Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Surround Quilt-A-Long - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky!!!!

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of 4 of the $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

Aug 26 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
Sept 16 - Star Surround Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Okay, I am so super excited for this week!!  But first, let's pick a winner from the Star Surround Pieces Assignment.  I am constantly blown away by how many of you are keeping up and quilting-a-long with me!!  You are just amazing!!!

The Star Surround Pieces Assignment winner who gets  a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Southern Fabric  is                                                                          #29- Sharon!!! - Congrats :) 


Alright, this is the week we have been building up towards!!!  The last week's assignment.  This is the week all of those project tops come together!!!  So, So, So  exciting!!!!    I just can't wait to see them all.  Yippee Skippee!!


So this final assignment will be done in two steps, Piecing the Block, and then Piecing the Project.

Grab your center star and your surround pieces for one block and lay them out as follows.  You can choose to build one block at a time or chain stitch all your blocks at a time.  If you want to chain stitch, it helps to put them all in one big stack laid out as follows :)

We are going to start by making rows.  To do this, place the pieces on the right and left onto the center pieces with right sides together.  Take care to line up each seam and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along each of the pinned edges.  (If you are chain stitching, it is easiest if you do all of the left hand side first for all of your pieces and then repeat for all of the right hand side pieces :)

When stitching your seams, you want to remember all of the same tricks you have used to put the pieces together that give you those nice clean points.  So, when I am sewing the top and bottom rows together, I turn my pieces over so I can see that fun little white triangle created at the HST intersection and sew directly at the bottom of it.  And yes, I sew over pins as this is upside down and I can't pull them out, I won't tell if you wont :)

Then, when sewing the center sections together I take care to cross directly through the x intersection with my 1/4" seam.

And one last little trick.  Many of you were worried about how straight your flying geese were.  This is how I fix that.  I use the X intersection and the square coming up as a guide.  I don't really pay attention to the edge of my geese as a guide but rather aim for the edge of the square so that when I cross it I am at exactly 1/4".  And you can do the same thing at the front of the flying geese using the square you are leaving and the x intersection as a guide of where to aim for.

Once your seams are all stitched, press the top and bottom rows outward and the center row inward.  This will allow you to next the seams in the next step.

So you should have 3 rows now that look something like this ;)

Now the final seams.  Lay your top and bottom row onto the center rows with right sides together.  Once again, take care to align and pin each seam in place.  If you find you are having a little bubble from aligning your seams, simply smooth the bubble down and place a horizontal pin there to keep it down.   Stitch a 1/4" seam the pinned edges.  Press the seams open.

And Ta Da!!!  You have a stunning Star Surround Block!!

Now Rinse and Repeat for all of the blocks in your project ;)  If you are chain stitching, just finish all that pressing and you are ready to go :)

Once your blocks are all made you are ready to sew your project top together.  (And please excuse the rest of these pictures, I am literally standing on top of my desk with my head scrunched up against the ceiling trying to get all the blocks in frame).  Start by laying your blocks out in your chosen layout.  Mine is 3 x 3.  Play with the placement of the blocks until you get a color layout that is pleasing to the eye.

When you have a layout you like, you are ready to sew the rows together.  Like all of your sewing sew far, take care to pin each of your seams, use a 1/4" seam and press open when finished.   You all have different layouts, but I find making rows first and then sewing the rows together is the easiest way.  For a 3 x 3 layout, I simply sew the second block to the first, and then the third to the first and second.  If I were doing a 4 x 4 layout I would sew block 1 and 2 together and block 3 and 4 together first and then sew blocks 1/2 to blocks 3/4.

One other little hint with this stage.  When you go to pin your 2 flying geese in the center of each block, lift up your top block and be sure to directly align your flying geese.  You want the two points to match up with each other, you can make this little diamond to ensure that :)

And when you are finished making your rows and they are nicely pressed, you can move onto sewing them together.

This is just like sewing the blocks into rows only on a much longer scale.  Place your first row onto your second, pin all of the seams, match your flying geese, sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and press. In my case, I will repeat to add the final row.  In a 4 x 4 layout, once again, sew row 1 and 2 together and row 3 and 4 together.  Then sew the top to the bottom ;)

Now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Star Surround Project Top!!!  And be sure to link your project top up to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!

And now that you have your Project Top complete, you are ready to link up to the Grand Prize Linky!!!!


The Grand Prizes that you are hoping to be picked for is   . .

A $75.00 Gift Certificate that you can spend as you like!!  There will be 4 lucky Grand Prize winners, 2  winners will receive a Gift Certificate to The Intrepid Thread and 2 winners will receive a Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop.  Talk about some fun Shopping Sprees!!!


