Category — Quilt Along
Welcome to week 4 of the Solstice Stars Series! Today we will be making the Star of Mystery. Isn’t that a great name? This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 349 and the original source of the design is Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine (10/74).
This block will be our second paper pieced block of the series. For those of you that were too intimidated to try our first paper pieced star, the Whirling Star, I hope you will join us this time. I have taken nearly 40 photos to document the steps and make you comfortable with paper piecing.
Once again, if you are completely new to paper piecing, I recommend reading through this tutorial and even making the sample block. It will give you a basic understanding of the process. I also recommend reading through the entire tutorial for today’s block before starting. And finally, take your time. We will be paper piecing 6 small blocks and then piecing those together.
Star of Mystery Quilt Block Tutorial
Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished
Reduce your stitch length so that the paper template will perforate easily. I used 1.4 stitch length.
Paper Piecing Templates
Print 2 of Template A below and print 4 of Template B below. Be sure to print them at 100% and check the scale icon with a ruler before starting.
|Template A||Template B|
Prepare the templates. Cut out the templates around the seam allowance line. Here is a visual of what we are going to make with our templates:
We will be filling in the missing notches with half square triangles (HSTs).
For those that are wondering why I didn’t work those HSTs into the templates, I like to make the templates of a size that will print on a home printer without having to visit a copy shop for enlargement. (I figure no one will make the star if it requires that much effort! ) Adding those HSTs made the templates slightly too big to be printed at home, so we will add those at the end.
Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting rectangles that will be larger than needed.
I recommend cutting 1 of each piece below, making a block, and ensuring it is enough fabric for your sewing style. Then you can make adjustments later for the rest of your blocks. These are the fabric sizes I used for my paper piecing.
|1A||Cut 2||4” x 4.25″||White/Background|
|2A||Cut 2||4” x 5.5”||Color/Print|
|3A||Cut 2||4” x 4.25”||White/Background|
|4A||Cut 2||4” x 5.5”||Color/Print|
|1B||Cut 4||3” x 6”||Color/Print|
|2B||Cut 4||3” x 6.5”||White/Background|
|3B, 5B||Cut 4||3.5” x 3.5”,
|4B||Cut 4||3” x 6.5”||White/Background|
|Notches||Cut 2||3.5” x 3.5”,
Step 2: Let’s start with Template A. Take your fabric cut for Piece 1A and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1A. Pin into place.
Step 3: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2A. Place it right side together to Piece 1A which you pinned into place in Step 2. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2A. This will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. Pin into place.
Step 4: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1A and 2A. Be sure to also sew into the grey seam allowance. Remove your pins.
Step 5: Flip your block over. This is what your seam will look like.
Trim your seam allowance to 1/4″.
Your block should now look like this:
Press your fabric open.
Step 6: Flip your block over to the printed side and trim around the seam allowance.
Your block should now look like this:
Step 7: Take your fabric cut for Piece 3A. Place it right side together to Piece 1A and 2A which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 3A. Pin into place.
Step 8: Sew along the seam line on the template.
Step 9: Trim the seam allowance.
Step 10: Press open and trim around the template.
Step 11: Repeat these steps for piece 4A.
Congratulations! You’ve made your first paper pieced block!
Step 12: Repeat for your second Template A. You should now have the below 2 pieces.
Step 13: Let’s move on to Template B. I will do a quick walk through to get you started. Take your fabric cut for Piece 1B and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1B. Pin into place.
Step 14: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2B. Place it right side together to Piece 1B which you pinned into place in Step 12. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2B. Again, this will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. Pin into place.
Step 15: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1B and 2B. Be sure to sew a bit into the seam allowance. Remove your pins.
Step 16: Press your fabric open. Trim around your template.
Step 17: Continue paper piecing piece 3B, 4B and 5B. Your block should look like this:
Step 18: Repeat and create the other 3 Template B’s.
Step 19: You now have all 6 templates pieced you need to create the star! Here’s the layout:
Remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.
Step 20: Sew your 2 Template A’s together. Align the middle seam to ensure the center points align when you sew the block together.
Step 21: Now we will sew 2 of your Template B’s to opposite sides of the block. Line up your seams again.
Step 22: Take your remaining Template B blocks and sew the remaining HSTs to the sides as shown:
Step 23: At this point, I decided to trim my HSTs to be even with my Template B blocks. I kind of wish I had waited to trim everything even at the end when I was squaring up the block. I will leave it up to you as to when you trim these, but at some point you should trim them.
Step 24: Now we will sew the last 2 Template B’s to the corners to finish the block.
Line up your seams again and sew.
After sewing all the corners to the center block, you’re done! You should have a beautiful Star of Mystery!
Be sure to post any questions as well as a photo of your finished block in the Flickr group!
February 8, 2012 22 Comments
We are now at week 3 of the Solstice Stars Series! Today we will be making a star with a very unassuming name, Another Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 347 and is attributed to Beth Gutcheon’s Perfect Patchwork Primer.
When I first picked this star, I thought it looked simple enough. I didn’t anticipate any trouble figuring out the pattern. Then I sat down on Saturday and looked a bit closer. Hmmm, look at those pieces around the center, they are all equal length. Which one to sew on first? Looked like a y-seam situation. I weighed the option and decided to allow a bit of cheating for that. (You’ll see in the tutorial, hopefully the quilting purists aren’t too upset with me!)
Then I continued on making the block according to my measurements and at the end, discovered by blocks was 1/4″ to 1/2″ too small. Back to the drawing board. After another failure, I turned to Photoshop to try figuring out the exact sizes that way.
