photo of the Our Song, Your Reflection quilt

Tips and Tricks: Lone Star Quilt

Andrea Tsang Jackson
Autumn 2019

The traditional Lone Star quilt is the base for Our Song, Your Reflection. This beautiful, classic design uses strip sets cut on the diagonal to create a large-scale pattern. Here are some tips to make this a successful endeavour! First things first: don’t be scared. Once you get going, it’s a ton of fun with rewarding results.

Choosing Fabrics
If this is your first time making a Lone Star, pick fabrics that blend into each other well. That means a gradient or really busy prints in the same colour family. If your points don’t match perfectly, they are less noticeable. High contrast fabrics are less forgiving.


1 Hands off. Be as gentle as possible with your fabric. This goes for general handling and when you’re guiding the fabric through the machine. Don’t pull on it!

2 Starch or pressing spray. The Lone Star is based on 45° angles, which means that you are cutting fabric diagonally across the warp or weft (straight grain) of the fabric. These are bias edges and can be stretchy and unwieldy. When you are sewing your strips sets together, use your favourite starch or pressing spray to keep your fabric behaving before you start diagonal cuts. As you continue along, you can continue to spray when you’re pressing, but the first time is the most important!

3 Pressing direction. People ask me which way I press and I say, “I don’t worry about it when it comes to Lone Star construction.” My reasoning is that the seams meet at a 45° angle and are never going to be outright stacked. The seam is going to be “spread” along the distance of the seam and not terribly bulky (see tip five for a visual of how the seams meet). If you want to be fastidious, you can alternate pressing directions when you are assembling your strip sets.

4 Check your 45° angle. As you cut your strips from your assembled set, your 45° angle may start to stray from a true 45°. Check you 45° along a few interior seams to avoid your angle from creeping. If it’s starting to creep, trim off a bit to make it true again.

5 Diamond piecing. If you are sewing two diamond shapes together, mark a ¼” seam allowance on the back of one diamond to get them to line up properly. Finger press
the seam before pressing gently with an iron. Using a ¼” seam guide helps here.

6 Matching points. When it comes time to join two diamond strips together, mark a ¼” seam allowance on the back of one strip. I mark at the intersections only. Align your strips right sides together. When you fold back one layer right on that ¼” line, your two seams should make a nice diagonal.

See? Lone Stars are so worth the effort. Go for it and don’t look back!

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta