Polly's Quilts

Frequently Asked Questions  (FAQs)

Polly receives hundreds of e-mails regarding questions about her quilts.  Below are frequently asked questions (and answers) from those e-mails.  If you can't find the answer to your question here, feel free to e-mail Polly and she'll try to answer it.  Thank you!

After the strips have been sewn together, How wide do you cut the strips to form the diamonds?
Bunching, pouching, belling, in the star: How to help prevent it.

Can you share any patterns for star quilts?
Do you cut out all the colors together or only each star diamond?
Eight or six point stars; how do you cut the strips (diamonds)?
H
ow do you measure the right size for the  triangles and squares (the fillins) on the quilts? How wide do you cut the strips of fabric?
What kind of fabric do you normally use?
When cutting the strips, do you cut with the grain of the material or against it to prevent bunching?
When  staggering the strips, how far apart are the ends set?

 

Q: Can you share any patterns for star quilts?
A: I do not use a pattern for any of my quilts. I just use a ruled cutting board, sharp scissors, and some rulers. Of course I do a LOT of colored line drawings to see what different color schemes will look like. The only time I use any kind of pattern is when someone asks for a silhouette or likeness that they would like as a centerpiece on a quilt. I recently did a bare-back bronco placed at the center of a star quilt. Visit www.starquilts.com/starborn.htm and see how I make a Star Quilt.
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Q: Bunching, pouching, belling, in the star: How to help prevent it.
A:

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Q. What kind of fabric do you normally use?
A. I use cotton percale or satin.
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Q. When cutting the strips, do you cut with the grain of the material or against it to keep the material from bunching when sewing?
A. I've cut strips both ways. You could too, just try both ways and decide the way you like best.

Q. How do you measure the right size for the  triangles and squares (the fillins) on the quilts?
A. Measure one edge of the diamond panels when the star is complete. Use the one with the straight edge, not the bias edge. For the triangles, I add 1/4 inch to the measurement, but not for the squares. Do not stretch the bias edges of the star or the triangles.
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Q. How wide do you cut the strips of fabric?
A. For Full, Queen, and King each strip should be about 2 3/4 inches wide. For twin size each strip should be about 2 1/2 inches wide. For baby quilts  or coverlets, each strip should be about 2 inches wide.
Queen Size Example: You could cut 2 3/4 inch strips lengthwise. I find that one yard lengths yields 8 diamonds in each strip period. If you cut widthwise on 44 inch wide fabrics, it also yields 8 to 9 diamond strips. For row one beginning at the middle, you would need one strip. Row 2 needs two strips, etc. You would need to go up to 6 strips to the center of the panel. Then you need to go back down to the outer tip. Example: one strips, two strips, three strips, four strips, five strips, six strips. Then back on down to five strips, four strips, three strips, two strips, one strip. Just sew them together using a smaller stitch length, so the stitches won't come undone when you cut them.
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Q. After the strips have been sewn together, How wide do you cut the strips to form the diamonds?
A. You always cut the sewn strips the same width that you cut the single strips. It looks like not going to work, but thats the seam allowances showing on the edges.
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Q. Eight or six point stars; how do you cut the strips (diamonds)?  I was working on a my firs star quilt, and for some reason it came out to be a 6 point star and I am trying to make a full size quilt. How come I can't get 8 points in there? What should the diamond measurements be?  Can you please help me out?
A. For 8 point stars, you will need to cut the diamonds at an angle of 45 degrees; cutting the stars at an angle of 60 degrees will create 6 point stars.
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Q. When  staggering the strips, how far apart are the ends set?
A. It depends on the width of the strips you use. I stagger the strips  from 1 7/8" to 3 1/4"
as follows:

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Q. Do you cut out all the colors together or only each star diamond?
A. Choose color placement first. Then you can cut strips widthwise to the inches wanted (3" or whatever). There are approximately 8-9 diamonds per strip. Five strips is 40 diamonds, 4 is 32 diamonds, 3 is 24 diamonds, etc.
Then sew the planned out color strips together, staggered for 45 degree cut.  Iron out, and then cut them at 3" or whatever, 45 degree angles to 8 strips again. You sew these together into 8 panels and they become the star.
To see how this is done, see the pictorial at www.starquilts.com/starborn.htm

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