Tuesday

Ohio Star Quilt Block


I am in the middle of making multiple quilts. 
I made my very first quilt, a Patchwork Quilt to go along with our Camper Remodel in January and have since been asked by most of the kids and grandkids to make them all quilts! 
In between all those quilts, I am trying to make one for myself from the Ohio Star quilt pattern. And I just love how they are turning out.

Let me state that I am not a beginner sewer, only a beginner quilt maker. I have sewn for years making numerous different items (Halloween Costumes are my fav) but I never attempted a quilt. I have regrets! Why didn't I try this before! Oh well.


Ohio Star History

The pattern for the Ohio Star is believed to have been around since the early 1800's, and some believe it was invented in 1815. But according to Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Societystars very similar were used in Martha Washington's quilt where she added a pinwheel as the center square and Dolly Madison used an Ohio Star with a nine patch inserted in the center, both well before 1815.Below are examples of Dolly Madison's quilt block.



There seems to be a k-zillion Ohio Star quilt block pattern variations, and each time something is done to the Ohio Star someone gives it a new name. Variations include tilting the star, adding blocks to the corners, using a diamond or other shapes within the center square or infinite color combinations.
Variations of the names include Variable Star, Eastern Star, Western Star, Texas Star and Missouri Star. But they are all basically the Ohio Star.
Below is the Missouri Star, a Christmas themed Ohio Star and an Amish Star.

      

The Ohio Star is a lot of cutting and sewing and a little intense for a beginner quilter like me but after the second or third block, I pretty much mastered it. Mostly. 
I've made a few noticeable mistakes on the first blocks but as of now have not taken the seam ripper to them. I think I will leave the mistakes to mark the day I taught myself how to make the Ohio Star quilt block. And besides, most old vintage quilts have their share of small mistakes, which only adds character to the quilt, in my opinion.

For my Ohio Stars, I decided to use reproduction Civil War fabrics after purchasing a book from an Amish Quilt store in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The book, “The Blue and the Gray, Quilt Patterns using Civil War Fabrics” actually has multiple quilts I love and patterns I want to try. Below on the left is the quilt I'm making using reproduction fabrics and the second one on the right, I'm making for the hubby. 

I decided to make my quilt blocks 9-inch square and hope to keep sewing them until I have enough for a King size quilt. Phew, that's going to be a lot of sewing!

How to Make the Ohio Star

The Ohio Star pattern actually works off of a 9 patch. Truthfully once I learned to look at quilts by blocks and squares (the trees instead of the forest), patterns became much easier for me to figure out.

Ohio Star works off of a 9-patch

The Ohio Star block has three rows of three (nine).
Since mine will be a 9-inch block, each square in each row needs to end up after sewn to measure 3” by 3”.
I printed a diagram of the Ohio Star and made notes (lots), and also made a list of the sizes and number of each square I needed to make one block. Doing this helps me to visualize it and work out how to sew it together.

My notes and diagrams before making the Ohio Star


What you'll need for one 9 inch block:
You can use many different color combinations to create the Ohio Star.
For the main color of the Ohio Star (A- Dark) cut 2 at 4 ½ x 4 ½
For the accent color (B-Med or dark cream or coordinating color) cut 1 at 4 ½ x 4 ½
For the corners and border (C-Light cream) cut 1 at 4 ½ x 4 ½ and 4 at 3 ½ x 3 ½

Diagram I made showing what colors go where

First, place one A-Dark and one B-Med together, right sides facing each other.
Draw a line diagonally across the squares. At the same time, place one A-Dark and one C-Light (4 ½ x 4 ½ ) together, right sides facing each other. Draw a diagonal line across the squares.

Draw a line across the squares

Now stitch a ¼ seam along each side of the line on each one.
Cut on the line you drew. Open and press seams.

Stitch a 1/4 seam allowance and cut
Press open

Matching the seams exactly (this is the hardest part and where I made mistakes) place one A/B combo and one A/C combo together. Draw a line diagonally across them.
Repeat. Now sew a ¼ inch seam allowance on each side of the line.

