I've been quilting since 2002 or '03. My sister wanted me to make her a Mariner's compass quilt. So after finishing two baby quilts and one wedding quilt last year, I put the last of a tryptych of "Japanese Postcards" wall hanging quilts for my daughter on hold and began the search.
Medallion Mariner's Compass quilts I liked, but most of the borders and exterior designs seemed too messy, distracting from the center star. Most multiple designs seemed too regular. I was leaning toward an asymmetrical design, one I vaguely remembered from a Heritage Quilt show up in Cheyenne, Wyoming a few years back. That was the problem, I could barely remember and the picture I had taken in a dark hall wasn't going to help much, even if I could find it.
I printed designs from the 'net, borrowed friend's books and hung out in the book sections of quilt shops searching for the perfect pattern. Finally I found Judy Mathieson's "Mariner's Compass Quilts", subtitled New Directions, published in 1995. (I think it is out of print.) The colors were vibrant and the designs stunning. So what if I (finally) had to learn paper piecing? I had already done a queen-size Lonestar quilt with a border of 24 smaller LeMoyne stars as my second full-size bed quilt. No sawtooth stars for me!!
I signed the book out of the League of Northern Colorado Quilter's lending library in anticipation of my sister's visit over Thanksgiving 2009.