Recently, I have been thinking about making a star quilt similar to the 1855 antique I described in a post a few years ago. It was a stunning little quilt and displayed the fine skills of its maker. Sadly, I don't have the time to devote to create such tiny stars with so many tiny points. Perhaps a small-scale lone star would do the trick. A few months back, I read a book (Little Lone Star Quilts by Lorraine Olsen) that described a unique paper piecing technique for making perfect lone stars.
This weekend, I tried a sample. As usual, I was using necktie silks, but in this case I didn't use a fine batiste to back them (visit this previous post for why I use batiste). I thought the added fabric would add bothersome bulk and was willing to see how the silks behaved with only a paper backing. All went well, except the process is quite slow. It took me two hours to make one star - that does not include its insertion into a block. This is a concern because I think a quilt would need at least 16 stars. That's a lot of time! Remember, I make these quilts to sell.
The star itself is very nice and the points match well. After making the sample, I do have some concerns unique to my process. First, the directions indicate the paper backing should remain until the quilt top is completed. I agree with this, but I am deterred by the huge number of tiny paper pieces that must be completely picked out. Second, because I work with linen and silk, the silk stars will be much thinner than the linen backgrounds. I'm not sure the silk will be stabilized enough.
I will need to experiment a bit more before I decide what to do. I went though one of my favorite quilt books (The Art of Machine Piecing by Sally Collins) and she had some alternative stars that have fewer pieces and would be faster to sew. I will give those a try before deciding on my final design. Stay tuned.