Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Christmas Star on TNT Thursday!!

So once again I already had a little something lined up for this Thursday so you are in luck with another Tutorial!!!  I call it The Christmas Star Block!!!

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in designing a Christmas Block for the Celebrate Christmas Quilt A-Long at the Quilting Gallery.  I am one of 36 designers for this little Quilt-A-Long.  How fun is that!!!  And the blocks are all amazing.  You can check them out in the Flickr Group here :)  And those that complete their blocks are entered into a giveaway, (which we all know we love).  So without, further ado . . .  Let's get to the Christmas Star Tutorial!!

The Christmas Star block is a variation on a spider web block.  I used the same method but changed it up some.  I hope you have some fun putting this together!!

What you will need :
   A 13" x 13" square of white 
   Larger scale scraps of Green
   Larger scale scraps of Red
   Gold Thread (optional)

Start by cutting your 13" x 13" square of white twice diagonally as shown below.  

Now you will have 4 triangles. On the wrong side of the fabric measure a 1/4" up from the bottom center and mark a dot.  Then measure 3" down from the top center on either side and mark a dot on either side.  Now draw a line on both sides of your triangle connecting the 3" mark to the 1/4" mark.  (See below)

And now you are ready to start adding your fabric.  Start with your red scraps.  With the wrong side of your scrap fabric to the right side of your white square, cut a scrap that is about 1/2" around then the left side of your now divided triangle.  It doesn't have to be perfect just so long as it is bigger than the white.

Now flip your red scrap backwards, just like you were opening a hinge.  Now the red scrap should be right sides together with the white triangle and you should have about 1/4" to a 1/2" overhang from your drawn line.  (This can be a bit tricky so see the picture below to clarify any confusion :)  Once your pieces are aligned go ahead and pin and then sew a line directly on top of the drawn line.

Now once again, flip your piece back over, hinging at the seam line.  Press your seam.  Your red scrap piece should still be larger than the white triangle on the 2 sides that are not sewn.  Repeat the last 4 steps for the other 3 white triangles.

Now grab your green scraps.  Cut and add the green fabric to the right side of your four triangles using the same method you used for the left side of the triangles.

Once your fabrics are pressed you can trim them.  Align your ruler up along each side of the white triangle and trim off the excess overhang of scrap fabric.

To help avoid bulk, I remove the excess white fabric that was used as a foundation :)  Simply trim the left and right side of just the white fabric away about a 1/4" from the drawn and sewn line :)

Now you should have 4 triangles with red on one side and green on the other.  Arrange them as follows and then set them aside for a few minutes :)

So now we are going to make some small Half Square Triangles for the center of your block. From your green and red scraps, cut out 4 2 1/2" squares, 2 of each color.

Place the green and the red squares with right sides together making 2 sets that each have a green and a red square.  Draw a  line diagonally on the wrong side of each set of 2.  Pin on either side of the line.  Then sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the line.

Now cut along the line on both sets and then press your new HST's open.

And now you just have to trim them.  We want to have 2" HST's so align the 45 degree line on your ruler up with the diagonal seam on your HST.  Make sure the sides that you are not trimming are outside of the 2" mark on your ruler.  Trim along the 2 sides of your HST.

Now just spin your HST 180 degrees so that you can trim your 2 remaining untrimmed sides.  Once again, align your 45 degree line on your ruler up with the seam of your HST and this time align your already trimmed sides with the 2" mark on your ruler.  Once it is all line up go ahead and trim the remaining 2 sides of your HST.

Now you are going to applique the HST into the corner of your block.  To do this take your 4 perfect little HST's and place them on the top of your 4 triangle blocks aligning the edges and making sure that the red is on the left and the green is on the right, so it opposite of your triangle sides :)  Go ahead and pin the HST's  in place.

Now use some choice of anchor stitch and stitch along the 2 inner seams to secure the HST's in place.  I used a decorative star stitch and used gold thread to really give it some punch.  You can use normal thread if you don't have gold and if you don't have decorative stitches you can simply use a zig-zag stitch or a blanket stitch :)  (I don't have stars on my machine, I had to go down to my wonderful Mother-in-laws to do this part :)

Now, once again, to avoid bulk, trim out the excess white fabric about 1/4" from the anchor stitching.

Now you are ready to sew the 4 triangles in your block together.   Lay them out to make your block (the same as you did earlier).  Now simply lay the bottom triangle over onto the right hand side block with right sides together.  Pin the seam line taking special care to match up your seams.  It is most important that your seams line up so that your star doesn't have weird points.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then press.  Repeat this same process with the top and left hand triangles.

So now you have 2 halves that should look like this.  You know what to do :)

Place the triangles with  right sides together.  Pin the edge, once again taking care to make sure you align the seams!!  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press.

And now your block looks like this.  You can be done here if you would like :)

But if you want to get it that extra finishing touch, you can once again, stitch a decorative stitch along the outside of the star as follows.  It is just a fun finish :)

And there you have it!!  One beautiful 12" finished Christmas Star Block!!  Happy Quilting!!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and enjoy making your own The Christmas Star Block!!  And remember, when you are done to add it to the Celebrate Christmas Quilt-A-Long Flickr group  and while you are at it, I would love it if you added it to my Happy Quilting Tutorial Flickr page.  I love seeing different renditions of my tutorials :)  

So . . . to some TNT goodness!!   This is the new thing I tried.  And I tell you, it is a lot of fun to take a method you have done before and then just change it up a bit.  And it makes a completely different result as well.  Awesome!!!

So now let's see what you did!!  Add your TNT Thrusday post below and remember to link back here in your post somehow.  Then show your fellow TNT participants some comment love :)

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  1. Beautiful block Melissa. Great tutorial too. Thank you.


  2. Excellent tutorial Melissa. Thanks so much for being a guest designer.

  3. Very pretty block...and easy to follow tutorial! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Спасибо за очень интересный урок !!

  5. Wow. Wow. Wow!!! That block is beautiful!! I think I may have to try this one!!

  6. Wow. What an awesome looking blogk Melissa. I love the extra touch with the stitching you've added. Very nice. Thank you for the great tutorial.

  7. What a lovely block! I'm linking up my kids' Halloween costumes. :)

  8. I love the gold decorative stitches. Never thought about using in putting a block together. Very COOL!


  10. love the fancy stitching on this block - thanks

  11. Love your block and great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. That star looks amazing! Great work. :)

  13. Very cool! I wish I could save it in a pdf.

  14. This is a fabulous tutorial. :o)
    I am curious, do you think I could use paper as the foundation and then tear it off when the blocks are made?
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Sincerely, Trish

  15. Very pretty! I love the approach you took to the construction.

  16. I love this quilt block. Quick question though, what is the finished size?


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