Low-Volume Ohio Star

OhioStar2 Earlier this summer, as I was finishing up my latest charity quilt, I got to thinking about how nice it would be to actually see someone receive one of my quilts. Greg seems to be content with the one quilt I made for him. And my family members have Mom to make quilts for them. Well, I thought, maybe Greg’s mom would like a quilt. Susan has always been a supporter of my craftiness, and I knew she’d be an appreciative recipient.

I decided to make her quilt with the Ohio Star quilt block. While she’s originally from out east, she’s lived a good part of her life in Cincinnati, and she spends only a small part of each year here now. So with an Ohio Star quilt, she could have a bit of Ohio with her wherever she is.

Next Greg and I started talking about fabrics. I knew yellow was one of her favorite colors, so I pulled together some yellows and purples from my stash for a bright-ish quilt like I usually make. Greg, though, had pictured a more subtly colored quilt for his mom, and I agreed. So I went back to the stash and found some lighter blues and greens to go with the yellows.


I’ve never make a low-volume quilt like this before (low-volume meaning the colors are similar in value, and therefore, there’s very little contrast). But I really liked the way it came together. And when I like making the blocks, the whole quilt comes together pretty quickly, too.

OhioStar_quilttopI decided to finish up the top with a thin white border and larger green border to bring the quilt top to 60 x 72 inches.

Once it was finished, Greg and I started to second-guess ourselves. I don’t know why, really, but the light yellows and greens just kind of seemed like a quilt you’d make for a baby when you don’t know the gender. So I brought the top to the August Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting to see what the members thought. The conversation that ensued was fascinating. I didn’t take a formal poll, but it seemed like the crowd was split down the middle. Some members couldn’t see why anyone would think it looked like a baby quilt, and others thought it really did look babyish.

One of the members, Janine Keeton, made the good point that the quilting would make a big difference as to the look of the final quilt. When I asked her what quilting motif she’d recommend, she suggested something classic, like feathers. Since there was no way I could accomplish feathers on my machine, and since Janine has a long-arm business, I decided to ask her to try her hand at the quilting.

My only requests when I gave her the quilt were to quilt each block individually, rather than quilting it with one overall pattern, and to include feathers.

OhioStar_quilting2OhioStar_quilting1She decided to sew one of two different designs on each block. Each has feathers, but I like that each also includes circles. The half circles on the white border tie into the circles on the blocks, and the feathers on the wider borders pull everything together. I think the quilting turned out great—and it took the quilt completely away from the baby realm. Thanks, Janine!

OhioStar_quiltingJanine used a wool batting for the quilt. I had never used wool before, but I love the soft and light feel it gives the quilt.

The quilting also looks great on the back of the quilt. I used leftover fabric from the quilt top to piece the back.

OhioStar_backAnd I used one more Ohio Star block to make the label.

OhioStar_labelI finished the quilt by binding the edges using the same fabric as the outer border. Something about it, though, seemed just a bit too tidy. So I threw in a section of white binding on the lower left edge.

OhioStarGreg and I stopped over on Saturday to give Susan her quilt. And she was extremely appreciative, just as we knew she would be. She seemed to really like the colors and the design. And before we left, she’d already found a place for it in one of the sitting areas. You can’t ask for a better reception than that for a quilt!


Leave a comment


  1. Rose Doyle

     /  October 1, 2014

    Oh Chris, it turned out really nice. Susan will enjoy it. The quilting made sure it was an adult quilt though it wasn’t that babyish before. Another beautiful quilt by my quilting daughter.

  2. I shared this one on my face book page. I just love the quilting on this. Thanks.


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