Align seams


Draw a line, sew a 1/4 inch seam on each side

Cut on the line and then open and press seams.
You now have the points of the Ohio Star complete!

The points of 4 Ohio Star quilt blocks ready to be trimmed

Make sure to trim around all the edges to make each 3 ½ ” x 3 ½ ”
I use a square template with the lines highlighted and placed in the center of each square and trim one side at a time.

Trim each to a 3 1/2 inch square

Once these are sewn and trimmed you have 4 squares of quarter sewn triangles.

Place all the pieces of the Ohio Star into place and begin sewing them together. Make sure the seams are aligned when sewing.
I prefer to first sew the top three squares together, then the middle three and finally the bottom three.


Press the seams, then sew the three rows together.
Most importantly, make sure to line up all the seams!
Also, check to make sure that once the block is sewn together, there is a ¼ seam allowance above each star point.

Seam allowance and example of seam not matched up correctly!


If you wish to make your Ohio Star Blocks a different size, I found this amazing chart on the website: Generations Quilt Patterns:


It made it extremely helpful to cut the right sizes for the size block I wanted.
I also found it's easier and goes faster if I sew multiple blocks at once.  I precut blocks and place each one in a sandwich bag.  This helps to keep the block organized until I'm ready to sew it together.  Some days I have limited time so I'll just cut out the blocks to sew another day. 

Finished Ohio Star Blocks and block pieces cut and ready to go

I working on my granddaughter Kelsey's quilt as a graduation gift and also my daughter Alexis's quilt made with hexagons.
This quilting stuff is addicting! I was told by my kids that they're doing a quilting intervention.......
right after I finish their quilts.

Elizabeth

Other Posts:




Finished Ohio Star Quilt Blocks!


Cherry Pie Filling

Growing up we had a large, really old cherry tree and every year my sisters and I would climb the tree to pick as many cherries as we could. We would rush the cherries into my mother who made the best Cherry Pie ever. My mother's pie crust was hands down my favorite and I have never been able to duplicate it nor have I tasted one as good.

That old cherry tree we had growing up finally split down the middle and died and that was a sad day indeed.
I now have my own cherry tree and it was beautiful this year in full bloom.  I'm hoping the crop is plentiful and I'm able to pick lots of fresh cherries! Cherries are usually ripe in June in my area of Ohio. 

Legend has it that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree when he was very young.  I tend to believe the story and that he was truthful about it.  I have a similar tale about an axe, my son, a group of young boy scouts and cutting trees they shouldn't have. My son was very truthful about what happened and who all wielded the ax, including himself, but that's a story for another day. 

Monday

WWII Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

My daughter Alexis always wants a homemade chocolate cake for her birthday.  In the last couple years, she has bugged me to try a recipe she got from the mother of a past boyfriend.  Alexis lived in Kansas for a couple years with a young man she met in college. He was working at a dig site at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Ohio, where Alexis was working as an intern in her job field.
The relationship with that young archeologist didn't work out but she did walk away with a great recipe from his mom for this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. 

The Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake became really popular during War World II when some food staples such as eggs and butter were in shortage and housewives had to make do with what they had on hand.  

This is a rich, slightly dense but wonderfully moist chocolaty chocolate cake.  The chocolate lovers in your family will rave about this cake and ask for it again and again!

Friday

Savory Meat Pie

I think I found this recipe in an old Food Network Magazine and it has gotten rave reviews from my family every time I make it. 
In fact, my husband asked me to never ever share this recipe. He doesn't know that thousands of people have already seen it in that magazine, haha. 
This is an absolutely delicious savory beef, veggie and cheddar cheese pie. I use store-bought puff pastry or pie crust but you can use your favorite pie crust recipe.

This pie is similar or along the same lines as an Irish Potato and Beef Pie, a Cottage Pie or Shepard's Pie or an English Beef Pie. All usually employ meat and potatoes of some sort. This was a popular staple dish in medieval times and was eventually called "pyes" or "pies". The origin of this name "pie" comes from the type of meat commonly used as filling. Beef, lamb, and duck were employed, but a majority of the time it was the magpie, a bird that was the main ingredient.

