Saturday, 26 January 2013

Mary Leggett's Star Bouquet quilt

I like to regularly look through my treasured collection of quilt history books - such a treat (the word "droolfest" comes to mind?)

 Recently this photo leapt out at me - Mary M. Leggett's Star Bouquet quilt :

Photo of page from the book below
The photo of Mary's quilt is on page 24 of one of my favourite quilt history books

According to the authors Mary M. Leggett made the quilt in 1862. It was made of silk, "template-pieced", and measured 95" x 77 1/2 ". 

I love it - particularly the way the colours pop out of the milk chocolate background. And on closer inspection you can see that she has taken great care in fussy cutting her silks, even joining a couple of  fabrics in the diamonds to increase the complexity of some of the stars. Here is a close up photo (from the book again):

There is a neat seam visible between the two fabrics used in each diamond on all the stars in this picture  - except the top right lilac star. 

So ... you might have guessed my new project ? 
Yep -  to make a reproduction (or more a "version") of this quilt.  

Some rough Maths makes me think Mary's stars were about 6.5" across point to point. After a bit of experimenting, I have decided to make 4.5" stars because I want to make more of them (but not a bigger quilt!) and the hexagons she made would be quite large for English Paper Piecing by hand (my preferred method). I am using  hexagons and diamonds with 1.25 " edges - a comfortable size to work with. And much as I'd love to use silks for the luxurious look of it, I'll settle for cottons from the stash. Those changes make it more a "version" than a "reproduction" I think?

First to select fabrics :
The background behind the photos is the chocolate/ cinnamon homespun for the hexagons
Then ...printing the diamonds onto light card - free download from here :

Diamonds ready to cut up

Then ...constructing some diamonds made of joined fabric strips:

Back of fabrics with diamonds marked to cut out
Paperclips holding  fabric over papers ready for hand basting
The finished star

And here is the extent of my quilt so far :

Tell you what - it is great to be playing with more fabric, fiddling with fussy cutting, and EPP again - such fun isn't it ?!


  1. Wow, wow, wow! The accuracy of your piecing is amazing. You've really captured the essence of the original with your fabrics and colour choices. Love the way you also used two fabrics in some of the stars.

  2. Beautiful! I've really got to learn how to English paper piece. I love how this is looking!

  3. This is beautiful!! The joined fabrics is is a great effect.

  4. Wow Hilda yes it is so satisfying to sit and sew these beauties!
    Don't rush the journey.

  5. I love the way you've joined your fabric and the chocolate homespun in between. Beautiful!

  6. lovely! what a great idea to pre sew the pieces.

  7. I love your stars, you are inspiring me! I must admit I am not an EPP fan but maybe a tabletopper would be doable to me. Your quilt is going to be goreous.

  8. Loving what yo are doing and what a great way to hold the pieces together using the paper clips.

  9. It's an amazing project! Its going to be beautiful!!

  10. This is fabulous! I'll so enjoy seeing your progress on this quilt. I love EPP, too!

  11. Your stars are awesome! I love the creative piecing. It will be fun to see your progress.

  12. What a fabulous new project! The fussy cutting and piecing will keep it so fun. I love my quilt history books too. I don't have that one though - I'll be looking for it now :0)

  13. The stars with the stripes are dazzling! This is going to be so beautiful! I love the soft brown for the background. Oh, and that cream and pink ombre star is fabulous! Oh heck....I love them all! LOL

  14. OH! What an delightful quilt. Your piecing is so accurate and the color choices are amazing. You are going to have a treasure when you're through.

  15. Wow! Beautiful! This will be worth the work. I love the paperclip idea for holding the edges in place while basting. Clever.

  16. Oh Gosh! It looks wonderful! Isn't is so awesome to see how the old designs live on and timeless! Wonder if the more modern designs will be repeated in the future like we love to remake the old quilts now?

  17. How gorgeous - they look like such fun.

  18. Lovely. I have an antique hexagon quilt wth pieced hex's. I think it was more common perhaps than people realize.
    Fun to pick out the fabrics.
    Thank you for sharing.

  19. Wow, just fantastic. Wonderful,....
    Greetings from Germany,

  20. It looks like you are having fun! Fussy-cutting is addictive! what you have done so far is lovely.

  21. I love what you've done so far! That is a beautiful demonstration. Wish I didn't already have so many projects in the works. :) Thanks so much for your nice comment on my French Boutis' post and for visting Comin' Home.

  22. It looks fantastic.

    Greetings, Manuela

  23. I just refound your blog with your version of Mary Leggetts Star Bouquet quilt. I couldn't remember which blog I saw it on and have been trolling my saved blogs to try to refind it.

    I love your version! I am looking forward to attempting my version too. I have a couple questions for you first. I looked for an email for you on your blog but didn't find one. I am hoping you get notified of this new comment of mine. I have signed up to follow your posts by email so I'll get notified when you post.

    Thanks for the website that will allow printing of the diamonds and hexies.
    For the size did you put in 1.25?

    And where oh where did you get that little yellow diamond template that will allow fussy cutting of the diamonds? I have searched today online and have not found it. It seems to be just the thing to accomplish those stars.

    I am looking forward to your answers so that I can begin to hunt down that tool.
    I am in the USA, the Midwest.