That’s where my “friend”, Mr. 1/8th of an inch came in. Normally when I see a pattern that has measurements down to the 1/8″, my eyes start to glaze over and I begin thinking of happy pursuits…like Downton Abbey. I don’t know why, it’s just another mark on the ruler. But if you want this block to be exact, you will need to use those 1/8″ markings. Once I did, my block did indeed come out to measure 12.5″ and look lovely. So on that note, let’s get started!
Another Star Quilt Block Tutorial
Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished
Step 1. Cut your fabric:
|Center||Cut 1||4-1/8” x 4-1/8”||Background/White|
|Strips||Cut 3||5-1/8″ x 1-1/2”||Print/Color|
|Short Strip A||Cut 1||4-1/8” x 1-1/2”||Print/Color|
|Short Strip B||Cut 1||1-1/2” x 1-1/2”||Same color as Short Strip A|
|Block Corners||Cut 4||4-1/2” x 4-1/2”||Background/White|
|Star Points||Cut 4||3-5/8” x 3-5/8”||Print/Color|
|HST Background||Cut 2||3-5/8” x 3-5/8”||Background/White|
Take all of your 3-5/8” x 3-5/8” squares for star points and the HST background and cut them diagonally into half square triangles.
Step 2. First we will sew the strips around the 4-1/8” x 4-1/8” center square. This is the part where I mentioned we were going to cheat a bit. Hopefully everyone is ok with that.
Layout your strips around your center square.
Take your shorter strip (Short Strip A, 4-1/8” x 1-1/2”) and sew to the bottom of the center square.
Continue to sew on the left and top strips, as you would a log cabin block.
For the final side, sew the 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ square to the end of the remaining side strip. Then sew the final side strip to the block, making sure you align the matching fabric seams.
At this point your center square should measure 6-1/8″ x 6-1/8″.
Step 3. Since I am a visual person, I find it helpful now to layout the rest of the block pieces before we continue.
Step 4. Let’s sew together the top left and lower right points. Take your corner square. Gently iron press the block in half and then in half again the other direction, so you can see the center of the block. You could also make a mark using a water soluble pen.
Step 5. Place one of your half square triangles (HSTs) right side together with the corner square. Align your point to the center line you marked. Sew together. Make sure you are sewing along the long side of the HST, and not the short side which you are probably used to doing.
This is what your corner should now look like.
Step 6. Repeat with the other HST.
Repeat for the other corner. Your block layout should now look like this.
Step 7. Now we will make the top right and lower left corners. First repeat the previous steps and sew on your HSTs to the corner squares.
Step 8. Take your background HSTs and sew them to the sides of the star point section.
Your section should now look like this.
Step 9. Repeat for the other side. Your layout should now look like below.
Step 10. Almost done! All that is left is to sew on the corners of the block to the center. First sew the top left and lower right to the center.
Step 11. Next sew the remaining top right and lower left to the block. Square your block to 12.5″ x 12.5″ if necessary.
Congratulations! You are done!
February 1, 2012 50 Comments
Welcome to the Solstice Stars Series! Today is the first week of a series of five star quilt block tutorials. Our first block is the Ribbon Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 160 and the original source of the design is unknown.
Ribbon Star Quilt Block Tutorial
Step 1. Cut your fabric:
|Pattern Piece||Fabric Color|
|Background Corners||Cut 4||3.5” x 3.5”||White|
|Background Half Square Triangles||Cut 6||4” x 4”||White|
|Top Left Points||Cut 2||4” x 4”||Blue|
|Top Right Points||Cut 2||4” x 4”||Purple|
|Bottom Left Points||Cut 2||4” x 4”||Red|
|Bottom Right Points||Cut 2||4” x 4”||Green|
Take all of your 4″ x 4″ squares and cut them diagonally into half square triangles. Set aside one of each of your blue, purple, red and green half square triangles. You will only need 3 of each color for your star.
Step 2. Sew each of your remaining 12 colored half square triangles to your 12 background/white half square triangles, creating 12 squares.
Step 3. Trim your squares to 3.5″.
Tip: I like to use a small quilting ruler with a diagonal line, and line that up with the seam. I then trim the top and right of the block. Turn the block 180 degrees and line up the seam again. Trim the remaining sides of the square to 3.5″.
Lay out your resulting squares into the design of the quilt block, using your 3.5″ background/white fabric for the corners.
Step 4. Sew your squares together. You’re done!
Don’t forget to post pictures of your finished blocks, as well as any questions, in the Flickr group!
January 18, 2012 34 Comments
Last week I asked for suggestions as to what you would like to see more of on my blog this year. There were lots of great suggestions: quilting basics, color/fabric selection process, smaller projects, sewing with kids. But I think the most requested idea was more quilt-alongs and tutorials.
I have had it in my head for quite some time to make a quilt out of various stars. I decided to incorporate this idea into a series of tutorials so we can all learn together! Over the next five weeks, I will be posting five star quilt block tutorials. Maybe you want to just use this as a skill builder? (There will be paper piecing and probably even some y-seams…both of which are not as scary as they sound and you can find tutorials for them here.) Maybe you want to make a quilt out of one of the stars, repeating? Maybe you want to use all five in a quilt? Maybe you want to add these to other star blocks tutorials online and create a star sampler quilt?
Lots of options! I hope you will join me and we can all learn something new. The “Solstice Stars Series” tab at the top of the blog will contain links to all the tutorials as well as buttons for you to grab for your blogs.
Tutorials will be posted everyday Wednesday, beginning January 18th and ending on February 15th. Finished blocks can be added to the Fresh Lemons Quilts Flickr Group. I will also use the discussion in the Flickr group for any questions. I hope you are as excited as I am!
January 12, 2012 58 Comments