Retrospective – 1994 Queen Anne Star

Welcome to the fourth in my more-or-less monthly series of quilt retrospectives.

1994 Queen Anne Star
1994 Queen Anne Star

Size: 228 x 275 cm (90″ x 108″)
Design: Queen Anne Star by Holice Turnbow
Fabric: Pre-printed wholecloth top
Batting: low-loft polyester (I think it was Fairfield but I’m not sure)
Quilted: by hand, April 1993 to November 1994
Bound: by machine & hand 1994
Valuation: $1745 (1995)

While in San Diego in 1992 I purchased a 29″ Hinterberg maple wood quilting hoop. On being posted to Canberra in 1993 I wanted to do a hand-quilting project but the prospect of either drawing my own wholecloth or piecing something that had plenty of room for quilting didn’t appeal to me. Instead I bought a pre-printed wholecloth kit from the US. I used the lowest-loft polyester batting I could find (to facilitate small stitches) and a plain cream cotton backing.

I started in April 1993 and it took me approximately eighteen months to do the quilting, finishing in November 1994. I remember working on it during the evenings and weekends, listening to audiobooks or music as I sewed. I was living in a ground floor flat at the time, and it was cool enough to quilt even in the summer (it was frigid in the winter and I was very glad that my legs were covered while quilting!).

1994 Queen Anne Star centre detail
1994 Queen Anne Star centre detail

In this early progress shot (scanned from a film print) you can see that I altered the pattern a little — I left out some small embellishments in the centre and added a second row of lines to the plain diagonal grid.

1994 Queen Anne Star border detail
1994 Queen Anne Star border detail

As I neared the finish, I embroidered my name and date in the border cable at bottom right, though I’ve redacted it in this photo. I couldn’t find the strip of the top fabric that had been supplied for binding, so I used a similar fabric which has, unfortunately, become darker with time.

The quilt was exhibited at my local guild show in 1995. It was valued, as part of the submission process, at $1745.

Although it was a kit, I like the design and I like the quilt. I have used it as a bedspread or light summer cover from time to time and it’s very comfortable. Unfortunately the supplied top fabric is of a slightly poorer quality than the backing, and has started to pill.

Lessons learned:
1. If purchasing another pre-printed top, use a light box to transfer the design to a better quality fabric to use as the top (my stitching isn’t good enough to use the backing as the front).
2. When hand-quilting a large project, turn up or wrap the edges to protect the fabric and batting.
3. Use the same fabric for top and binding when doing a wholecloth quilt.

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