Start Quilt for Dummies : Part 1

Hey Everyone,

So it's been a bit and I figured I'd do a little sew a long / lesson for everyone. I've decided to, and as you can probably tell by the title, make a Star Quilt of the Lone Star / Bethlehem style. All the photo's i'll be posting is my second attempt. I do have photos of my first but I got as far as trying to square up my final pieced diamonds and ran right into an EPIC FAIL. So I walked away for 2 days and came back with a clear head and got the job done. Well all 8 diamond pieces that is. Anyways lets just get to the fun :) Sit back enjoy and sew along if you'd like. 

Step 1. RESEARCH ( I've covered most of this for you here but still it's fun to do alil research of your own ) I've found a few links mainly videos I'm happy to share with you. 
First up is  , you may have to subscribe to their video feed to view the video on the bethlehem star. There are 2 parts to that series in the the 1400 series video 1401 and 1402. 
Next up is Jan Krentz full DVD on how to make a Lone Star Quilt. This one is a 3 day rental on Youtube that runs 3.99,
Last but not least and I think the most fun is Quilt in a Day - Radiant Star Technique , which is FREE and gives you some good tips. There are also some basic stuff floating around the internet too but nothing I felt was worth mentioning .

Step 2. Picking your fabric. I used a Jelly Roll of a fabric collection I bought at Joann's. Usually Jelly Rolls will have fabrics that all go together and from 1 whole collection. As mentioned the first star I did was crapped but I only used 10 strips from the Jelly Roll on the that star and the other 10 on the new one. Jelly Rolls are 2.5in x 42 - 44 in strips of fabric .

Step 3. After you've picked you're fabrics you can begin cutting. If you're using a Jelly Roll then no need to cut the strips because the work is done for you. If cutting you'll need to cut as many 2.5in strips selvedge to selvedge in all the colors that will be in your final pieced diamonds. 

At any time feel free to click on the images to enlarge them to get a better view :)

OK so now I'll walk you through everything I've done so far.
In the pic above I've picked out the strips I want to use for my diamonds to make my star and also the fabric I want to use as my background. I've set my strips in 3 rows of 3 since you'll be making a 9 piece diamond. If you look closely you'll see the pattern the colors will make in the end. The 2 full orange pieces are the top and bottom points.

This is how I laid out my fabric rows to get the ready to make strip sets.  

Row1A - Row1B - Row1C  /  Row2A - Row2B - Row2C  /  Row3A - Row3B - Row3C

Keep this in mind later on as well when you as piecing the rows together . 

Now you'll want to sew your strip sets together with a 1/4 in seam. You'll want to offset each fabric in the set so that when you go to cut a 45 degree angle later on you won't be wasting a lot of fabric. Remember each strip set has 3 strips only for this pieced diamond. 

Once you finishing sewing your first 2 strips together press your seam open rather then to 1 side. This will help you later on when you are piecing. Now sew your 3rd strip on, again offset the strip because of the 45 degree angle you'll be cutting. After you sew that strip press the seam open. and repeat this process for other 2 strip sets.

Pictured above is the way you'll want your strip sets looking when you are about to cut your new sections. You'll want to find the 45 degree angle and TRUE UP the end of the strip set so that you will get your diamond section rows. Once you do this you'll be ready to cut small strip sections on a 45 degree angle. Those sections will be cut at the same size the strips were wide which would be 2.5 inches.
You'll also need to cut 8 strip section for all 3 strip sets to get all the parts you'll need to make the 8 larger diamond that will make up your star.

When you're done cutting you should get 3 piles like this :)

This pics shows a mock up of the final diamond and how it should look.

In the pic above I had to do a drawing of how the row pieces get sewn together. Remember to do right sides facing and you'll also want to use spray starch and pins for this. Trust me it helps A LOT. So once you connect Row 1 to Row 2 repeat with Row 3 then do this process 7 more times to make your 8 ( 9 pieced diamonds )

Once all your diamonds are done press the seams open and WOW you've complete a whole 9 piece diamond that will become 1 point of your star.

Now you can lay out your full star on a table or a design wall and see how it looks. You can also audition your background fabric now too, to see if you like it or want to change it.

So there you have it folks the 1st part to my Star Quilt for Dummies sew a long.Keep any eye out for part 2 of the journey and any questions feel free to to email me at

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