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Edition 13 – Threads In Focus | Twisted Star Quilt

Edition 13 – TESS 2013 Visitors Choice Winner

Details of The Empress Stitch Show 2013 Visitors Choice Winner. Created by Marta Taylor. Marta has kindly provided details of her piece and the design process.
A big congratulations from all at Empress Mills!!!!!!

Twisted Star Quilt - Marta Taylor - Threads In FocusTwisted Star Quilt – by Marta Taylor

The Twisted Star quilt (March to July 2010) – otherwise known as From Postcard to Finished Quilt in 2000 Easy Steps On a quilting course I was attending, a lady was doing a colour-graded quilt; it reminded me of a framed postcard hanging on my wall for since 1990 years. I took the postcard out of the frame and was dismayed to see no details about this quilt on the reverse. Liking a challenge I set to and made my own version. Finished size is about 73” square.

From the postcard I could see there were 11 rows, each containing 11 blocks and each block had 4 different colour-graded fabrics. That meant I was going to need about 484 different fabrics. I decided to keep the white and black ‘stars’ though I was tempted to use red instead of white. I made up a few mock blocks to check my pattern would work and to decide the final size of each block.

I raided my stash of fabrics and laid them from dark to light on the lounge carpet. Once they were ‘in order’ I started to cut 3¾” squares. I kept them in a light to dark order and some fabrics were able to yield 2 squares as they would be well spaced apart in the quilt. Once more I watched a lot of television whilst ironing and cutting the fabric. I ran out of different dark fabrics so had to rush out to my local fabric shops to re-stock.

I realised I would have to identify each block of 4 fabrics. I started to lay them out on the lounge carpet and labelled each set of 4 fabrics. I had to prepare 121 unique labels (11 x 11 = 121). Once each block was sorted the 4 fabrics were stacked with the right corner fabric upper most and its unique label pinned to it. Next I sewed the 4 fabrics into a block, being careful not to lose the label. From 2½” wide by 6” long strips of black fabric I cut 50 rectangles and sub-cut these diagonally bottom left to top right to yield 100 right-angled triangles.

Similarly I cut the same number of white right-angled triangles but sub-cut from bottom right to top left. I used my computer to prepare a grid so I knew the position of each block and where the black and white triangles had to be placed. I then sewed a black and white triangle to each block where required and only then did I trim off the surplus fabric (to avoid working on bias edges). Each block was sewn to its neighbour in the same row, then rows were sewn together.

Once layered up, I kept the quilting simple, just outlining the stars to emphasise them.

In Sept 2011 I attended a quilt day at Saddleworth and found a book for sale with this quilt in it! The actual quilt was about 1 m square and it was made by Deirdre Amsden who was part of the Quilt Art Group (

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