BEFORE AND AFTER  I recently shared my efforts at a star quilt.  The last picture showed a complete star unit, but with a major error.  It has now been corrected.

Star points going in correct direction

I have been doing some traveling and visited with two of my families.  The second meet up was in Chicago for a B-day party for 9 year old Jaden.  We met  at the Lego Discovery Center.  What could be more exciting for a family of three boys?  I stayed an extra day in the Windy City and friend Virginia joined me to see two quilt displays in two museums.

1894 raffle quilt from Illinois

It was well worth VA bus trip and our maneuvering around the city.  VA is good with maps and metro transportation.  I want to share the star quilts we saw.  We will work back in time.  The first is a raffle quilt for the Civil War veterans.  It was made in 1894 in Nebo, Pike Co., IL.  This quilt is on display at the Illinois State Museum and will be through September 14.

7 Sisters by Mary and George James in 1870

The quilt above was made by a veteran and his wife in 1870 and was considered as great therapy for the couple after the trauma of the war.  George James cut out the 14,320 pieces and wife Mary did the sewing.

7 sisters with each star center about the size of a quarter

The center of each star is about the size of a quarter.  I could almost cover a set of 7 stars with my hand if my fingers were spread out.

Mary Timmons was a new bride following the war.  Her veteran husband moved her to Wyoming, Stark Co., Illinois.  A new relative, Eliza Eagleston, helped Mary with the Star of Bethlehem quilt in 1870.

6 inch stars by Mary Gaunt Russel in 1855

Prior to the Civil War the above star baby quilt was made by slave owner Mary Gaunt Russell of Rogersville, Tenn.  Mary made the 6″ stars for a grandchild.  All of the above quilts come from the IL State Museum.  This museum is free to the public.  I have just finished reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe as I thought it fitting as I so like all the quilts of that time period and the reproductions of those fabrics.  If you have never read it, it is an important part of literature history and very well written.

1830 Star of Bethlehem

In the afternoon we moved on the  Art Institute of Chicago where we discovered the above quilt along with many others.  It is a great display of bed textiles.  This Star of Bethlehem really was a knock out!  It is thought to have come from Newburg, NY.

The colors and prints of 1830!

Who says the old quilts lacked bright, striking colors?  I would have loved this stash!  Add to that the workmanship!  Notice the quilting pattern could stay simple with all the work of the quilt top.

I should add a reminder of quilt etiquette when at a quilt show!

Star of Bethlehem 1900s

The above star quilt is one I purchased at a flea market.  It is all basted and ready for quilting.  It is not as awesome as the above quilts, but is still very nice.  Why did it not get finished?  I love the pointed border.  So much work has already been done!  I have one more star quilt that came off of a blog and I am sorry I cannot give due credit to who owns it.   Let all of these quilts inspire us to try stars!

8 point star gone wild!


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