Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Square in a Star Tutorial
Welcome to my square in a star 12" block tutorial. I am excited to be the first one to do the BOM making traditional blocks using made fabric the 15 minute way.
For this block, you need to make fabric that is at least 9" x 16", or the equivalent. You will also need a piece of background fabric (the blue batik here) that is 11" x 15". There will be a bit left over of each, but I think it is better to have enough.
a - one 3 1/2" square
b - six 3 7/8" squares
cut two 3 7/8" square on the diagonal to get 4 triangles.
From the background fabric, cut
c - one 7 1/4" square
d - two 3" squares that are cut on the diagonal to make 4 triangles
e - four 3 1/2 inch squares.
I will refer to each piece by its corresponding letter in the piecing instructions.
You are going to make the flying geese units first. There are many different ways to make flying geese, but this is the method I prefer when I am using them in stars. You will get four geese without any waste.
1. Mark diagonal lines 1/4" away from the center diagonal line on each b square. This is a little bit of a challenge on made fabric, but I am a marker and pinner, so I made it work.
2. Place two b pieces on opposite corners of c.
3. Sew just a thread toward the center from marked line. Some people draw a line along the diagonal, then sew 1/4" away. That works if you have a good foot that measures 1/4" for you.
4. At the end, turn the piece and sew down the other side.
7. Put the remaining two b pieces right side down as shown in the top piece at left.
8. Stitch along drawn lines as before.
10. Press out and trim the extra points. This is all the waste you get with this method of making flying geese.
Now, set these four geese aside, and let's make the square within a square for the center.
1. Find piece a and the four d's.
2. Place one d right side down with edges together on a. It is important to try and get the point in the center between the opposite sides. There will be some overlap on the edges.
3. Sew using a 1/4" seam.
4. Sew another d on the opposite edge.
5. Press open.
6. Sew the remaining two triangles on opposite edges, and press them open.
Of course, if you don't mind a bit wonky, eyeballing everything works well. I did try to stay traditional for this block, however.
Here you can see I have put the last unused background squares (e) in each corner. I pieced this together by making the rows first.
e + goose unit + e
goose unit + square within a square + goose unit
e + goose unit + e
Here is where you can really practice your traditional piecing. You have points on the geese, so make sure you are paying attention to where they come together. Pinning helps. You also have seams to match. Pinning helps here, as well. I did have some trouble with pressing on this one because of all the seams on the made fabric. My guide line was to try and avoid bulky areas. For me, that meant some are to the left, some to the right, and some upon down the middle. You will have to make your own decisions on this because each piece of made fabric will be unique. Once you have everything sewn together and pressed, you should have a 12 1/2" block.
I hope you find this useful and have fun making this block. I am really looking forward to see what other blocks we will be learning. If you have any questions, or something is not clear, please let me know.
Joyful quilting, everyone.