December 18, 2017

Reproducing an Antique Quilt

I bought this quilt years ago when I was working at an antique quilt shop.  (It was a heavenly place to spend my time, I assure you!)  Whenever the pickers would come in to sell their finds, we had the option to buy things, too.  (Heavenly and then some!)

I bought this quilt from one of those pickers.  The back fabric is in rough condition and there are some tears in the borders through all the layers.  (The faded-looking upper left corner is due to the light coming in my window, though).  Here's why I fell in love with this quilt:

1.  I love the color combination.  I love how the stars really twinkle in the night sky.

2.  I have not yet seen this exact pattern anywhere else.  I have dubbed it Starry Night.  These are 9-patch blocks with a star in each corner, set on point with alternate setting blocks.  Does anyone out there know a name for this block?  There's a similar block called Star in a Nine Patch (Brackman #1711) which has five stars in the block, one in the center position also. 

Without those center stars, the setting creates an overall pattern of interlocking circles, very like the look of a Double Wedding Ring.  Identifying an actual block becomes quite difficult!

3.  The indigo background is a print with tiny white stars, thematic in other words.

4.  The stitching is very well done.

Here's the delicate design of the back print, and some of the damage along the border.

I decided to reproduce the quilt and bought the fabrics way back in the 1980s.  I finally started to work on it a little over 2 years ago as my carry-along project.  Up until then, something about having kids kind of slowed me down, and then writing a book....  I'm really glad I bought the fabrics when I did though, because I don't know if I'd have as much luck finding them now. 

So far, I have made 7 blocks.  This is now my carry-along handwork project of choice.  It has been to Philly, Seattle, Paducah, Kalona IA, Sugar Hill NH, and Cleveland.  I also work on it around home now and then when I am somewhere that entails a lot of sitting time. 

You can see how different a modern navy is from an old faded indigo!

I am using two different double pink prints, because I have them and couldn't decide which I liked better.  This is my own addition to the design.  The four stars in each block have one using each of the pinks and two alternating the pinks.

Here are the pieces cut for my next two blocks.  Slow and steady wins the race!


  1. Ann, this is glorious! Thanks so much for posting it. Can I ask, how big are the stars? It is so unique to see this without the center square, and what a secondary pattern it produces. Great quilt and great project! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Dale! The stars are 3". The sides of the diamonds are about 7/8". Yeah, this quilt has fascinated me since I first saw it. I think it's kind of cool to think that the 4-star block and layout may have been a flash of inspiration for this quilter. Imagine how happy it made her! :-)