Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Beothuk Star QAL: First Set of Blocks

So! Are you still with me? Have you cussed me out a little (or a lot) over the past two weeks? Making those HSTs was maybe not so thrilling. However, now we have that out of the way, we are on with the blocks! This week we will make eight, but I have a feeling some of you will not be able to stop with eight...
It's also a good week to host another linky party with a giveaway!

The Back Story
Roseanne of Home Sewn By Us has been so thoughtful and diligent in keep reminding her readers of the story of the Beothuk (pronounced Bay-uh-tuck) people, which is such a tragic one. So I will first refresh everyone's memory of the main woman for whom this block was made, Shanawdithit, born in 1801, the last of her people. The block is actually called the Baby Bud block. It was one of the 150 blocks we made during the 150 Canadian Women QAL hosted by Kat, of Next Step Quilting. My original block is below on the left. I think when I made this set of three (we made three per week for the year of Canada's sesquicentennial in 2017) that when I inadvertently put the outside two together, I saw the star potential and thought, 'design idea!' I have made the 150 Canadian Women quilt but haven't finished the final two borders. Need to pull it out to work on again, and quilt it!

Shanawdithit's story really struck me, and while quilting her quilt I felt such a connection to her; it was very strange, yet at the same time so right, how much the quilting of the original quilt happened without my input, odd as that sounds. I know I was deeply moved at her story because of the hatred and intolerance towards immigrants on the part of so many people, in so many countries. It's also because we, as in our ancestors, those white European immigrants who came to North America to make a better life, and took away the land and the rights of the indigenous peoples, we killed her. We wiped out her entire people, the Beothuk people who lived on Newfoundland, in a most cruel and inhumane way. Shanawdithit was the last one. Kat used the book, 100 Canadian Heroines - Famous and Forgotten Faces for her information sheet which she enclosed with each of the 150 blocks. So this is from Kat's sheet, and actually quoted from the book.

"Shanawdithit, born in Newfoundland, was the last known survivor of the Beothuk or Red Indians. (Note from Wikipedia: they were called 'red' because of their practice of painting red their bodies, houses, canoes, weapons, household appliances and musical instruments.) Her people were hunters and gatherers who once lived all around the island eating seabirds, shellfish, seals, salmon and caribou. Once the white man established settlements, the Beothuk were forced into the interior away from their food sources, were accused of thievery and were killed off."

(Sidenote: if a group of invaders cut you off from your food source as in the grocery store, would you not resort to thievery as one of the ways to not starve? Tragically, many of them did starve to death.)

"When Shanawdithit was ten years old, there were only 75 Beothuks left. They lived in fear of surprise attacks, lived in hiding while they searched for food. She was witness to some of the killings.

If they were not killed, they died from the white man's diseases, one being tuberculosis. By the time Shanawdithit was 20 there were only 12 Beothuks remaining. Her father, mother, sister, uncle and cousin were among them. After her sister and mom died, Shanawdithit paddled across the bay to Burnt Island where she was a servant for five years for Magistrate John Peyton Jr.

Afterwards she was moved to W.E. Cormack's home in St. John's. He studied her in his capacity as president of the Beohthuk Institution, recording information about the culture of her people. Shanawdithit drew many sketches of her people's way of life and diagrams of various attacks and murders she witnessed. John McGregor described her as having a striking similarity to Napoleon and that she never laughed. (Why would she after what she'd experienced?)

In 1829 she became ill with tuberculosis. Cormack went to England leaving her in the attorney general's home until she was transferred to the hospital where she died at the age of 28.

Shanawdithit showed amazing courage and helped bring greater understanding of the Beothuk."

My original quilt finish post is here.

Okay. So, now you see the importance of this little quilt, near and dear to my heart, and one I had planned to sell in my Etsy store, but nope, she will live with me forever.

Let's get to making some blocks, all right? The quilt is actually made up of 16 blocks. Bet you might have thought it was just four big ones, right?! This week we are going to make eight, as I said. I'm going to start with Version 4, which is the one I am making for this QAL. Oh! How I am loving this fabric!! Sharon Holland herself even left a comment on my IG post about liking the combination of hers and Maureen Cracknell's fabrics from a couple of different lines!

**A note on pressing. If you prefer to press open, ignore all my nesting seams tips and arrows.

Version 4 - New Kit
Two stars are in one colour, and two stars are in another colour. Decide which colour you are going to make this week. I chose the lighter pink.

Make the first six blocks.
For one block, you need two background 3.5" squares, one 'inner border' colour (mine is the turquoise) background 3.5" square, four light pink HSTs and two turquoise HSTs.
To ensure crisp points, choose two pink/BG HSTS with the seams pressed to the BG and two with the seams pressed to the light pink. Set them in place according to the photo below. The arrows indicate which direction the seams should go.
You will need one turquoise HST with seams pressed to the BG and one with seams pressed to the turquoise. Set them in place according to the photo below.
I stacked six of each patch like this so I could 'mindlessly' sew them together in rows!