In order to be eligible to win the Grand Prize you need to Link Up your completed project top (not quilted yet, just the project top) at the end of this post!!!  You have until the evening of SEPT 15th to get your project top sewn together and linked to be entered :)  And please, if you linked up a completed top last week, be sure to link up again this week.  You have to have a link at the end of this post to be entered to win one of the Grand Prizes.  


Now, as just mentioned, you only have to have your project top done to enter into the grand prize link up . . . but I wanted to encourage you to finish these projects and not set it in a pile of "to be quilted" so . . . I am planning a little Parade for the 16th of September :)  The parade will be for quilted and bound Star Surround Projects!!  

So, how do you finish up those projects??? 

Baste, Quilt, and Bind!!  I know, I make it sound all so simple.  If you are new to quilting, and need some help with these last few steps, you can see my Video Tutorials that go over the basics of how to do this ;)  Also, there are some helpful free motion quilting tutorials if you are stuck on how you want to quilt your project ;) 

So you have Basted, Quilted, and Bound and have a stunning finish and you want to showcase it in the Parade.  In order to have it in the parade, I need you to please send me an email (  with your favorite finished Star Surround Project picture attached as well as the name you would like your photo listed with, where you are from, and a blog or flickr photostream link if applicable.  You can email me anytime from now until the evening of Sept15th and I will get you added to the Parade!!!  

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's finishes!!!  You can decide if you would like to add your finish picture to the Flickr group now or wait until after the parade to keep it a secret :)  Grand Prize winners will be announced on Sept 16th along with the amazing parade filled with all of your beautiful quilts, pillows, table runners, ect.!!!  I can't wait!!!  Let's make this the biggest finish parade ever!!!  

So, just to make sure we are on the same page, once you have your project finished, don't forget to email me your picture, name, where you are from, and a place to link your picture by Sep 15th!!!!  

Alright, I know that was a lot.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me at, I don't want any one to miss out on the grand prizes or parades because of confusion ;)

I can't wait to see your finished projects!!!  Thank you so much for quilting-a-long with me!!!!  Now, off you go to finish up :)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

Pin It!


  1. Can't you just feel the excitement:) I definitely want to make the parade, so I better get to it!

  2. Oh, how exciting - thank you for making for a wonderful morning! Wouldn't it be sweet to see 78 finished quilts!!! I need to put the final border on mine and ready to post - then quilt it.

  3. So excited to see all the wonderful finished projects!

  4. Oh Melissa, your quilt is so beautiful~~ I so wish I could have done it!!! I love the colors and the fabrics you chose... so peaceful (or pieceful: ha!ha! sometimes I am sooo funny!) ;-) I had a thought: If you added a narrow sashing to the edges of the quilt you could put in half square triangles and finish the diamonds. It might look cool: you could do it in your EQ7 program and see if you liked it. Just a thought, anyway. Again, I love your quilt and the tutorials look like they are very detailed: you did a wonderful job, and so sweet to share it with us all!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  5. So excited that we're in the home stretch! I'm hoping to play with layouts tonight :)

  6. What a beautiful quilt top, the colours look fabulous!

  7. What a beautiful quilt top, the colours look fabulous!

  8. Your top looks fabulous! Thanks again for hosting this great QA - I made it as # 47!

  9. Lots of gorgeous blocks & quilt tops :).

    I've added my link but realised it might not work for a few hours in 12hrs time (Tuesday morning US time) as my host is migrating & updating their servers.

    Jenn from Mellycoddle :).

  10. Lots of great quilts here! Great QAL, Melissa

  11. I love seeing this in so many different color combos and gorgeous fabrics. I won't be done in time for the parade but I definitely plan to finish up my top this week.

  12. This quilt is truly a beauty! Thank you for hosting and sharing such this great star pattern! It's fun to see all the finishes!! Best of luck to all!!

  13. Thanks for hosting this quilt along! I messed mine up, but it was totally my fault. :D I think the pattern's adorable!

  14. look at all those lovely tops!! they all look so great!

    1. Oh, by the way! Here is a link to my quilt being displayed in the show!! (just the local one) Thanks so much for the pattern Melissa! I had so many lovely comments on it, and I told them all about your quilt-a-long :)
      My quilt was so big it had to be folded as you can see in the photos.

      thanks again!!
      When is your next one ;)

  15. Darn it! I screwed up the placement on my corner colors--so I won't be done tonite. :(

  16. They all look great many different color choices! Wonderful job to all!!

  17. Very very late to the party, but I'm thrilled to have (re)discovered this pattern.
    I have a beautiful pile of sherbet pips fabric cut and partly sewn. (HSTs and flying geese for three or four blocks)
    The project derailed after I went with a different colour pallet for my (soon to be 4 years old) baby nephew.
    Big brother and mom liked the fabrics though, so this project is being revived for baby sister due in august 2017!

    Thanks again for all your hard work designing this versatile pattern.



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