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.
From the made fabric, cut:

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.

5.  Cut these pieces in the middle between the sewn lines.

6.  This is a very important step.  Turn and press the points away from the background.  I pressed the seams toward the background for bulk sake.  Do this on both pieces.

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.

9.  Cut each in the center between the sewn lines. 

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.

If you have cut and sewn right, you will end up with a 4 1/2 inch square.  That is what you are looking for at this point.  Now, you are going to add the made fabric triangles.

Sew them on in the same way you did the d pieces.  Try and make sure the points are in the center before you sew.  This will give you a nice even square.

Of course, if you don't mind a bit wonky, eyeballing everything works well.  I did try to stay traditional for this block, however.

At this point, you have a 6 1/2" square and four flying geese, and you are ready to assemble the 12" block.

I find  that if I don't lay things out before I start sewing, I usually make big mistakes.
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.


Chris said...

Great tutorial Miki - and how fab it looks with your made fabric! Thank you!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Whoa! I didn't realize we started already! But I love it. Great tutorial.

I will have some time tomorrow to make up my firs BOM 15 Minute Block! I am soooo excited!

glen: Yeah, Miki!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

I'm excited to make this block! what a great tutorial thank Miki!

Nifty Quilts said...

Great block and instructions. Another one to add to the list!

sheila 77 said...

Beautiful block and tutorial. Can't wait to start it.

CharlotteP said...

Excellent instructions, Miki! thanks for all your work!

Celia Ciuffo said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

tropicslady said...

Thanks for the excellent tutorial Miki!

Cathy said...

Miki its beautiful. Thankd for the great tutorial.

Mary-Frances said...

Hey, there's 2 tutorials here, the square in a square block and then the star...well done Miki!

Jodi said...

yaaay, I love this! I don't usually like star blocks but this one is fantastic! Thanks!

Magpie Sue said...

Thanks for showing us how it's done Miki!

KatieQ said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Cam't wait to try it.

Alexis said...

Nice! Thanks for getting us of to great Block of the Month start!

Deb said...

Oh, it looks so fun!! I can imagine it in so many different colors!! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Deb from clutteredquilter.blogspot.com