Monday

Making a Patchwork Quilt

I have been sewing for years, various crafts, curtains, pillows, kids clothes and Halloween Costumes. I have even made small baby quilts but never a full size quilt.

Recently I did a Camper Remodel and wanted to use the leftover fabrics from reupholstering the cushions and sewing new curtains in the camper to make a camper quilt.

One of the easiest quilts to make and one of my favorites is a patchwork style quilt.
Patchwork is simply sewing pieces of fabric together to form a pattern or blocks that when all together form a quilt top. When the quilt top is finished, it's then quilted, meaning the top, the batting and the back cover are sewn together.
When deciding on what pattern or style of quilt to make as my first, I took a look at my quilt collection. Of all the quilts I have, patchwork is my favorite it seems and the one I have the most of. I gravitate towards it every time I find quilts for sale. It's the style of quilt I am currently using as a blanket on my bed.

Saturday

Camper Remodel, Part 2

This is the second post on remodeling our little camper. The first post you can find here:
Camper Remodel, Part One.

We purchased our used little camper a couple years ago. We love to tent camp and will continue to do so but I always wanted a little camper. I am in love with small vintage campers and although our camper is not vintage it works great as our first. Our camper is 16 foot long but very cozy and just right for us and our three dachshunds.

As stated in my first camper remodel post the interior color scheme was light blues which is not my favorite interior color.

Friday

Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin

I asked for this wonderful recipe from our friends, David and Beth in 2010 after attending a dinner party they hosted. 
We just love this recipe! 
It's one of my favorites and a hit each time I serve it. 
This was the main course I served for our Women's Only Dinner Party and it's great for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day or other occasions.
The recipe was created by Lori Welander and won the first place prize in McCormick 2002 Cook-Off Contest.
This is one of those great recipes that makes it appear as if you slaved in the kitchen, but it's really easy to put together. On the occasions I make this recipe, it makes me feel as if I am more than just an average cook......

A tenderloin is a lean, delicately flavored meat, is the most tender cut of pork and takes well to marinades.

Wednesday

Camper Remodel, Part One

We purchased our used little camper a couple years ago. My husband Bill and I love to tent camp, (and will continue to do so)  and have even tent camped around Lake Superior, while doing the Lake Superior Circle Tour.  
But I have always wanted a little camper. 
I like the idea of having all our things with us and room for our 3 Dachshunds. 
And I just love all the remodeled vintage campers I see, they're so romantic!
Our first camper is not vintage but we did get it at a fantastic price for being in like new condition. Little as in it's only 16 feet long.  But it packs everything we need into that 16 feet: stove, microwave (haven't even used that) a pretty big refrigerator, toilet, sink & shower, stereo, furnace and A/C.  That A/C part is one of the best features in August! 

Thursday

Red Peppers and Sausage Pasta

Penne D'Allessandria
I found this recipe years and years ago in a magazine and still have the partial torn out page glued on a recipe index card! I have since made a Scrapbook Cookbook and added this recipe.

The recipe is relatively easy to make, is pretty much fool proof, looks great and tastes wonderful. I can almost guarantee that if you try it once you'll want to make it again.

Penne are cylinder shaped pasta and Allessandria is a city in Piedmont, Italy which was founded in 1168. 
So the name of the recipe Penne D'Allessandria, means a pasta from Allessandria.

Olive oil research is ongoing but so far there seems to be many health benefits.  And Olive oil is the cornerstone of Mediterranean diets, the world's longest living culture.

Tuesday

Easy Homemade Rice Heat or Cold Packs

This is one of the simplest sewing projects you will do, it's right up there with making pillowcases.
These packs can be heated in the microwave for a heat pack or placed in the freezer for a cold pack.
And they can be made into any size you want. 
 I use the size in these instructions for placing on a shoulder, knee or other similar area with an ache and pain. You can sew long thin ones to place around your neck or wrap around an ankle. Or make small ones to fix inside mittens for hand warmers!

These instructions include a rice heat pack removable cover.