August 22nd - Curvy Star Block (That's Today)
August 29th - Pinwheel Star Block
September 5th - Improv Star Block
September 12th - Basic Star Block
September 19th - Applique Star Block
September 26th - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
October 17th- Seeing Stars Parade and Grand Prize Winners
The Double Star Block assignment winner who gets a Smitten Jelly Roll from Green Fairy Quilts is
#6 - Lori Dominguez!!! - Congrats :)
So here we are, ready to start sewing our second set of blocks , so let's get right to it :) If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)
THE CURVY STAR BLOCK
STEP 1 - CUTTING
We will be making 3 Curvy Star Blocks. I will give the cutting directions for 1 Curvy Star Block (for those that are making alternate layouts). Then I will give the cutting directions for the Total Pieces needed for all 3 Curvy Star Blocks. Each Print Fabric listed represents a different part of the star block. Below the initial single block cutting list is an image of the Curvy Star Block just to clarify where each fabric is placed in the block.
Curvy Star Block - For Each Block cut:
Print Fabric Large Star Points - (4) 5 7/8" x 5 7/8" squares
Print Fabric Curved Star Points - (2) 6" x 6" squares
Background Fabric - (1) 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" square
(8) 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares
Print Fabric Large Star Points - (12) 5 7/8" x 5 7/8" squares - 4 squares each of 3 different prints
Print Fabric Curved Star Points - (6) 6" x 6" squares - 2 squares each of 3 different prints
Background Fabric - (3) 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" square
(24) 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares - separated into 2 piles of 12 squares each
STEP 2 - MAKING THE LARGE FLYING GEESE UNITS
This block has a large Set of Flying Geese in it just like the Flying Geese from the Double Star Block and we will be using the same No-Waste Method to make them. And since we did this last week, I will be using the less detailed instructions. If you feel you need more explanation, please see the Small Flying Geese Units instructions from last week. So, let's get to it :)
Gather the 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" Background Squares and the 5 7/8" x 5 7/8" Print Squares. And draw a diagonal line on the back of all 12 of your print squares as shown.
And just like that . . . 12 Beautiful and perfectly precise Large Flying Geese Units, that should measure 5 1/2" x 10 1/2". And remember, you don't have to trim, but if you choose to just be sure and leave yourself a 1/4" seam allowance at the top of your Flying Geese Units.
STEP 3 - MAKING THE DRUNKARD PATH UNITS
So this is where we get our Curved Sewing on!!! We will be making a slightly modified Drunkard Path blocks as the "crust" section of the block is skinnier than your traditional Drunkard Path blocks. So that means, if you have Drunkard Path templates at home already, you might want to double check before using them as they are most likely for traditional blocks ;) And if you are new to Curved Sewing, now worries. I will walk you through every little bit of it, and we are learning on big pieces, which makes it much easier ;)
MAKING THE DRUNKARD PATH TEMPLATE
To start, you will need to print off the Drunkards Path Template. You can find the Drunkard Path Template by clicking right here. When printing, be sure that the Fit to Page box is not checked and once printed, double check that the 1" square on your printed page is a true 1" square. Cut out the two paper template pieces.
From here, we are going to use our paper templates to make a sturdier template ;) So whatever supplies you got at the beginning to make your template on, it is time to pull them out. I am using Extra Thick Plastic Template Sheets . Place your two templates onto your template material and trace around them.
CUTTING THE DRUNKARD PATH PIECES
Now you have your templates ready and you are all set to start cutting out your Drunkard Path units. So, go ahead and grab your Print 6" x 6 squares and 12 Background 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares. You will be cutting the "Pie" shape from the the Background squares and 2 "Crust" shapes from each of the Print squares.
Now spin that Pie pieces 180 degrees and once again place your Crust Template onto the corner of your print square so that is flush in the corner and the sides and top and bottom are aligned. Holding the template in place, gently cut along the inner curve to give you your second Pie Crust. This will also give you a Bonus Petal that you can use for Applique (video tutorial on Applique ) on another project, so fun!!!
