Multi-seam Centers

Recently I taught a Lone Star workshop for a delightful guild in Burlington, WI – the Chocolate City Quilters (don’t you just love that name?). We used the Quiltsmart™ interfacing method I shared about in my February 15th post (click here if you’d like to revisit that post). Twenty-two quilters participated in the class and the quilts they worked on were varied and gorgeous. I so wish I had taken some pictures. So here’s a quick request before I get to my “topic of the week”. If you’ve taken a Lone Star class with me, and you’ve finished your star, please email me a picture at: I think these quilts will make an exciting blog quilt show.

Now on to medallion centers. This is one of my Lone Star tops in which I used a Pointillism fabric for the background (I really need to border and quilt this one  🙂 ):

Lone Star with Pointillism background

When making a medallion style quilt, like a Lone Star or a Mariner’s Compass; or whenever a block has 8 seams coming together in one center point – it can be difficult to get the center right the first time. The biggest problem with this is that ripping and resewing can cause the fabric to weaken and the center to get worse instead of better. There is a slick trick for making this easier, and the ladies in the Chocolate City Guild class said they thought it would be a good one to share on the blog. So here goes. My sample was done on a  “Spin Star” block .

1. Once you have the 8 sections ready, sew them together in pairs (making quarters); and then sew the pairs into two halves.

2. Line up the halves, and pin into position along the entire seam.

3. Set the sewing machine for a long basting stitch and sew a short portion of the seam only, beginning 1″ prior to the center seam and ending 1″ beyond it (my sewing machine stitches didn’t show well, so I drew in the blue stitches to make it clearer).



4. Remove the block/top from the machine and peek at the center. If you got it right, set the machine for a regular stitch length and sew the entire seam. If it wasn’t quite right,

center seam off

remove the basting stitches, re-pin, and resew with basting stitches once again until you get it right, then sew the entire seam.

center seam block

In this way you only need to rip out 2″ of basting stitches if it isn’t correct, and not a long seam of normal length stitches.

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend. I’m praying for all our service men and women, and their families, as well as our veterans. How blessed we are to have the freedoms we do, and how grateful I am for those who serve, and have served, to keep us free!


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