Here’s a beauty of an ornament from Jennifer Strauser that is fun to make. It can be crisp, fanciful, or flowery, depending upon the fabrics you choose. What a beautiful handmade gift!
The detailed photographic instructions below will help you work your way through the points and seams. Add a hanging ribbon and wait for the compliments! Click here to download the PDF version
Here’s Jennifer, from her blog, Dizzy Quilter:
I’ve seen this project around on my various Facebook groups for a while, and decided to give it a try. I found it to be a bit fussy, but very cool…I wanted a crisp look…I did the owl first to try out the technique. I chose the stripe for the second attempt to go faster.
Requirements for One Star
60 1″ 60° diamond paper pieces – I purchased mine from paperpieces.com
1 Fat Quarter of fabric
Strong Thread to coordinate with your fabric
Glue – I used Elmers Glue stick the first time, Sewline the second. I prefer the Sewline Fabric Glue Pen.
This star finishes at 4″ by 4 3/4″
Choose your fabric. For this version I chose a stripe. It took about 1/4 of a fat quarter. The stripe gave me something to play with for a kaleidoscope effect, but the fussy cutting was not as labor intensive.
I laid out 10 diamonds along a stripe, making sure the edges lined up a the same line on each diamond. (You only need 5 to be identical for each face of the star, but 10 fit perfectly for me). This is how I got the kaleidoscope effect. Be sure to leave at least 1/2 inch between each diamond, and 1/4 inch on the sides. I like to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance for durability. Glue each paper down thoroughly. The papers are going to stay in the star for stability.
I cut each row of diamonds before laying out the next one. To glue the seam allowances, I made sure to start with the same side on each diamond, and I did a little tuck, tuck, fold on each tip, to prevent the flying tails. Flying tails are ok for regular patchwork, but they get in the way with the sharp star points on this project. I found that the Sewline glue was sticky enough that I didn’t need to use wonder clips to secure the fabric while drying.
Now, for the fun part. Lay out 5 stars to make sure they are going in the direction you want. It is going to look like a mistake, as you will have a gap. I then sew the first pair together, and just add one diamond at a time until I have five. The last space gets pulled together, so that you have a little basket with five star points. It feels weird, but stay with me. Do this 12 times. I take a few extra stitches across the various points to get them pulled snugly together.
I hold the pieces flat next to each other, and whip along the back. That keeps my stitches less visible on the front.
Once you have 12 little baskets, take a break and pet them, line them up, take their pictures, show them to your significant other, and squeal a little.
Now it is time to join the baskets together. The stitching on this part is on the outside. Yes, your stitches will be visible. I force myself to make them a little bigger than usual, and try to keep them fairly even. I just do a whip stitch. The directions I read said to make two groups of six, then sew them together. I can’t control myself like that, so I start with a pair, then just keep adding one at a time.
Right from the start, it feels like it is not going to come together, but as you stitch along each side, the corners match up like magic. The star does get a little ungainly, but when adding just one piece at a time it isn’t too bad. Just be sure that each tip of the 3-D star has three diamonds coming together to form the point.
Quilting inspectors are crucial.
For this star I added a hanging ribbon. It is just a length of satin ribbon (it came tied around the FQ bundle!) that I folded in half and knotted. Once I was mostly done, I sewed up to a point, laid the ribbon on, knot inside the star, and stitched around it.
I find the trickiest part to be hiding the last knot. I just do my little knot where I make a loop and pull the needle through a couple of times, then I run the needle into the star and come out across the way. I pull it snug so the knot pops in, then clip the thread. All done!
I was very jazzed after my first one, particularly when it was so well received by my Facebook friends. I was thinking I would make several for gifts, but I’m not so sure now. The second star took me a solid 8 hours, and possibly closer to 12. It is not a fast project.
Jennifer Strauser is an English paper piecer whose blog, Dizzy Quilter, is just beginning. Moravian Star was her first post! Wait ’til you see what she is up to next!
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting ready to dig into my Christmas stash. I think I can finish this one before Christmas!
Thank you, Jennifer.