Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Quilt Along

Solstice Stars Series : Another Star

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:

Pattern Piece 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   60 Comments

Solstice Stars Series : Ribbon Star

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

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

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   38 Comments

Solstice Stars ~ A Series of Quilt Block Tutorials

Solstice Stars Series

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   60 Comments

Celebrate Christmas: Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial

Starry Night Quilt Block

For the last several weeks, Michele (Mishka) over at Quilting Gallery has been featuring a Celebrate Christmas blog party.

Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along and Super Deals for Quilters

Each week three bloggers share tutorials for new quilt blocks. And today is my day! You can read my interview here. I’d like to welcome all the new visitors to my blog, I hope you enjoy my block, Starry Night.

This quilt block is a paper pieced. For those of you that participated in the Summer Sampler Series, you are old pros! If you are new to paper piecing, do not fear. First, I recommend reading through this tutorial and even making the sample block. It will really give you a basic understanding of paper piecing. And hopefully put your mind at ease. Second, I recommend reading through the entire tutorial for today’s block before starting. And finally, take your time making this one. We will be paper piecing 4 small blocks and then piecing those together. Ready? Let’s get started!


Starry Night 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 1.5 stitch length.

Paper Piecing Templates
Print 4 of the Paper Piecing Template below. Be sure to print them at 100% and check the scale icon with a ruler before starting.

Starry Night Paper Piecing Template

Prepare the templates. Cut the templates out around the seam allowance line.

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting fabric that will be larger than needed. (You can save your scraps for later quilt squares.)

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.

Pattern Piece
1 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
2 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
3 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
4 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
5 Cut 4 10″ x 2″
6 Cut 4 7″ x 4″

Tip: I like to write the fabric color name I’m planning on the template pieces so I don’t get confused as I’m sewing. Yes, I’m easily confused.

Step 2: Take your fabric cut for Piece 1 and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1. Pin into place.

Step 3: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2. Place it right side together to Piece 1 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 2. 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 1 and 2. Be sure to sew a bit into the seam allowance. I also like to backstitch at the beginning and end. Remove your pins.

Step 5: Flip your block over. Press your fabric open. Your square will look like this:

Back:

Step 6: Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template.

Looking better already, right?

Step 7: Take your fabric cut for Piece 3. Place it right side together to Piece 1 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 3. Pin into place.

Step 8: Sew along the seam line on the template remembering again to sew a bit into the seam allowance.

Step 9: Trim seam allowance.

Before:

After:

And press.

Step 10: Repeat the same process for Piece 4.

Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template again.

Step 11: Take your fabric cut for Piece 5. Place it right side together to Piece 3 and 4 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 5. Pin into place.

Step 12: Once again, sew along seam line…

Trim…

and Press…

Step 13: Repeat for the final Piece 6. Line up…

Sew, press and trim the block to size:

Congratulations! You’ve made your first paper pieced block quadrant!

Step 14: Now repeat these steps for the remaining three templates.

**TIP: To achieve the look of my block, you will want to reverse the location of the blue fabrics on two of the four templates. **

Step 15: Once you have all four templates pieced, remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.

Step 16: Sew the 4 quadrants together to create your quilt block.

Starry Night Quilt Block

You’re done!

Mock up of what entire quilt top would look like:

Starry Night Quilt Top Mock Up

November 2, 2011   59 Comments