Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happiness Star,Victorian Star,3D to me

My Stars

Inspiration for my star on the left
was the little star on the right. My friend Missy gave it to me.
More inspiration came from
 a Better Homes and Gardens, Do It Yourself Issue, Winter 2005
 page 32 and 33.
Check out the wonderful fabrics used in these stars!
The article was about Debra Danall's beautiful home, 
and not about how to make them.
I could not find a pattern for these stars, 
I searched and searched and searched.
Did I say I searched? 
I had memories of my French Canadian grandmother making them back in the 1960's. 
Short of taking apart my little star, and I couldn't bear to do that!
 I finally made my own crafty version here , in February 2011,
using scraps of felted wools, quilt batting, 
cardboard, and fusible webbing.
Check my Etsy shop for templates, and fabric kits when I have them available.
Here's my first star, again, in my entry hall.
Do you notice the penny rug underneath?
Check my complete tutorial for that rug on my YouTube channel.
Part 5 freshly posted today, by the way.

So, just today I was chatting 
with my penny rug friend Cee, about these stars. 
Now, just look at what she turned up for me!  This is a beautiful museum piece.  
They call it a Victorian Patchwork Pincushion. 
Wow, another friend gifting me (so to speak) with a star!

or, a Patchwork Star. 
This particular star is vintage 1890-1910 circa.  
Check how the pins are for decoration, 
with beads threaded onto each pin. 
Some of the points are missing their large gold bead. 
 See the sequin decoration at the inside intersection.
Do you notice one other more important item?
The pieces are triangles and not diamonds
This star has a completely different construction than mine.
Well, a diamond halved, is a triangle. So this won't be hard to do,
 I see another tutorial in my future.
 The description on the museum website reads:
"Decorative Victorian star shaped pin cushion, consisting of 60 individual silk and velvet covered triangular card templates that create a three dimensional star.
There are pins with large beads at the points, and smaller blue beads with pins along the edges.
This type of pin cushion was popular in the late Victorian period,
and many were produced as decorative ornaments for the parlour rather than having a practical use."

So, now that I'm armed with a new search phrase I can't be stopped!
 I found this photo of a pattern, on Flickr referring to a book by Caroline Green 
 called "Victorian Crafts Revived".
I've ordered a copy, so I'll let you know if the pattern is actually in the book. 
 From the full version of this photo on Flickr, and I don't want to inadvertently infringe on a copyright of the book, with a reproduced the pattern, 
but there are simple directions using glue, fabric and no batting. 
Other than the way the fabric is attached, 
the way I do it is the basic way.
(my granny didn't have fusible webbing,
 but she had glue, and she had thread)
If you find your way to this photo taken from Caroline's book, on Flickr you will see the pattern.
 Quilters share this method for a 3D star, 
check out Kindred Quilts' blog here for some fun colour variations!
We've been sharing links!

I never thought I could write a post so long about a quilted star, but there's more!
Thank you again to Cee, she found this eBay listing today.
Maybe someone out there has this pattern, another method, or some photos to share? 

Remember, we're all stars!

January 2019 Edit*** I am learning more as I hear from folks who write to me.
Mathematically this is a rhombic hexecontahedra, read the story of Spikey.
A Giramundo Happiness Star? Or?
Where does it originate from?


  1. Years ago I found a picture of a Moravian Star in a magazine and fell in love. I had always wanted to make one and when I started making mine in wool, I found your blog when I did a google search of Moravian Stars. I finished mine with help from your tutorial and have been on the look out for odd shapes and other stars since then. I've been looking through a couple of old Victorian needle books of my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's for other ideas.
    Thanks for the post! I look forward to seeing you make the new star using triangles!

    1. That's cool, you were thinking woolie star too! I wonder if it was the same article? I'm really glad you found my tutorial. Thanks for your comment. I'm always on the look out for vintage or antique stars. It's great that someone had the foresight to keep the needlebooks from the family's past generations. There is sure to be something inspirational!

    2. After posting my tutorial back in 2011 I have since heard from folks around the world. I am now not sure the name of this star, I have heard it called an Happiness Star in Brazil for example on this blog Mathematically it is a rhombic hexecontahedra, read about Spikey here scroll waaaay down to find the folk art connection.