As I mentioned when I talked about this quilt project in an earlier post, it all began with a box of vintage salesman sample swatches from the 1940s or maybe the 1950s. There were hundreds of prints, some with just one piece, and others with duplicates or different colorways.  All of the samples were the same size (1 3/4″ x 3″) with a pinked edge.

When I am dealing with pieces that have similar values, I tend to sort them into color groups, and that’s just what I did to make these Seven Sisters blocks.  I have seen other quilts in this pattern where each star in the group of seven is a different color, and that scheme is repeated in each block.  Because some of my prints have white backgrounds, many contain multiple colors, and there aren’t any solids, that arrangement just didn’t look good with my stars.  However, when I made a block with seven similarly colored stars, it seemed to read better as that particular color.

Cathi at Quilt Obsession has posted a great tutorial on hand piecing this block.  When I read her post, I decided to change the sequence of stitching my stars together because Cathi’s technique is much better.  She’s also a lot faster at hand stitching them since it takes her only 3 hours to complete a block, and I still haven’t managed to complete one in an evening.  My blocks will finish at 15″ x 13″.