Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Seeing Stars Quilt-Along - Basic Star Block

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

September 12th - Basic Star Block (That's Today!!)
September 19th - Applique Star Block
September 26th - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
October 17th- Seeing Stars Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Now, first off for this week, we need to pick a winner for the Improv Star Assignment.   And great job to everyone for getting your wonky sewing on. I know it can be a challenge to step outside of our straight 1/4" zone, but you all did a fantastic job!!! 

The Improv Star Assignment winner who gets a Low Volume Fat Quarter Bundle of the brand new Smitten Collection from Olie and Evie is

#29 - Sue!!! - Congrats :)


So here we are, moving through our Star Blocks, and this weeks should be a piece of cake, because we are making Basic Star 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 :)



We will be making 11 Basic Star Blocks.  I will give the cutting directions for 1 Basic Star Block (for those that are making alternate layouts).  Then I will give the cutting directions for the Total Pieces needed for all 11 Basic 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 Basic Star Block just to clarify where each fabric is placed in the block.   

Basic Star Block - For Each Block cut:

Print Fabric Star Points - (4) 2 7/8" x 2 7/8" squares
Print Fabric Center Square - (1) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square
Background Fabric -  (1) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square
                                  (4) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares

So for all 11 Basic Star Blocks you will cut:

Print Fabric Star Points - (44) 2 7/8" x 2 7/8" squares - 4 squares each of 11 different prints
Print Fabric Center Square - (11) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square - 1 square each of 11 different prints
Background Fabric -  (11) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square
                                  (44) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares


This block is going to be super fast and easy, as we have essentially already made it in the center of the Double Star Block.  This Basic block is just a little smaller.   So, once again we will be using the   No-Waste method to make flying geese.   And I will be going over each step in detail, but if you still remember how to make these no-waste geese, just breeze over the directions.    So, let's get to it :)

Gather the 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" Background Squares and the 2 7/8" x 2 7/8" Print Squares.   Start by drawing diagonal lines on the back of all 44 of your print squares as shown.  (And if you have a 1/4" line marked on your sewing table like I talked about at the beginning of this tutorial, you can skip this drawing step ;)

With right sides together, lay two small print squares onto your large background square as shown.   Pin all 11 units on both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.   And set your extra 2 matching print small squares for each unit aside as we will be using them a little later.
     We will be chain stitching a  1/4" seam along BOTH sides of the drawn line, the black lines represent your stitching lines.

So to start, stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of the drawn line of your first unit.  When you get to the end of the unit, just start feeding the next unit in your machine.   Stitch 1/4" seam on all 11 units.   Then clip your threads between the Units.

Now, go ahead and stitch the 1/4" seam on the right hand side (or other side) of the drawn line on all 11 of your units.   Then clip the threads between the units and you ready for cutting.

Move to your cutting mat and align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut along the edge of the ruler creating 2 large triangles.   Cut all 11 units in half.

Now it's over to your ironing board.  Press the seams up towards the 2 little print triangles.  I find it easiest to press these from the front.    Press all 22 Units.   And you are half way there!!!  Now to use up those remaining small print squares. 

And it's just like starting over.  Take the little print squares (make sure they are matching fabrics) and align them on your stitched units as shown with right sides together.  Pin each piece then once again we are going to be stitching a 1/4" seam along BOTH sides of the drawn diagonal line.  

And again, we will be chain stitching to save time and thread.  So chain stitch along all the left hand side of the drawn line on all 22 of your units, clip your threads,  and then chain stitch along the right side of the drawn line on all 22 of our units, and then clip your threads again :)  You know your right on if your 1/4" seam lands right in the ditch of the print fabrics.  

Now place your units on your cutting mat, and using your ruler aligned on the drawn line cut your unit in half .   And that is where your 4 flying geese come from.  And with your 11 sets, you now have 44 units.

Press your seams up to match the other seam.   You can press from the front or the back, whichever your prefer.  (I still like the front here :)   Lastly, trim off the little dog ear corners at either side and the top of your unit.  Note, Just trim the dog ears, don't trim the tops to where the point is, you will need that 1/4" overlap for your seam allowance.  

And now you have 44 Flying Geese Units, 4 each of 11 prints  that should measure 2 1/2" x 4 1/2".   And if they aren't exactly perfect, no worries, and no need to trim, we will use the seams as our guide.   And if you do like to trim, just be sure to leave your 1/4" overlap at the top of the units!!! 


And with your units all done you can now make your Basic Star Block.  Layout a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Center Square, 4 matching Flying Geese Units, and 4 Background 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares as shown below.  I like to stack up all 11 of my blocks 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.

Place the Outside Units in each column onto the Center Column units with right sides together.  Align and chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the units in each of the 3 rows on either side of the center units.  And when you are stitching the Center Row units, be sure and stitch directly through the center of the Thread X made at the top of the Small Flying Geese Unit, even if that means you need to deviate a bit from a 1/4".  This will ensure that your star points are perfect!!

Press your seams in the top and bottom rows outwards towards the Background squares and press the seams in the center row inwards towards the Print Center square. This will allow you to nest them in the next step.

Place the Top and Bottom rows onto the Center rows with right sides together.  Align and Pin the seams.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the two pinned edges, once again, ensuring that you stitch directly through the center of the thread X at the top of the Flying Geese Units.

 And just press your seams open and you are done!!!!  11 Fantastic Basic Star Blocks that will measure 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" and are all ready for your Seeing Stars Quilt!!!  And another side note, I don't trim my blocks, but if you like to, just be sure to leave yourself the 1/4" seam allowance at the end of your star points ;)

So now it's your turn, get your Basic Star Blocks made and your assignment is complete!!!  And then you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by Lou Lou's Fabric Shop and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the  Seeing Stars Quilt-Along.

This weeks prize is a $20.00 Gift Certificate to Lou Lou's Fabric Shop.   Now you can get just the fabric you have had your eye on ;) 

So what do you have to do for a chance to win the Gift Certificate?  Simple . . . Just link up your Basic 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 September 19th as I will be announcing a winner in next quilt-a-long post :)

If you don't get your Basic 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  Basic 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 Basic Star Blocks  ;)

 Have a Happy Quilting Day!!  

And remember, any questions, just email me at ;)

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  1. Oh My GOODNESS!!! I am so excited. I LOVE Smitten. Thank you, Thank you

  2. I wanted to thank you for the fun QAL. I am really enjoying making all the blocks and can't wait to see how to make the next and final set of blocks. This pattern is fantastic!

  3. I'm ready for this week. I have some charms I want to add to this quilt. Yay!

  4. I’m a little worried about how much background fabric I have left. Do you have an idea of how much more is needed? I could order some if necessary. Thanks!


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