The word “star,” with its many meanings, occupies several places in my mind (and the universe):

First, a star is simply a shape- the most common being five-pointed. As I was taught in geometry class, it is constructed from points, proportions, and folds. Seen in patriotic prints of the 1960s and 70s, its contour was fitting with the bold, geometric patterns of the time. Fifty of these shapes are on the American flag, each representing a state and the collection of stars symbolizing our country as a whole.

While designing and constructing quilts, I’ve learned that a quilt’s geometry is systematic. Sewing together the triangular and diamond-shaped puzzle pieces to make each polygon requires great planning and thought. This geometry is apparent in our Indigo Star Quilt, and in the repeated shapes of the Flag Quilt.

On a much greater scale, the star is a fiery orb- actually spherical in shape. Once space exploration began, the celestial beings that Galileo studied and viewed through his telescope became more of a reality. I find it fascinating to observe the visual change in the star’s physical representation as science has progressed over the past centuries.

The celestial spheres fill me with curiosity, wonderment, and awe at the great expanse that is the universe. The formed constellations paint pictures in the sky: they are landmarks used by explorers and travelers and maps of our zodiacs. Gazing up, each point in the sky brings me back to Earth in a humbling manner.

While the symbolic shape of a star is evident in the embellishment on our garments and in the construction of our quilts, I am also guided by stars in a more literal way; our fabrics and designs map a journey and a process that allow us to happen upon new discoveries along the way.

In Chapter 8 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, we elaborate on how to create our embellished fabric maps. Download the Star stencil from our Resource page to create your own designs + discoveries. Or visit our DIY Store to purchase an Indigo Star Quilt Kit.

A philosophy that fits nicely into our company:  “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo Galilei

Lastly, a star can also describe a person who is adored and admired by many; however, that is a conversation for another day.


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Click to read 2 comments
  1. Tina Leigh

    This is also another favorite of mine from the new book. I cannot wait to use the star pattern along the bottom of a new tshirt sewn Alabama style. Thanks again for sharing this.

  2. Brenda Marks

    It’s like you read my mind that I was looking for the stencils download pages today. Going to try out the Abbie’s Flower this weekend.