Mathematical Star

Mathematical Star

I have always loved the large Mathematical Stars of the second quarter of the 19th century, particularly those made in the Mid-Atlantic States. I have always admired the needlework skills of the women who chose to make them. An unusual 12 point star variation from my collection was the inspiration for my study quilt.

The original quilt measured a huge 107″ x 107″. The 1″ diamonds creating the star points were composed of hundreds of early prints. I chose to use the same 1″ sized diamonds but the scale of the original would have been almost impossible to duplicate. I chose instead to recreate the overall feel of the original.

After the challenges of drafting the design, fabric selection followed and was the most enjoyable part of the process. The central star was machine pieced using contemporary strip piecing techniques. I hand pieced the Eight Point Stars which measure 2 7/8″. Not wishing to hand quilt through all the seam allowances as did the original maker; I chose to quilt by machine and used the same pattern to accentuate the star as the original maker chose.

After completing this quilt I am even more in awe of the skill of the unknown maker who collected the huge variety of fabrics, drafted a diamond that created a star of such magnitude and quilted the design so as to compliment that star.