Free Pattern: Moravian Star Ornament

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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:

Moravian Stars

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.
Needle
Scissors

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.

IMG_4236
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.

IMG_4237
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.

Diamond 1

 

Diamond 2

 

diamond 3

 

Diamond 4

 

Diamond 5

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.

MS startMS stitchingMS stitched

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hold the pieces flat next to each other, and whip along the back. That keeps my stitches less visible on the front.

IMG_4254

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.

stitch

stitch 2

stitch 3

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.

IMG_4270

Quilting inspectors are crucial.

IMG_4272 (1)

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.

IMG_4276

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.

>>>Ann
ann.hammel@americanquilter.com

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Nora Dean

Thank you for pattern! I’ve been looking for this ever since I saw it made up in a shop in Naples Florida in January. Can wait to try it!

[…] one showed in a newsletter this morning: Free Pattern: Moravian Star Ornament*|* Sometimes, when there's a raging fire, it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline. […]

Beverly

Looks very interesting. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial.

Shonna

Jennifer,
What fun! I can wait to get into the Christmas stash and try this.
I see you have a schipperke. Mine died a few weeks ago and I really miss her. Schips are great quilting partners.
Happy Holidays to you,
Shonna

An excellent tutorial. Some years ago I made a version of this star — it’s called a rhombic hexecontahedron — that’s a copy of a very old one that came from a Pennsylvania antique store.See http://www.personal.psu.edu/axd2/quilt/qlt28.html
Anabeth

My great grandmother and grandmother made a larger one of these to use as doorstops. I watched them when I was a kid but couldn’t ever remember how they did it. Thanks for sharing.

Sara

It’s a real PAIN not to be able to download this pattern — I want to save it for later not print it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Sara, you can now download the instructions with a link provided in the blog post. Sylvia Thomas, AQS Social Media Manager.

Susy

Hi dear Jennifer! What a great ornament for Xmas! We will decorate our Xmas tree for our big Quilt show in this year. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary of our little club! We are small group of wimens, and we enjoy to work together quilting and doing crafts! Thanks for this tricky but cool pattern and Tutorial!
Susy from. Italy

Regina

I can’t wait to get started on this, Jennifer. Thank you for breaking down the pattern for us to make and share.

My Mom made a bigger version of this from Christmas cards. We had it for a long time.k

Donna

Thank you Jen!!!

Emma

I have made one of these stars but having trouble making sure the stars don’t have the same pattern next to each other.
I’ve made 12 5 stars and used 6 different materials.
I’m sure I’ll work it out.
Have ordered some stripy fabric to make another.

Stephanie Kresinske

Thank you – this is such a great tutorial! I am making a Halloween “globe” using 3″ paper diamonds and an assortment of halloween prints. It is coming out really big and is fun (if time consuming) to make! I love that I can call it a Halloween Rhombic Hexecontahedron. I think I will treat it with fabric fire retardant and wrap it in a remote control battery fairy light string. I can’t wait – what fun! I will send pics of finished project to anyone interested. Thanks again!