd onto a large piece of background fabric. From here, some quilters like to add borders, while others add smaller stars to the background to fill up the blank spaces.

This design is truly all about color.

The overall look of the quilt can vary greatly due to the layout of fabric. Oftentimes, fabrics and colors are chosen to create movement. Radiating circles, starting from the center of the star and working out toward the points, are formed when the fabrics are placed in rings throughout the star. The use of cool and warm colors can draw the eye in a specific direction, either inward or out. If color is difficult for you, be sure to consult a color wheel to find contrasting and complementary colors.

Did you know that this is a star of many names?

Back in the mid-19th century when it was birthed, it was called the Mathematical Star. Native Americans called it the Morning Star, and it was highly featured not only in their quilts but also in clothing and various forms of art. Other common names are the Star of the East and Bethlehem Star. It was dubbed Lone Star by quilters in Texas because it’s the Lone Star state.

Lone Star Quilt

Photo via Gone Aussie Quilting

Would you like to make your own Lone Star quilt? There are many different methods to do this.

The traditional way is to cut 45-degree triangles and then sew them all together, and many patterns feature that method. A quicker method for creating the star is strip piecing.

Here are three FREE tutorials:

  • For a larger star measuring nearly 70”, check out a tutorial here.
  • For a smaller 15” block, try out a tutorial here.
  • A 60” quilt featuring a Lone Star and appliquéd flowers, available here.

For a quick and easy Lone Star quilt, you can purchase a special fusible interfacing that has the pattern printed on it. A quick search online will bring you many different fusible products that will help you sew a Lone Star quickly!

Are you interested in sewing a star quilt? There are plenty of beautiful star patterns available right here on Craftsy! And if you love stars, be sure to check out the Craftsy class Chain of Stars Mystery Quilt with Kimberly Einmo.

Have you attempted a Lone Star quilt? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Comments

  1. Elaine says:

    One of the first quilts I tried while in Cindy Needham’s Craftsy class was a large Lone Star quilt, as my brother still lives in Texas, where we were born. What a fiasco it was!! I had no clue that the fabrics would stretch too many ways, and didn’t try any of the suggestions I later heard in the class when I asked for help. I ended up using the left over fabric that I had not yet cut for a totally different quilt. It was just way too “wonky” for words, and I am still disappointed that I could not complete it. However, I have learned much since then, and someday will try another. I still want to make a quilt for my brother, after all.

  2. carole isham says:

    I have ever made the lone star but I have made the Broken Star

    1. Dorothy says:

      Pray tell, what is the broken star? And is it easy to make?

  3. Kelly Baker says:

    I have never tried that beautiful star but in the future when i know how to do diamonds i would love to try. I think i would do it by hand. Id have more control. I would guess everyone does it by hand i dont know. All i know is it is a beautiful piece. Im just a beginner. I have been for about eight years. I take long breaks and resume as I’ve had many life troubles. I have to be able to relax to sew. Also i suffer from chronic pain and all the meds i take have made it hard to quilt. I’m a perfectionist and want it to turn out right. It’s hard for that to happen when u can’t see straight. Lol. But I’m on the same stuff for a long time and used to it. now so can start quilting again. And will probably today. These newsletters help. Thankyou so much for sending them to me. I really get motivated.

  4. Nelda Powell says:

    I have always wanted to make a 5 pointed star. The real Texas Lone Star has only five points. I know it must be a 72 inch diamond but have not found one in a quilt pattern. But I know that my grandmother made one with five points and used the colors of the rainbow. She started with a yellow center and progressed with the colors. The quilt when she finished it was for a queen siz bed.. It was all done by hand! I am almost 80years old so if I don’t get started I will leave it for some of my grandchildren to complete.