Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Mini Corner Star Ornament - Pieces From the Past Bonus


As I wrote the first Corner Star post I kept looking at the pattern and I knew that I wanted to use 1/4 of the block at a reduced size to make an ornament.  There were many other tasks that needed to be addressed before I could sit and play.  When I finally did, it took a couple of tries, but finally found the proper sizes.  And I have to say that I am pleased beyond measure with the finished block.  

As I read the accounting of a Christmas celebration at Camp Trinidad for the German POWs and how the tables were decorated with small wooden stars that held candles, I could not let this block get lost or set aside in my long list of tasks to be completed...  It nagged at me even after making the first one incorrectly.  

I continued to wonder about the humble celebration the men had here in Trinidad, as well as how they may have celebrated after their return home.

Written in 1943... "First Christmas day as POW.  We spent Christmas evening with beer and wine, coffee, tea and cookies.  We met in groups, and games, conversation and when available, the music heard on the radio helped us overcome our melancholic mood, as well as longing and nostalgia.  We had a small Christmas tree in our room.  A truck took us to a forest and under the supervision of a forest official we were able to cut down a few trees and take them with us. . .   We also gave presents to each other."

"The Führer sent $9,000 to Camp Trinidad, with $2,250 for each section of the camp, and the Pope gave 2 Swiss francs per POW.  We have not been forgotten."

The population of Camp Trinidad never reached more than 3,900, though it had been built to hold up to 5,000 men.  The Führer's gift was approximately $2.30 for each prisoner.  Adjusted for inflation, $2.30 in 1943 is equal to $34.97 in 2020.  That is a nice little gift.

And the Pope's 2 francs equaled about .47 cents (US dollars) which is equal to $7.07 in today's US dollar values.

Indeed, these men were not forgotten while at Camp Trinidad!  Sadly, they really do seem to have been forgotten once they returned home.  

These sweet postcards were included with another letter that has yet to be published, but  I just couldn't resist sharing them now.  After all, it IS currently the Christmas Season...

Can anyone tell me what they say?

I am guessing something along the lines of "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year"... maybe something of the new year being lucky, since there are 4-leaf clovers?

My mind takes lots of rabbit trails as I design and piece blocks and quilts... In my first attempt of the mini block I had thought that just making some 1" x 2" flying geese blocks for the points would work, but I was not satisfied and eventually, in the early morning hours I realized where I had gone wrong.  

The flying geese that I had tried were too long and eliminated the extra points from the half-square triangle!  

I knew what I needed to do and quickly set to it...  For those that don't like FPP, I apologize because I found it easiest to make the entire 3-1/2" block using this technique.  

In the Mini Corner Star pattern you will find two sizes of the block - 3 inches and 4 inches.  Be sure that when you print the pattern pages, you are printing at 100% and that the 1 inch test square is accurate.  When making the 4" block you will want to trim the seam allowance after it is pieced to 1/4" (as indicated by the arrows in the picture).

Also, please note that the side (rectangular) pieces will be a little long.  Piece #4 on both rectangular sections with the star points will overhang the square body of the block. (shown in picture)

Press open and trim to the appropriate size - 3-1/2" or 4-1/2".

If you happen to make any of the mini blocks I'd love to see them!  Use the hashtag #piecesfromthepastsewalong or tag me on instagram @melvalovesscraps or post on my facebook page.

Merry Christmas!

Linking with:

Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts


  1. Very cute mini star! Don't you love it when you are awakened with ideas and solutions in the wee hours of the day?! I tried google translate and got "happy ride into the new fahr" I think it must be jahr instead of fahr like I was searching for! Merry Christmas, Melva!

  2. The mini star blocks are cute. Thank you for the unexpected bonus block.

  3. What a cute mini block! Merry Christmas, my friend!

  4. It's been a long time since I studied German, and the alphabet used on the first card might be cursive! The second card says "Happy journey in the new year." I think the first card just says "Fröhliche Weinachten" or "Merry Christmas". Those letters that look like a cursive English "f" are the German letter "h" in an older alphabet. Dot

  5. THAT's why I got no results from the on-line translator. Thanks!

  6. Hi, yes the writing on the Christmas cards is in the writing font 'Sütterlin'. Used in Germany up to the 50s. I learned reading it from my Granny. The first one just says Merry Christmas and the second one says Happy Journey (in context with the picture: ride) into the New Year.
    Hope that helps.
    Merry Christmas,

  7. Very adorable mini stars - thanks for the tut!

  8. Yes, abelian is correct -- it's an old fashioned, funky script font on the first card that reads Merry Christmas. The second card is wishing you a "happy journey into the new year."

  9. Love the ornament idea, well done on getting your proper sizes even though it must have been a bit fiddly. Very interesting insight into Christmas under (other) trying conditions, thanks as always for sharing the letters and history.

  10. Cute ornament! What a lovely way to end your series. Thanks for sharing it on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  11. I struggled with the corner star block! In spite of measuring everything, it finished at 8 3/4! Sometimes I wonder about myself! I was going to post it, but the linky evidently doesn’t like my photo. I wonder is there a size limitation? I’ll yank it from my blog once a I get it posted. Christmas blessing to you Melva!