Once you have each row of the block sewn together press the first and third row seams out and the centre row in as shown in the photo below:

Stitch. Press the two horizontal seams you just sewed away from the block centre in three of the blocks and press the seams toward the centre in the other three. The block should measure 9.5".

In the same way, make two more light pink star blocks but with the star that pops fabric. Mine is yellow. Follow the diagrams above for which way the seams should go.
Two of the centre four done!

Version 1 - Original Quilt
All four stars in each of the four quadrants are the same fabric.
Make six blocks as per Version 4, using navy mottled (or your colour) HSTs, BG patches, and orange patches as well as orange HSTs.

Make two blocks as per Version 4, using navy mottled (or your colour) HSTs, BG patches and eggplant patches as well as HSTs.

Version 2 - Original Blogger Bundle
The four stars in the four quadrants are made of just three fabrics.

Choose two stars to work with. I'd suggest making the two made with the purple and teal diamond fabric. Follow Version 4. You will make six diamond fabric and turquoise blocks.
Make 6

You will make two diamond fabric blocks for the centre star that pops, substituting eggplant where I used yellow.
Make 2

**Tricky one: if using the fat quarter bundle, if you've decided you are doing the 'cross' effect, then

you only have four 3.5" turquoise squares, so substitute the eggplant 3.5" patches in four of the first six the blocks you make.
Make 4

The other two will have turquoise 3.5" patches.
Make 2

For the two blocks for the centre star that pops, use the eggplant HSTs and the eggplant 3.5" patches where I used yellow.
Make 2

If you've decided to make the double eggplant cornerstones:

If this is your version, you only have eight 3.5" turquoise squares, so use the turquoise patches and turquoise HSTs in four of the first six blocks you make.
Make 4

The other two will have eggplant 3.5" patches and turquoise HSTs.
Make 2

For the two blocks for the centre star that pops, use the eggplant HSTs and the eggplant 3.5" patches where I used yellow.
Make 2

Version 3 - Original Blogger Bundle With Extension kit
The four stars are all different fabrics.
Choose any two stars. For ease of instructions, I'd suggest using the diamond fabric and the pink fabric. Follow Version 4 method but note that you will be making three Baby Bud blocks in one colour (diamond fabric) and three in the second colour (pink), using turquoise where I did.

For the two blocks for the centre star that pops, use the eggplant HSTs and the eggplant 3.5" patches where I used yellow. You will make one block using the diamond fabric and eggplant and one using the pink with the eggplant.

That's it! There is just one week between steps here so I'll be back next week for the next eight blocks. Somehow I have a feeling lots of you will be making all 16 blocks or close to it; they go together so quickly.

The linky below is for your first eight blocks (or more!). It can be a blog, Instagram or Flickr post. Remember to email me a photo (click My Profile and you will find my email on the left side of the page) if you have none of the above and I will include you in the prize draw. I have no idea what the prize will be at this point, hmmm, perhaps a pattern from me!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Linking up
Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. Hi Sandra! Thank you so much for sharing the more complete version of the Beothuk people. I think I will need to make another version of this quilt focusing on all things red. What a touching memorial this QAL is, and I'm so glad we are participating. Eight blocks huh?! One color way - sure we can do that. Accolades for sharing all the different pattern options too. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. So much to take in with this post! My book club just finished discussing Trevor Noah's memoir of growing up in S Africa under apartheid - that was quite a learning experience for me. The European colonizers did these awful things everywhere around the world. I'm so happy to be making your beautiful quilt honoring this woman! I have to admit I am still cutting and trimming, but I'll have to make some blocks anyway, because I'm so ready!

  3. Well, you are right! I'm one of those that thought this was 4 big blocks (and already started down that path). HA, HA! But I appreciate the history less on the Beothuk. It goes without saying that the white man has been greedy and nasty in conquering other lands. When I upload a photo, it won't be in the 9 patch blocks!

  4. Wait??? Hold up - you are coming back next week??? Holy moly - no rest for the weary. Gotta run now - I have eight blocks to put together. HAHAHAHA! ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. You have created a beautiful tribute, Sandra!! I found your original to be amazing, and the contrast between light and dark in the blogger bundle version is lovely! The aqua seems to glow.


  6. I found it easier to concentrate my non mathematical brain by piecing one each of my four different stars first . Now I'm excited to crack on tomorrow with the rest !

  7. Yeah for finishing my blocks!!! I like when I stay on top of a QAL. ☺

  8. Thank you, Sandra, for this inspiring pattern and lovely QAL. I got a late start, am sewing a bit behind, but I am happy to be here. The quilts are all looking beautiful! ... :) Pat


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