Monday, January 28, 2019

Solomon's Square Stars

Anita Solomon's "Make It Simpler Star Variation/Square Star" block
 pieced and hand quilted by Linda Theil 2018-2019
by Linda Theil

I took Anita Grossman Solomon's class, "Make It Simpler Star Variation/Square Stars", on March 27, 2018, hosted by the Western Michigan Quilters Guild in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Anita Grossman Solomon, Wyoming MI March 27, 2018.
Photo credit: Linda Theil
Solomon is a New York-based designer and teacher who is known for her innovative approach to piecing. I was introduced to her work in 2011 when I took a class based on her "Arrowhead" block from her book Rotary Cutting Revolution (C&T Publishing, 2010).

I posted an article, "Arrowhead quilt block from Solomon's Rotary Cutting Revolution" , about that class in August, 2011. I think she is a genius and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take her "Square Star" class last winter.

I don't think that her method of making a "Square Star" block appears in any of her books, but she has an online class titled "Quick Techniques for Classic Blocks: Wrenches, Stars & Twists" available on Bluprint (formerly Craftsy). There is a fee to take this class; I think the cost is $8 for a one-month Bluprint membership.

In the Grand Rapids class, Solomon insisted our fabrics be heavily starched. I had never done this before and was astonished by how much easier handling and sewing became with these stiff pieces. My fabrics were selections from the "Daily Zen" collection by Michele D'Amore for Benartex, and cuts from a fat quarter collection of cream and indigo batiks.

Anita Solomon's "Square Star" block made by cutting a square-on-point block
 into nine pieces,and reassembling into star configuration

More "Square Star" configurations including a single-color red star
and white star in second row of samples
I made more blocks the week after my class and put them up on my design board.
Twelve stars on design board, ready for piecing
But, I didn't get around to piecing and quilting for another nine months, until after Christmas this year. I took about a week to piece and sash, quilt and bind. At some point I added the yellow center to one of the blocks.
Pieced "Square Star" quilt with 2-inch sashing (blocks are 8-inch square, finished)
I added a 1.5-inch red border and a two-inch blue indigo border, then added another two inch piece to both of the short ends of the quilt.
Pieced "Square Star" quilt with1/5-inch red border and 2-inch blue border

I was going to do machine quilting, but changed my mind and quilted the piece using ivory #8 perle coton to match the backing.

Hand quilting using #8 perle coton

Finished "Square Star" quilt, hand-quilted and bound with indigo batik.
I really enjoy Solomon's inspiration and ideas. She has produced a magnificent body of work to explore and enjoy. I also really like this quilt.

UPDATE: February 15, 2019

This post has been edited at Anita Grossman Solomon's request. She offers readers free patterns on her website at Make it Simpler; she offers this new free pattern at:

No comments: