Today's Quilt Historians
Women at Work
New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert,
Review by Kimberly Wulfert, PhD
Big One-Star Quilts
– new book by Nancy Johnson-Sebro
Easy to Make Star of Bethlehem Quilts for Christmas Gifts.
Big One-Star Quilts by Magic
patterns in this new book by Nancy Johnson-Srebro make it fast and easy for
anyone to make Star of Bethlehem or Lone Star quilts. There are no diamond
shapes or Y-seams. There are no bias edges. Nancy's patterns are only made with
squares and rectangles.
Fourteen star pattern designs vary in their design and are easy enough for
beginner-level quilters. From simple to complex-looking, the traditional looking
patterns look like they were in fact made with diamonds, and they aren't! Easy
cutting techniques, using rectangles and squares, are all that Nancy uses to
give the effect of diamonds. She has eliminated all “Y” seams from adding the
background to the star. And, she provides cutting sizes and diagrams for four
sizes on each pattern.
I would recommend choosing fabrics without a directional print for certain
blocks where you want the seams to be invisible. Nancy shows each pattern made
in fabric in two starkly different colorways. This really is the key to getting
the look you want in the end. Usually there are three to six colors of fabric
used in each finished quilt top shown. The pieces are rather large, and the
color layout can change the entire look.
Fourteen additional patterns are included -- mostly made with fabric left over
from cutting the star pieces! They make perfect backs for the star. Additional
fabric for borders may be needed to get the same size. Be "green' and reuse,
recycle, reclaim your scraps for the back or for another quilt top. Is this the
21st Century's version of the “economy quilt?”
Nancy illustrates two completely different and fabulous quilting patterns for
each pattern. They are unique, complex-looking, and beautiful enough to use on
whole cloth quilts as the only form of design. Whether you are quilting by hand
or machine, there are no templates for the stitched designs or continuous line
diagrams, but the illustrations are clear and easy-to-see; you draw your own and
enlarge them to mark the quilt. You can choose from feather patterns, stars,
circles, or diagonal and curved lines. There are too many designs to list here,
but they range from easy and simple to different pattern combinations forming
smaller designs and tighter coverage.
The result is a quilt top almost completely covered with stitching, as tops
would have been in the early 19th century, when that was the style; it was
necessary to hold cotton batting in place. In Nancy’s diagrams, areas of one
color are detailed out by the quilting pattern filling that color and drawing
the eye away from seams. The patterns accentuate the big star.
Check out the diamond-free method in
Big One-Star Quilts by Magic yourself. Traditionalists can take a break from
the original Star of Bethlehem pattern and make two, three, even four of these
patterns as gifts in less time. No one receiving your gift will be the wiser.
My Book Reviews
© 2008 - 2015 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use
of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.
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