Monday, October 30, 2023

North Carolina Star

For October's Island Batik challenge, ambassadors were each sent the North Carolina Star die from AccuQuilt.  The North Carolina Star is a vintage block that was published in the Chicago Tribune in December of 1933.  AccuQuilt recently released a Block on Board (abbreviated BOB) die for the North Carolina Star that eliminated the y-seams in the original.  We were challenged to use the North Carolina Star die or any of its pieces, and were encouraged, though not required, to use fall fabric to celebrate this time of year.

I was really excited for this challenge!  Living in North Carolina, it felt like a gift to honor my state.  The die makes a 12" finished block and has 56 pieces.  Yes, 56!  That's a lot, but that many pieces also means that there are a lot of ways to change the look of this block.  I know that I will eventually play with a lot of different colorations of this block! I didn't want to lay out the blocks directly next o each other because I was worried that would be too busy, so I started thinking about blocks I could alternate with the North Carolina Star rather than using sashing.  Most of the other BOB dies I have are for 8" blocks; I don't have any other 12" BOB dies.  Or so I thought.  I realized that the Hunter's Star die makes a 6" unit, but that unit is actually a quarter of the star, so finished full block would be 12".  Perfect!  I headed straight for EQ8 to play with designs that combined North Carolina Star with Hunter's Star.  I came up with a design that I loved using both North Carolina Star and Hunter's Star.

original design in EQ8

In my most recent Ambassador box, I was sent a 10" stack of Buds and Blooms, a signature collection designed by Island Batik's main fabric designer Kathy Engle for Swan Amity Studios.  Buds and Blooms is a beautiful collection of yellows, oranges, purples, with just a touch of pink and burgundy.  While purple might not be a dominate color in changing leaves, the rest of the collection does remind me of a beautiful view of trees full of fall color.  I added the basic Jade as an accent and used solid black as the background to really set off the beautiful colors in Buds and Blooms.

Because I was working with a 10" stack, I was limited in how much of each fabric I had.  As a result, my quilt is colored a little differently than the original design in EQ8.  I ended up with two different fabric combination in my North Carolina Star blocks.

My finished quilt is 60" x 60".  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting and decided that a large spiral quilting would look good.  I chose to quilt with purple thread, Aurifil #2545 Medium Purple.  All piecing and quilting was done with Schmetz needles.  

marking the center circle for the spiral quilting

Items used in this project were provided to me by Island Batik, Accuquilt, Schmetz, Hobbs, and Aurifil.

I have really enjoyed seeing all the ways my fellow Island Batik ambassadors have used the North Carolina Star die!  I want to try a lot of the different variations that I've seen, so I know I'll be making more quilts using this block and this die.



  1. Beautiful finish! You picked a great combinations of blocks and a wonderful color palette.

  2. Wonderful quilt! I love the addition of the hunter star and the color combinations you used. Well done!

  3. What a pretty quilt! Those stars just pop off of that background. Nicely done!