This curve cutting takes a little practice to get used to, but just try to relax and you will get it. The key is when you are coming out of the curve to not press so hard that you cut into your template. I had to keep reminding myself to relax my hand and let the cutter do the work ;) And if you have a small rotary cutter it can help. But no worries, by the end of cutting your pieces, you will be a pro!!! And now you should have (12) Crust Pieces, (12) Pie pieces, and (6) Bonus Petals.
SEWING A DRUNKARD PATH UNIT
So now your Drunkard Path pieces are all cut, let's learn how to sew them together!!! I will be showing the process with one block, but or course, you will be making 12 so like we have learned, chain stitching will save your lots of time!!!
And I like to use 3 pins when sewing curves. Some people use 1 and some people use a ton :) If you find you want more than 3 pins, fabulous, if you find you like 1, wonderful!! Do what works best for you :)
Okay, to start, we need to find the center of our pieces, so to do this, fold your Pie and Crust in half and finger press the crease.
And now you are ready to sew. Now before you start sewing take a deep breath :) The more relaxed you are, the easier curves are to sew. If you get frustrated and tense, it just gets harder, so remember, this is all about having fun :)
The biggest key I have found when sewing curves is to only worry about what is directly in front of your presser foot. The rest of the block won't line up until it gets there so don't stress about it. Just keep focused on what is about to go under the foot.
Using a 1/4" foot on your machine, Align your pinned edge with the foot and begin a few stitches. I like to backstitch 2 stitches once I have started. This isn't necessary, but I just like to where I pull on this piece when sewing a little more than traditional square blocks.
Just keep aligning with the right hand and smoothing with the left hand. The fabrics will ease into position right where they should be as long as you be sure to keep the edges aligned. Every once and a while, you might find that you need to lift your presser foot to smooth out a stubborn crease and that is all good, just be sure your needle is in the down position.
Now, I just went through that super fast, and I know, it can be hard to tell from the pictures, but just remember, slow and steady and try to relax. Practice, practice practice and trust me, within a few units you are going to be flying through these ;) Really, it takes longer to pin them then to sew them.
PRESSING YOUR DRUNKARD PATH UNIT
And now, you are ready to press your units. We will be pressing towards the Pie piece. And I know, it seems like it would be easier to press towards the Crust and that is the darker fabric, but we press towards the pie so that when we sew these Drunkard Path units together, we don't have 4 layers of bulk right where we only have 1/4" of fabric to sew with :)
So, begin by grabbing the corner of pie with one hand and gently pulling it outward and at the same time pressing the center of the crust seam inward. Pulling gently will just ensure that we don't have any little bubbles in our seam.
And now again, change the direction of your pulling to pull outward and rotate the point of your iron into the remaining corner, being sure to use that point to help get right into the edge of that seam. It really gets fast when you get the hang of it and you won't have to lift your iron or let go with your other hand, it is just shifting the way are pulling as you go.
STEP 4 - MAKING THE CURVY STAR BLOCK
And with your units all done you can now make your Curvy Star Block. Layout 4 Matching Drunkard Path Units as shown below. Just like last week, I like to stack up all 3 of my block sets on top of one another so I can Chain Stitch each of the following steps. You can choose to do this or just make 1 at a time, whatever you are comfortable with. The tutorial will just go over making 1 block at a time though so it is less confusing.
The Weekly Prize is sponsored by Shabby Fabrics and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Seeing Stars Quilt-Along.
Acorn Love Table Runner Kit featuring Lori' Holt's brand new Autumn Love fabric. How adorable is that table runner and what awesome inspiration to get your blocks made this week!!! Hopefully the thought of these to cute for words acorns will help motivate you through those curves ;)
So what do you have to do for a chance to win the table runner kit? Simple . . . Just link up your Curvy Star Blocks at the end of this post :) You can link to a blog post or a social media picture, or whatever. If you are still not sure how to link up, I wrote a little Linky Tutorial over here, that might help ;) Just make sure to link up by the early morning of August 29th as I will be announcing a winner in next quilt-a-long post :)
If you don't get your Curvy Star Blocks done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-Along.
And Don't forget to add your beautiful Curvy Star Blocks to #seeingstarsquiltalong on social media or at the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group. I am so excited to see all of your amazing Curvy Star Blocks ;) You can Sew Curves!!!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
And remember, any questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ;)