Monday, August 29, 2011

STARS Quilt Along - Block 4

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of post for the STARS Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)

Everyone is doing so great!!  Your STAR blocks look amazing!!  And today is a big day, because today's block is probably the most challenging of all 6 blocks.  I wanted to throw it in the middle so you had some experience and so it isn't the last one looming to get done.  With that said, it isn't super hard or anything, just a  bit of a change and therefor a bit more tedious.  So with that said, lets get going!!!


As a reminder, for the Queen size, you will be doing 6 blocks each of 6 different star pattern blocks.  You can pick any combination of the below sizes you want for your blocks.   (If you are doing a smaller size, it is probably best to divide the total number of blocks you want by the 6 different blocks we will be making and then make that many Block 4's in varying sizes, or all the same if you wish :)

So, once you have decided on your star sizes you can use the following chart as your cutting guide.  I know this is small to see but if you click on it, it will open in a new window much larger :)  ***NOTE - You do not have to cut any additional blocks for the highlighted line, it is simply a reference for trimming.

Once again, I am not going to go over cutting out the yardage again in this tutorial.  If you need hints on how to best cut your yardage please see the STEP 1 of the Block 1 tutorial.  It is the exact same process :)

So for 1 star block you should have cut from your yardage  1 Goose Square, 4 Corner Squares, 2 long sashings, and 2 short sashings. (of course in the designated chart sizes :)

Now for your prints.    Referring to the chart above you will cut 4 squares for your Center Square, 2 from  a fabric of your choice (referred to as fabric A) and 2 more from another fabric (referred to as fabric B).   You will then cut 4 squares that will be used to make the star points, 2 from your previous first choice fabric (referred to as fabric A) and 2 from your previous second choice fabric (referred to as fabric B) .  *** NOTE These 8 squares are almost the exact same sizes, but not quite, so be careful not to mix up which ones are for the center square and which are for the star points.


We will start by making 4 Half Square Triangles.  To do this, grab your four pieces for the center square.  Using your ruler, on the wrong side of the 2 lighter print blocks draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Now lay your lighter square blocks onto your darker square blocks with right sides together.  Pin the squares together along either side of the drawn line.  Now simply sew 1/4" along each side of the drawn line.  (You should be an expert at this now as it is pretty similar to our flying geese process :)

Using your ruler, cut along the drawn line to separate your 2 sewn pieces into 4 sewn pieces.

Now press your seams for all 4 pieces towards the darker print.

So now you have the 4 half square triangles you need and all you have left is to trim them down to the appropriate size.  To find the size you will be trimming down to refer to the highlighted line in the cutting chart.  So to trim your HST to the designated size, align the 45 degree angle mark along the center line of your HST.  Make sure that the 2 edges under your ruler are on or outside the designated size and trim along the 2 sides of your ruler.  (It won't be a lot to trim, you are just evening things up :)  

Now flip your block so the 2 sides you just trimmed are under your ruler.  You should be able to align those 2 already trimmed sides right along your designated measurement and by doing that the center seam should be right along the 45 degree angle mark on your ruler.  Now just trim away the excess on the 2 edges of your ruler.  Repeat these two trimming steps for all 4 of your Half Square Triangles.

And now you have 4 perfect Half Square Triangles and putting the rest of the center together is just the same process as we did for the center square of  Block 2. So if you need further clarafication please refer to Block 2 Step 2 .

Lay out your four HST's in the following layout to make a pinwheel.  Sew the pieces together to make 2 rows by laying the left hand square onto the right hand square in each row with right sides together.  Pin along the edge.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press your seams open to avoid bulk.

You should now have 2 rows that look like this :)  Now sew the 2 rows together by laying the top row onto the bottom row with right sides together.  Now go ahead and line up your center seam and pin that first.  Then go ahead and pin the edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Clip your threads and press your seam open.

And your center square is completed. What a cute little pinwheel!!  You can set it aside for now.


Okay, so this is where this block goes a little different from the other blocks.  Unfortuantly, we have to work with some triangles now.  But don't worry!!  It isn't much harder just a little more tedious.  (And some of you might ask, wouldn't it be easier to just do it all in HST's and the answer would probably be yes, but then they wouldn't match the other blocks, and I am a bit OCD so that would drive me nuts :)

So start by getting your 4 squares for your star points and cutting them in half diagonally by using your ruler aligned from corner to opposite corner.

