Northern Lights

Northern Lights

My quilt is an adaptation of a 19th century pieced star pattern identified in Barbara Brackman’s Enclyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, on page 217, as Cluster of Stars – LAC #393. The original publication date is stated as 1897.

I won the original quilt for $10 at a guild meeting, when someone brought in the quilt saying it “needed to go to a good home.” The guild held a spontaneous raffle and I was the winner!

What drew me to the quilt was the dense hand quilting that I saw from the back side, folded up in someone’s arms. Glad I paid attention!

My original plan was to reproduce this quilt in a new pattern and teach it as a workshop. As I began piecing the stars, I felt their scale too small and the piecing too tedious to keep students interested. So the result is this one quilt. I admire the tenacity of the original quilt maker to see her quilt to completion; it is bed size.

My vision for this quilt was to reproduce the quilting and the proportions of the original but make it in more contemporary fabrics/colors. Fortunately, the quilting designs used in the original are still available commercially so I did not have to create my own stencils. I chose two colors of quilting thread; yellow to enhance the “pretty” quilting and a blue/purple variegated for the fill in lines. I am pleased that my quilting in this quarter size quilt retains the denseness of quilting.

I used a variety of yellow fabrics for the stars and repeated this mix on the border. The addition of piping gives a nice finish to the outer edge of the quilt.