You see, my Mother was born in England and moved from there when she was 12. She recently returned to England for the very first time for a special "holiday" with my Grandmother. It was a wonderful trip for her and so when I saw British Invasion I knew it would make the perfect little throw quilt to remind her always of that special trip.
I knew from the start that I wanted to design something big that really showed off the super fun fabrics in this line. A few weeks back I was taking a process picture for the SLSB QAL and was totally inspired. So I came up with this frame in a frame star design and it worked out just perfect for the fabrics ;) You all know how much I love stars and I have been wanting to do a giant star block for some time. Yippee!!!
So let's get right to How To Make It!!!!
1/6 yard of British Flag Cream 3/4 yard of British Taxi Gray
1/6 yard of British Crown Blue 1 yard of British Soldiers Cream
1/6 yard of British Crown Red 2 1/2 yards of Cotton Solid Cream
5/8 yard of Cotton Solid Gray
4 Yards of Coordinating Print - I used Red Chevrons.
STEP 1 - CUTTING
Before cutting, take care to press all of your fabrics. This will make your piecing more precise.
Cut the following pieces from the assigned fabric.
Cream Flag - (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares
Red Crown - (4) 5" x 5" squares
Blue Crown - (4) 5" x 5" squares
Gray Taxi - (16) 5" x 5" squares
(4) 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles
(4) 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles
Cream Soldiers - (6) 4 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips
White Solid - Background Fabric - (20) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares
(20) 5" x 5" squares
(8) 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles
(8) 4 1/2" x 16 1/2" rectangles
(5) 4 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips
Gray Solid - (7) 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips - Set aside for Binding
STEP 2 - MAKING HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE UNITS
With all of the cutting done you are ready to start piecing units. For this quilt, you will need to make Half Square Triangle units. Start by gathering all of your 5" squares. Group the squares in 22 sets of 2 with the following fabric groupings. (2) Blue Crown / Background sets, (2) Red Crown /Background sets, (2) Red Crown/Blue Crown sets, and (16) Grey Taxi / Background Sets.
Note - To save time, I like to do each of these steps in assembly line fashion, chain stitching all of my sets, however, most of the pictures will just show one pair at a time being done.
On the wrong side of the darker fabric square in your pair, using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.
Lay your 2 squares with rights sides together. Pin both sides adjacent to the drawn line taking care to place them far enough out to leave room for your presser foot to stitch on by. Stitch a seam 1/4" from EITHER side of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)
As mentioned in the note, I like to chain stitch here. So I stitch the 1/4" seam on the right hand side of the line of all of the square sets.
Then just clip the threads between the squares and then go ahead stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of your sets. And now you have some super long square snakes :) Clip the remaining threads between the squares.
Next, align your ruler along the drawn center line. Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line, creating the 1/4" seam on both sets of triangles.
Now press the seam to one side towards the darker fabric.
And lastly, trim the Half Square Triangle unit to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". I like to use my Bloc-Loc ruler for this, but you can use the 45 degree line on a regular square or rectangle ruler as well. You can find specific trimming instructions at the end of this tutorial if you need further instructions.
And since you were assembly line piecing, you should now have 44 Half Square Triangle units that measure 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" and look something like this ;)
STEP 3 - BUILDING THE CENTER STAR
And now with the units done, you are ready to start building the parts of the quilt. We will start with the center star. Layout your Crown Half Square Triangle Units and (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Background squares as shown below.
Sew the squares into rows. I like to do this by just adding one block at a time. Place the second block onto the first with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge aligning as you go. Then place the third square onto the now first and second set and stitch, and then repeat for the fourth square.
Press the seams in the first and third row to the left and the seams in the second and fourth row to the right. This will allow them to nest in the nest :)
Now, you can sew the four rows together. This is just like making the rows but on a larger scale. Place the first row onto the second and the fourth row onto the third. Align and pin each of your seams, they should just nest together nice and pretty. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges.
Now place the top half of the star onto the bottom and once again align and pin each of the seams. Again, they will nest. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Press all three seams open.
And your Star Center is complete. Fantastic!! Go ahead and set this aside for the moment.
STEP 4 - BUILDING THE SIDES
Gather (6) Taxi Half Square Triangle units and (2) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" background squares and lay them out as shown below.
Sew the squares into rows using the same method from the Star Center. Press the first row to the right and the second to the left.
Sew the rows together by placing the first row onto the second with right sides together. Align and pin each of the seams. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Press the seam open.
And now to add a little sashing. Lay a 4 1/2" x 16 1/2" rectangle along the top and bottom of the pieced side unit as shown below.
