A picture found on the Internet inspired Ray Harper to make this quilt. Like many Internet searches he has tried to locate it again but with no success. Photography by Jonathon Farmer.
Based on fabric at least 1m wide
- One fat quarter each of light gold, light red, light blue and light green for star centres
- One fat eighth of pale purple for the centre star
- 30cm of each gold, red, blue, and green for star points
- One fat quarter of purple for the centre star
- 1m of cream background
- 110cm of beige background
- 175cm of royal blue background, border and binding
- 1m of midnight blue sparkling fabric for the outer border
- 2m square of wadding
- 2m of sheeting for backing or piece a backing
- All fabric should be washed before use.
- All strips are 1 1⁄4in cut width to give a finished size of 3⁄4in.
- It is best to only cut the strips required to make one star block at a time; remember it takes
nine log cabin blocks to make one star block.
72in (182cm) square
If you are not familiar with this traditional
block, here are a few useful tips.
- Start with the centre square and add
a strip of the second colour, sew
together. Press the seam open. Trim
strip to same size as the square.
- Add the next strip to the right hand side
having rotated the piece clockwise, press,
trim, and ensure finished piece is square.
- Add further strips, always turning the
piece clockwise. See Figure 1.
- After every second strip is added
check the piece is square.
- Construct the log cabin blocks
as shown in Figure 1.
- When assembling the block with a star
point always start with the star colour
- When assembling light yellow and
royal blue blocks, start with royal blue
- When assembling dark yellow and
royal blue blocks start with dark yellow
All blocks are constructed by rotating the
work clockwise and joining the next strip
to the right hand side.
Each star block has nine log cabin blocks.
- Two with star point colour and light
- Two with star point colour and dark
- Two with royal blue and light yellow
- Two with royal blue and dark yellow
- One of single colour slightly lighter shade
than star point. See Figure 2.
- Make nine log cabin blocks in the
required colours. Lay them out
following Figure 2.
- Join the top three blocks into one strip
and press the seams in one direction.
Repeat for the other two rows. Press the
middle row seams in the opposite direction,
this helps the seams meet neatly.
- Join the three strips to form a star block.
Ensure that the royal blue colour is on
the corners as shown in Figure 2. A finished
star block should have; centre star, four blue
corners, two light yellow diagonal strips, two
dark yellow strips on opposite diagonals.
- Make nine blocks in the required
colours, one purple and two each
of the four other colours.
- The nine blocks should be joined in
strips of three, ensuring the background
colours match, see Figure 3. The star colours
should be arranged so that no two stars of
the same colour are in a straight line, not
even diagonally. The three strips are then
joined to make the centre of the quilt top.
- Cut strips 2 1⁄2in wide from the royal blue
for the inner border. Measure across
the quilt top and add to the two sides.
Press towards the border. Measure as before including the border just added
and cut two strips to this measurement.
Add to the remaining two sides.
Figure 1: Constructing the log cabin blocks
- Cut strips 4in wide from the dark blue
for the outer border. Measure and sew
in place as above.
Figure 2: Star block construction and completed block
- Sandwich the quilt top, wadding and
backing and quilt as desired. This was
only the fourth full sized quilt Ray had made
and was at the stage when he was learning
by his mistakes, one of which came to light
when he started to quilt. He had planned
to quilt ‘in the ditch’ but after ironing all
the seams open found it impossible.
Consequently, it was quilted either side of the
ditch, thereby doubling the work, but the
result was very pleasing and rather unusual.
- Use the royal blue fabric to make a
binding and sew in place. The quilt
was Ray’s final piece for the City & Guilds
Part 1 and was cut and pieced during a
three-month stay in hospital. Many thanks
to family, friends and his local quilt shop
for their assistance and support during
- Try three shades of one colour – one
star to have the darkest and the mid
shade and the other star to have the
mid and lightest shades.
- Each star could be a different colour,
or maybe three stars of three colours.
- Ray chose two shades of yellow as
background colours, but any two
shades of a pale colour would suit.
- Try making the log cabin blocks off
centre by making the strips on one
(or more) side a different width.
This would give a wonderful
Figure 3: Quilt top layout
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 11 Number 10 - October 2003