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!

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!

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

Summer Sampler Series Complete!

Summer Sampler Series

It’s done! I finally finished up my Summer Sampler Series quilt. I am *so* happy with how it turned out.

Summer Sampler Series Detail 1

Honestly I never thought I would make a Sampler quilt. They are definitely beautiful and a lot of work goes into them…but I always thought they were too traditional to peak my interest. I guess that just goes to show that you should never say never. Although these blocks all have traditional roots, I feel like the fabrics and sashing give this quilt a distinctly modern feel. Even my husband likes it! (And that is saying something. :))

Summer Sampler Series Detail 2

For those that didn’t follow along, the solids I used for the quilt blocks were from Pat Bravo’s Pure Elements collection. I am very much in love with the fabric – the colors, the silkiness. I plan on keeping some permanently in my stash. The 2″ wide grey sashing is Free Spirit Designer Solids Nugray. I also am really happy with their solids and plan to order more. I need a swatch card!

Summer Sampler Series Back

For the backing I used a print from Tanya Whelan’s Dolce Fabric collection. I had been saving this fabric to make some clothing, but….well, that never happened! And in the spirit of using what I have, I decided it would make a great quilt backing. There is also a dark purple stripe which is from the Pat Bravo Pure Elements line that I used on the front.

Summer Sampler Series Detail 3

I decided to quilt this one in a free motion meandering style. There are a *lot* of seams on this quilt and I wanted to do some heavy quilting to make sure it all stays in place for a long time.

Summer Sampler Series Back Detail

The binding is Free Spirit Designer Solids Manatee. The final quilt measures around 44″ x 58″.

I have really enjoyed watching so many of these quilts come together in the Flickr group. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to stop by and be inspired. Also, if you weren’t able to quilt along with us, don’t worry. The tutorials will be up indefinitely, so you can always make yours at a future date.