Friday, June 12, 2015

Franklin Star Trio

2012 presentation with antique quilts
I first saw this string quilt in 2012.
It was a presentation at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall.
Little did I know this quilt had a future story for me.

I like the layout, rather dark indigo setting and the unusual eccentric print around the stars.

I wasn't sure I would ever see the quilt again.  It was added to the mental bucket list of wouldn't it be a good one to recreate?

Fast forward a year and Jeananne, the owner became my quilt appraiser and friend.  She has so many fantastic quilts in her collection - this one just kept 'speaking' to me - the way quilts do.

String star before setting diamonds
One very cold and snowy day this winter we decided it was time to recreate the quilt.

We did some measuring and penciled up our pattern, dug into our stash - and worked up our first stars.

Each diamond in the star averages about 9 pieces of fabric like the original.

I learned that string piecing takes longer than I had estimated - but I enjoyed the flexibility.

Franklin Star Backing Seams

One of the many things I like about the antique is the backing - home dyed, butted whip stitch seam with selvages in tact.

We dyed our backing fabric - trying to keep it splotchy.
I hand whip stitched my backing seam and left the selvages on.

We did have them machine quilted - as much as I LOVE the hand quilting on this one - I also wanted it done to use and enjoy NOW.

Franklin Star Trio of quilts

Here are the three quilts together.

The original is on top. (left side)
Mine is in the center.
Jeananne's quilt is on the bottom, she used 20% period/vintage fabric in the strings.

Jeananne purchased the c. 1890 original in Franklin Tennessee.
It measures 58" x 75"
Back to front binding, hand quilted fans.

Reproduction Frankin Star by Jeananne Olsen Wright

This is Jeananne's completed quilt.
Start to finish 8 weeks - February - March 2015

Note the lower two rows are very scrappy setting diamonds - like the original.

She has more vintage/antique fabrics used in hers.

My Reproduction Frankin Star
This is my Frankin Star - fun memories.
Back to front 1" binding, hand stitched down.
I think my long arm quilter Jewel, was less than impressed.
As she had it ready to quilt she contacted me and asked if maybe I forgot the border - - or something it wasn't quite right.  I assured her it was OK. I thanked her for her diligent concern, and explained it was intended to be just like the circa 1890 original.  It will never be in a show, even though she did fantastic quilting.

Note the black border at the top - the only black border on the quilt.  No border at the bottom, just indigo triangles.  The right side has yet another size inset wedge.  The left side is another smaller inset piece.  No side the same, another endearing feature.
I hope you enjoyed this fun project, Jeananne has a great eye for quilts  - - DAWN


  1. Fantastic quilt. I like how you recreated it just like the original.

  2. What an interesting project and a great quilt! I can see why your long arm quilter was wondering about the borders :0) I love that you recreated it to be so like the original!

  3. A nice project to re-create. I'm sure you had fun with choosing fabrics for this one.

  4. What an interesting quilt! Funny that the long arm quilter phoned you with her concern. You and Jeanne did a great job recreating this quilt. I was wondering where the name came from and now I see the original was from Franklin TN. Well done!

  5. Gorgeous and delicious in every way. No reason in the world it couldn't be in a show! I'd vote for it for sure.

  6. Is this a Brass Armadillo near you, or the on right before Omaha, NE? I live right behind this one in Omaha & scout about every three months!! I don't remember this one, but i am usually interested in tops & blocks or scraps. What a treasure of gorgeous fabrics. Your quilt turned out so well, and love all the little special features.

  7. What a great story to go along with your delightful quilt. You string stars are such a mixture of fabrics and colors. I can't believe how fast you both got your quilts done. Your Quilter's concern about the borders is a good story as well. It would be fun to put it in a show and stand near by listening to the comments about, "what happened to the borders?"

    1. Oh, I might be all in on that plan. I'd need a tally sheet for comments on the huge 1" binding, irregular borders and chnage g the setting diamonds...and that's just the front...

  8. What a great inspiration quilt, and reproductions. Those stars do look fun to make. How funny that your quilter asked if you forgot the borders. That last photo is particularly sweet with your helper making sure the quilt didn't blow away.

  9. I love string quilts too! I loved the process of sewing the strings together for the one I made. There is something magical at how all the strings play off one another. All three quilts are fantastic and wouldn't the original maker be happy to know her quilt was the inspiration.

  10. I agree with Kyle - the comments on this one would be fun to hear! and I do wonder why the original was finished like that. Love the versions you both whipped up - both beautifully vintage looking :)

  11. What a lovely and very interesting quilt with it's quirky borders. I love the small piecework that comprises the pretty string pieced stars. If only we knew the stories behind some of these old treasures!

  12. This was so interesting ....and I like both the old and new quilts! : )

  13. I love your quilt, and your pieced stars. So much more interesting for the little 'quirks' like the one inch binding. My very first quilt has a binding that is about 2 1/2 inches wide, who knew?

    1. ...and why not? I have quilts with the tiniest 1/4" binding on up to over 1"
      Love all of them! Who made those "rules"?

  14. So fun to see the 3 quilts together - I love how you reproduced it with all of it's quirkiness. And too funny that your quilter questioned you! Glad to see that your furry quilting partner approves!

  15. I have never seen a backing like the antique one was done. I never would have thought to do the backing in the same manner. Is this something that you have seen on other antique quilts?

    1. Yes Karen, I have a old examples in my collection as well. Have wanted to try it for a long time - glad I was able to pull it off.

  16. Do you have a label on it that explains this fun history? I love what each of you have done in recreating this quilt. You have captured the feel of the original so well!
    String piecing is not a fast process for me, so it surprises me how quickly you have put this together!

  17. Such an interesting and beautiful project. I love the original and I love the reproductions!

  18. Very fun. Love hearing about this quilt and seeing your wonderful results! I think the asymmetrical finish is the perfect touch, happily honoring the original version.:)

  19. Love your versions of this star quilt! wonderful dying of the backing.
    Of course you know I LOVE the fan quilting!

  20. What a fantastic, charming, humble quilt!! And made so quickly too!!


Thanks for your comments!