Recreating Antique Quilts Project Highlight #2: Re-interpreting Mrs. Miles’ Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Star Quilt

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Happy Saturday, Friends.  It’s hard for me to believe the week is over!   This was meant to be posted yesterday, but life and work happened.  Today, I am happy to share with you my Oh, Happy Stars! quilt — it is the cover quilt of my book Recreating Antique Quilts.  A special thank you to Mrs. Miles for inspiring Oh, Happy Stars!

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My Oh, Happy Stars! is inspired by a Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Star quilt, made by Mrs. Frank Miles from New Jersey (circa 1840-1850).

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You can see that Mrs. Miles’ quilt is much scrappier than my Oh, Happy Stars!  I brightened Oh, Happy Stars! with an extensive use of white.  And I used cream to alternate with the white as ground fabric in the star blocks to give the design a little more depth.  You can see my “scrappy” feel is much more controlled compared to Mrs. Miles!

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And to keep the general feel of openness of my quilt, I decided to leave out the swag applique border.  Instead I appliqued a simple bird/swirl at the top right corner of the quilt.  I debated whether to repeat the applique at the bottom left corner of the quilt to balance things out.  In the end, I didn’t because I thought having that applique just on the top right corner keeps things from being too predictable.

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Appplique seems to be confined within certain borders or areas in traditional applique quilt.  I kind of bent that unspoken rule a little bit by letting my applique “spill” over to the pieced portion of the quilt to keep things a bit more interesting.

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Quilting on Oh, Happy Stars!, done with Aurifil Mako 50 thread over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting, is a mix of allover quilting, and dense quilting in the outer border of the quilt.  I did not want the quilting to dominate in the quilt center star blocks.  I wanted the colors of the star to jump out – so I quilted my Jester’s Hat allover quilting in the quilt center…

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… and I left the fancier quilting for the white outer border.

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The quilt design appears busy with all the different colors, and with the dense quilting in the white outer border, I felt like a little rest for the eye and contrast to the dense quilting was in order — so, I quilted straight line 1/4″ apart in portions of the outer border in order to achieve the rest and contrast effect.

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A huge huge thank you goes to the editorial team at Landauer Publishing.  The editorial team work hard in making Recreating Antique Quilts happen, and to reflect my personality! I have heard comments about the book being very “me” — and I couldn’t agree more. You will get full sized templates — color-coded so that you know exactly what piece goes where when you are doing the applique placement.  I really like how the applique templates are presented.

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Oh, Happy Stars! is a stash-busting project.

#1.  You can easily use the scraps in your stash.  Those squares are small, but you can easily increase the size if you wish to.

#2.  I also meant Oh, Happy Stars! to be a friendship quilt in that the scrappy look of the design is conducive for a block exchange among quilting friends.  Using a specific theme or color for the block exchange would be fun: Christmas, Floral, Spring, Batik etc — and how about the ugliest fabric in each quilter’s stash?!

#3.  My quilt finishes at 45″ square.  But the final size can easily be increased by increasing the block size or number of blocks.

#4.  That bird/swirl applique — if you like it but aren’t really wanting to do the piecing required for the quilt. How about just using the bird/swirl applique on a strip pieced vertical banner?

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have liked Oh, Happy Stars!  There was very little doubt that Oh, Happy Stars would be the cover quilt from the very beginning.   Looking at the projects of the book, which would you have picked to be cover quilt? And if you have further ideas on how to use the design, I would love to hear them!

Projects At-A-Glance

Projects At-A-Glance

I will also take this opportunity to announce a blog hop for Recreating Antique Quilts next Tuesday.  So, be sure to come back for details.

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Happy a fanta-bulous weekend, Dear Friends!

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Click here to read about all things Recreating Antique Quilts.

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11 thoughts on “Recreating Antique Quilts Project Highlight #2: Re-interpreting Mrs. Miles’ Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Star Quilt

  1. Oh happy stars is my absolute favorite in the book, my choice for the cover for sure!! I hope to make this one but I have several projects before I can start it!! Also love the bird, I am a big fan of birds!!

  2. Love your “Oh, Happy Stars” Irish Chain quilt, colors are perfect. Love the added “Wendy” touch with the swirls and the bird, giving it a more modern feel. I like all the “updated ” quilts, but I am fondest of “Oh, Happy Stars” and “Calico Trails.” This book is a definite winner!!

  3. The original version is wonderful and I can see how it inspired you to create your own beauty. I think yours made a perfect cover lady.

    I’m looking forward to your new hop.

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