Common Bride -- Finally Started

A few years ago I saw the pattern for Common Bride by Edita Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts at a shop in St Jacobs.  I didn't buy the pattern the first time because it looked so complicated and I wasn't sure I want to get involved in somthing that complicated.  A few weeks later, I ended up going back over to St Jacobs and buying it.  I sat down at some point that year with the pattern to go over it and analyze what was involved in it.  That's when I discovered I hadn't really analyzed a pattern in years -- lots of $10 quilts with Elaine telling us what to do.  But I did eventually work my way through it.
Started collecting fabrics and looking for blogs of others working on the quilt.  Didn't find many although I did find Karen and Sue.  This fall at a local quilt show there were 6 completed Common Bride quilts by a group of friends.
Last weekend Elaine had a sit and sew day so I took the snow flakes to stitch and 24 1.25 inch wide stripes to sew for the four patches.  At a sit and sew day, Elaine does all the pressing and ripping.  I sewed all the stripes and Elaine pressed them (THANKS!)  Stitched a few snow flakes and then decided to work on the four patches.  Got all 24 stripes cut and piled then started to stitch.  I never did get around to giving Elaine any of those to press (it was getting late in the day).  This week I finished stitching all 200 (+ 3 extras), pressed them and piled them in a box.

waiting to be marked

 I need to mark each one as they get set into an 8-pointed star.  Almost 10 years ago, I bought a hand piecing book and tool.  The tool has been hanging from the peg board in its package ever since.  Friday night I unwrapped it and with my pencils and sandpaper board (fine sand paper glued to a piece of cardboard), I marked 8 diamonds and 8 four patches for stitching.  The red and white pencil has white lead and Mickey regular lead.  Might need to find another colour for the red & white pencil as the white doesn't always mark well on some of the dark fabrics.

marking tools
Saturday morning I started to work on the first star.  It still needs another round of diamonds set around it to bring out almost square and then 4 triangles to finish off the block.  This one is done by machine but I may change my mind and do the rest by hand.  Its important to start and finish on the dot.  The seam is 1.5 inches long.  Its fiddly on a machine.  I did some of the 4 patches pivoting as suggested and some as two separate seams.  I found the two separate seams easier and tidier. I did a similar block years ago in a guild workshop and ended up switching to hand piecing as I found it easier with the tiny seams.  I don't think my opinion has changed.  This quilt will probably end up as a combination of machine and hand pieced.  The applique will be hand since I like applique.

wants more diamonds
Back -- finger pressed only

The advice in the pattern was to hold off pressing until the end so I've just been finger pressing. This is star 1 of 25.  Still need to cut several hundred diamonds and mark them as well. I recorded Outlander this fall and still haven't watched anything. Hopefully the show will make marking go faster. Lots of prep work to do.


  1. Helen I went in and looked at the Commom Bride quilt it is beautiful what a HUGE challenge a head of you but if you do complete it it will be a wonderful heirloom for many generations to admire and love. Your first star is wonderful so clean and bright I love it. I think I would be hand stitching those tiny pieces also. Thanks for sharing Glenda


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