Friday 10 August 2012

{QAL} Block 3 - Pieced Star

I can't believe it's week three already! Today's tutorial is for a traditional block called a pieced star. I seriously loved making these blocks. I really think I'd like to make an entire quilt of them one day... possibly sooner rather than later...

This block is 10 1/2" unfinished. All seams are a scant 1/4". I would probably recommend starching your fabric for this block - I didn't and my points are pretty good but not perfect. I think with starch you could get a really perfect block.

There are three of these blocks in the Twin quilt.

Please read through the whole tutorial before cutting your fabrics. I've said press as desired - I pressed open throughout the entire block and I'm really happy with my blocks. But if you're happier pressing to the side it should work perfectly as well.


You'll need four different print fabrics for this block - two for the central pinwheel (prints 1 and 2), one for the other star triangles (yellow in the above block - print 3) and one for the corner triangles (print 4).

Background fabric:

  • Four 4" x 4" squares
  • Eight 3" x 3" squares

Print Fabrics:

From Prints 1 and 2 (for each of the centre pinwheel fabrics), cut TWO 3" x 5 1/2" rectangles.

From Prints 3 and 4, cut TWO 4" squares.

Making the Half Square Triangles

Draw a line diagonally across the four 4" background squares.

Take your four 4" print squares (prints 3 and 4) and pair each of them with a background square. Sew 1/4" away from each side of the drawn line:

And then cut along the drawn line. Press each of the resulting half square triangles (HST) as you prefer (I've pressed open)

And then trim each of them down to 3" square. To do this, line up the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam, making sure the 3" measurement is within the fabric square. Trim the side and top.

**NOTE - the reason I have only a small amount of excess to trim away is I accidentally cut my squares at 3.5". It did work, so if you're confident in accurately sewing HSTs you could cut smaller squares as I did. 4" just gives a bit more wiggle room if they're a bit wonky - and you'll have a fair bit more excess to trim away **

Turn the HST around and line up the 45 degree line, and both sides at the 3" mark. Trim the side and top.

You'll end up with eight HSTs - four each of both your prints.

Next you'll need to pair up your HSTs, one from each print:

The orange fabric is my corner fabric, and the yellow is part of the star. You need to ensure your sew each of your HST pairs in this orientation. Sew them together using a scant 1/4" seam. I find if I start at the corner where the points meet, I get a far better point.

You'll end up with four identical HST units.

Making the Pinwheel Points

Take your 3" background squares, and draw a line diagonally through the centre as you did for the HSTs. 

Take all four of your 3" x 5.5" rectangles and lay them vertically in front of you. Place one of your 3" background squares at the top of each of the rectangles, carefully lining up the top and sides. Make sure your drawn line is at the same angle on all of your rectangles - this is critical in your block working. 

Sew along the drawn line on each of your rectangles (I recommend pinning) - chain stitching works well here.

Trim 1/4" away from your sewn line

Press your block as desired (again I pressed open).

On each of your rectangles, place the last four background squares, ensuring the drawn line is at the same angle as the one you just sewed.

Sew along this line (sorry about the fabric change here!).

Trim 1/4" away from your seam,

and again, press your seam.

You should have four of these units, two in each of your pinwheel fabrics.

Assembling the Block:

This block is essentially a four patch. To make each of the units in the block, take one of your pinwheel points and one of your HST units and orientate them exactly as below.

 Sew them together (pins really help here) and then press.

You'll end up with four units. Lay them out like so:

Sew the top and bottom rows together and press :

And then sew the two pieces together. And there you have a finished pieced star!

There are three of these blocks in the Twin sized quilt - these are my other two.

As always please add your blocks to the Flickr group! There are some really amazing quilts being made. And if you have any problems with the tutorial please just leave a comment or email me and I'll get back to you. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!
x Jess


Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

Love your blocks! The tute looks great, I have posted a link!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow...that's too cool! I thought their were more HST's than that, but you've made it simple! Thanks.

Charlotte said...

gorgeous block!

Marissa said...

Aaaahhhhh! I love this block! If I would have tried to do this on my own I would have done it the long/hard way. I would have made a pinwheel, made flying geese & the 4 half triangles and then sewn them all together. This block totaly simplifies all that. Thanks!

Rosa said...

Great blocks and tutorial.

Aaaaaaaaaaaah...This month I`m out of my sewing room hope to catch up next month.


You make it look beautiful, I am working on a star and it is making me nuts, this tutorial sews all 4 sides of the 2 sq and cut in the middle.. starch is a must, even the good stuff , best press because you only need one squirt for repeating pressing.

Kristy QP said...

Love this star - just gorgeous!

Cherie said...

A very eye catching block! =D

Lucy | Charm About You said...

Beautiful blocks!! I just made my first one and I love it, two to go! Great tutorial, thanks :)

Danny Heyen said...

Crazy non-sense!! I made one JUST like that, but the corner squares are turned 90 degrees. We think alike.

elliek said...

Love the way the centre pinwheel turns out... no seam. So want to do this quilt.

thittea said...

i thought about this Chrome-Hearts Dolabuy that site YSL Dolabuy click resources