Now get 2 triangles of one print and 2 triangles of the other print and with right sides together, lay them out as follows.  Make sure that the "top" print on your pinwheel is the same print that is the top print on your goose block. (see the arrows :).  Your triangles should be aligned together 2 make 2 "squares".

You won't need to draw a pen line diagonally  as you can just use the intersection of your 2 pieces.  Pin all four triangles in place.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line.  This is a little more difficult as you are using triangles and not squares but just take a little extra care when sewing the edges to keep them aligned and it shouldn't be much more difficult.

Clip your threads and then align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line.  Then press each piece towards your print fabric.

Grab your remaining 4 triangles and and lay them out as follows with right sides together. Make sure that your prints are opposite where they touch the other print. Once again, no need to draw your diagonal line.

Now go ahead and pin each piece and then once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn diagonal line.  Once again, take care to keep those edges lined up as they will want to slip outwards.

Clip your threads and then using your ruler aligned along the drawn line, once again, cut your 2 separate pieces apart.  Press each  of the four pieces towards the print.

Lastly, trim away all those little corners and WhaLa!!!  You have 4 perfect flying geese.  Sorry these were a bit more of a pain, but trust me, they will be worth it when you see how awesome this block looks!!  (It is by far my favorite!!!)

**NOTE - The remaining steps are done in the same way as we did  Block 1.  Therefore I will be going over them in a condensed version.  If you need extra notes or clarification on any of the remaining steps, please feel free to see the Block 1 Tutorial STEPS 3 - 4 that will further explain these steps.  


Now you have all of the pieces you need to put your block together.  Grab all of your pieces except for the sashings and lay them out as follows.  Make sure that your star point fabrics match your Half Square Triangle print fabrics.  We will be stitching these in rows first and then putting the rows together.

So start by stitching your rows together.  Lay the left hand pieces onto the center pieces with right sides together and pin.  Then lay the right hand pieces onto the center pieces with right sides together and pin.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along all 6 of those pinned edges.  Clip your threads and press.  Press the second or center row open to avoid bulk.  The first and third rows press out.

And this is what your block should look like now. And now you can sew the rows together.  So lay your first row onto your center row with right sides together.  Make sure that you match up your seams first, and pin.  Then lay your third row up onto your center row with right sides together and pin the same.  Sew a 1/4" seam along both pinned edges.  Clip your threads and press (once again, I pressed seams open.)

And now you should have a beautiful block that looks something like this!!  I know it was a bit of a pain but wasn't it totally worth it!!  I just love how this star looks like it is spinning!!!


To make the block wonky we first have to add the sashings.  So grab those sashings that have been sitting aside and lay the short sashings on the top and bottom and the long sashings on the sides.  Lay your sashing onto the top and bottom of your block with right sides together.  Pin the edge.  Stitch a 1/4" along the top and the bottom of your block go ahead and clip your threads and then press out towards the sashing.

Now you can add the sides the exact same way as you did the bottom.   Pin, stitch, clip, and press :)

And your block is sashed and ready to be cut wonky style.  Grab your 12 1/2" square ruler or template and lay it on your block.  Find the angel you like (remembering to alternate angels on blocks) and trim the excess outside the template or ruler.

And Ta Da!!!  You have a finished 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" Wonky Block 4!!!!

Now you can go back and make 5 more (or how ever many you want for your size quilt)

And oh how I love seeing everyone's progress so be sure to post your set of Block 4's in our Flickr Group :)  I just love this block and I can't wait to see everyone's!!

And as always, should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa (at gmail (dot) com!!
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  1. I love the look of this block, can't wait to try it out.

  2. Oh, this is my favorite one so far!

  3. YAY! I am so going to mess this one up, I know it! And you know, cutting would be much easier if I had an actual rotary cutter instead of just an Xacto knife. Also if I had all actual quilting fabrics instead of a mish mash of holy crap every kind of fabric my mother/g-ma/mil/g-mil ever owned!

  4. Oh yes this is my favorite so far.
    I am so far behind. Must stop joining things. LOL
    Hope you are well.

  5. I love this block but I'm behind too! Difficult to keep up with a full time plus job but I'm having fun. Just hope I can catch up to be able to finish and be in the drawing for the gift certificate. Woohoo!!

  6. thats a lovely block...starting mine today (after I get the laundry going)!

  7. now that is a cute one! i'm pretty behind now (just got 1 and 2 done) but i have fabric pulled for 3 and i'll add this to my list now!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)