Star and Plume Block of the Month

Do you want to make this quilt?

Do you want to make this quilt?

Over the years I’ve had many people (including Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting fame) approach me to get the pattern for this scrappy sampler quilt: “Star and Plume”.  I made it to illustrate the lyrics to the song I wrote of the same name: 48 blocks telling the story (through the block names) of a happy-ending encounter between our favourite quilty gal Sunbonnet Sue and an evil, thieving, “slasher” guy.  Sue “outguns” him (thanks to blocks like Bear’s Paw, Indian Hatchet and Anvil), and they live happily ever after – together. The blocks mostly came from Barbara Brackman’s wonderful book “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns“.

The idea of writing a pattern for this quilt is daunting – it’s really a book, and I’ve been quite overwhelmed with the work involved to write it all up.  I see it as an instruction book for many of the essential skills for quilters who want to get better at – and be less fearful of –  tackling new and more challenging blocks.

So I have decided to offer this as a Block of the Month. It will last for 24 months, with the patterns for two blocks sent each month. I will send the patterns and instructions out via email, so there won’t be any shipping costs (or delay) involved.  I won’t be including fabric, so that each quilt will reflect the stash, scrap bag and taste of its maker, but there will be lots and lots of valuable technique information and advice.  I’ll also be available to answer any questions from participants. This is not a beginner quilt, but beginners can learn, through making the blocks, how to be better quilters.  My own learning curve, while making it, was huge.

What will you make?
The quilt is made up of 48 nine-inch blocks, mostly traditional, with sashing and cornerstone blocks.  It measures 68×88 inches finished.  This could be augmented to a larger size by adding an outside border.

What will you learn?
Four-patch and Nine-patch construction, chain piecing, set-in circles (for Drunkard’s Path), half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, foundation paper piecing, curved piecing, set-in seams (ie for Lone Star), diamonds, mitering, machine and hand appliqué.

What do you need?
A sewing machine.  Access to a photocopier.  A stash in your chosen colours. A binder to keep all the patterns in one place. Each pattern will tell you exactly what you need to successfully complete the project, with pictures, when necessary.

By the end, you will have a binder full of essential information, tips and techniques to help you make quilts forever.

I plan to start this block of the month MAY 1st, 2013.  

So: who’s with me?

You can register for this BOM on the website now.

Just want to watch (although it won’t be NEARLY as much fun)? I have a new blog for this BOM at



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