Place the strips onto the pieced side unit along the top and bottom of the block. Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge aligning as you go. Press outwards towards the sashing rectangle.
And you will have a side block that looks a little like this.
Now repeat the process to make a total of 4 side blocks ;) Once you are finished set these aside with the Star Center.
STEP 5 - BUILDING THE CORNERS
And now the only blocks left are the corners. Gather a Flag Square and (2) Background 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares and lay them in a row as shown. Sew the row together the same as before. I like to add the left hand side first, and then the right hand side. Press the seams inwards towards the flag square.
Now gather (2) 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" Background rectangles and lay them out as shown below.
Place the top rectangle onto the pieced row with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge, aligning as you go. Then place the bottom rectangle onto the pieced row with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge, aligning as you go. Press outwards towards the background rectangles.
And now to add a little frame to your pieced corner unit. Gather (2) Gray Taxi Half Square Triangles and a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" Gray Taxi Rectangle and a 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" Gray Taxi Rectangle and lay them out as shown below.
Place the Half Square Triangle units onto the rectangles with right sides together. Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge aligning as you go. Press towards the rectangles.
Now, place the shorter sewn strip unit onto the corner block unit with right sides together. Align the seam and pin it and the rest of the sewn strip in place. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Press towards the sewn strip.
Lastly, place the long sewn strip along the top of the pieced corner block with right sides together. Pin in place and stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Press towards the long sewn strip.
And you will have a wonderful completed corner unit that should look a little like this ;)
Now repeat the step to make a total of 4 units, but on each square you will be adding the "Frame" to a different side of the corner block unit. In the end, each your your blocks should be framed as shown below.
STEP 6 - PIECING THE QUILT TOP
And now with all of the blocks done you are ready to start piecing the quilt top. Layout your 9 blocks as shown below.
Just like building the blocks, we are going to sew these large blocks into rows. Lay the first block in the first row, onto the second block with right sides together. Align and pin each of the seams and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Now open the sewn two blocks again and lay the third block onto the now sewn together first and second block with right sides together. Again, align and pin each of the seams and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Repeat this process for all 3 rows.
Press the first and third rows seams towards the center. Press the second rows seams towards the outside. This will allow your rows to nest when you sewn them together ;)
And now, you can sew the rows together. Place the first row onto the second with right sides together. Align and pin the seams and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Then repeat the process to add the third row to the now sewn together first and second row. Press the seams outwards.
And now the center of your quilt top is complete and it looks awesome!! Now all that is left is to add some borders. Easy :)
STEP 7 - ADDING BORDERS
Start by sewing your Width of Fabric Strips into (2) 4 1/2" x 48 1/2" Strips and (2) 4 1/2" x 56 1/2" Strips. Place the short strips along the sides of the quilt top and the long strips along the top and bottom of the quilt top.
Place the short strips onto the sides of the quilt top with right sides together. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Press outwards towards the sashing.
Now place the top and bottom strips onto the top and bottom of the quilt top. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Press outwards towards the sashing.
And now we are one border down one to go. Sew the Creme British Solider strips end to end and then trim to make (2) 4 1/2" x 56 1/2" strips and (2) 4 1/2" x 64 1/2" strips. Layout the short strips along the sides of the quilt and the long strips along the top and bottom. Add the borders using the same method you did for the first Background border.
And your Quilt Top is Complete!!! Now just sit and admire it for a bit ;) I say, this is Spot On!!!
STEP 8 - FINISHING
Now your top is complete and you just need to Baste it, Quilt it, and Bind It. I know, I make it sound so easy. If you are new to finishing your quilt, I have created a video tutorial series that goes over the basics of each of these three steps. You can find it here, at my blog :) Cut your backing into 2 pieces 72" x WOF and piece together with a 1/2" seam. You will use the 7 strips you cut and set aside at the beginning to do the binding.
I opted to quilt echoed paisleys in the background and little loops over the crowns, autos, and flags :) You can find a video tutorial here on how I like to quilt my echoed paisleys :)
I think my favorite part of the quilt is the cute little Bobbies standing guard around the quilt :) I quilted them with straight lines, it just seemed appropriate for them.
And when you are done, you will have a stunning The Royal Star quilt measuring 64" x 64", perfect to curl up under on a brisk night. Thank you so much for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you make your own The Royal Star Quilt I would love to see it. You can add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr group here or email me a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org or add it to social media with #happyquiltingmc :) I can't wait to see your The Royal Star Quilts!!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!