Thursday, May 2, 2013

Star Value Block and Quilt - A Tutorial

Happy Friday Everyone!!!    Today I am so happy to share my block and quilt tutorial, Star Value.  Star Value is a super fun block that is made with just squares and half square triangles.  And with 5 size options it is sure to work for any project you have in mind :)  Don't you just love the low volume scrappy background, and plenty of scrappy color pop!   Star Value will have you pulling out your scrap bins and getting your scrap busting groove on!!!

And to get an idea of how this block will look in a finished quilt . . . I drafted up a little EQ drawing.  So fun, huh!!!  My bee will be making this block for me this month and I can't wait to see all of those fabulous scrappy blocks.  It is going to be amazing, I just know it!!

Alright, I promised you a Star Value tutorial so let's get to it!!!

**To see a simplified PDF Printer Friendly Version of this Tutorial please go here  for The Star Value PDF it is available for Free Download!!

First, you will need to decide what size block you would like to make!! The block shown is a 20" block.


Using the diagram above, go through your scraps and cut the total number of squares indicated for your chosen block size.  If you are making multiple blocks for a quilt top, multiply the quantity by the number of blocks you want to make.   Once you are done cutting you should have piles that look something like this.  As you can see, the scrappier the better!!


The fun thing about this block is it only takes Half Square triangles and the squares you have already cut.  So let's start by making some Half Square Triangles.  Match your blocks cut for Half Square Triangles into the following sets - 8 matching color/white sets, 8 grey/white sets, and 4 any color/grey sets.

Hint - When making an entire quilt of blocks,  to save time be sure and repeat each of the sub-steps in an assembly line fashion.

On the wrong side of the darker fabric using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.

Lay your darker square on your lighter square with rights sides together.  Pin both sides adjacent to that drawn line.  Make sure to put them out far enough that your presser foot won't hit them as you sew on by :)  Stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)

And remember, you are doing these assembly line so go ahead and chain stitch all the sets on the right hand side of the line, and then go back and do all the sets on the left hand side.

Clip your threads and then align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line.

Now press towards your darker fabric.

And now you are ready to trim up your HST.  The following are the trim sizes for each size block
       12" - 2" square     16" - 2 1/2" square     20" - 3" square     24" - 3 1/2" square   28" - 4" square
I will use the 3" trim for the example.  Start by aligning the 45 degree line on your square ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Make sure that the raw edges of the half square triangle are over the 3" line's on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.

Now spin your block 180 degrees.  Once again, align the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Align the raw edges of the half square triangle under the ruler on the 3" lines on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.

And now you have Perfect Half Square Triangles.  They take a bit to trim but are totally worth it for perfect points!!

You should have 40 Half Square Triangles total.


And now you are ready to start assembling your block!!  Note - It's easy to get turned around with this block so I find it is always easiest to lay each step out so things don't get turned around.  (And even with that, I still unpicked a seam or 2 :)  Start by laying out 4 sets of color/white HST's with the matching color squares and 4 white color squares as follows.

I find the easiest way to piece this is to sew the squares into 4 quadrants of 4 first.  So start by placing the the first square in each row onto the second square and the third squares onto the fourth squares with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along all the edges. (Shown in upper left corner).  Press the seams of each quadrant in opposite directions.  (Shown in upper right corner).  Now place the top row in each of the 4 quadrants onto the bottom row.  Nest the center seam and pin in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along pinned edge of all 4 quadrants (Shown in bottom left corner.)  Press the seams open. (shown in bottom right corner.)

And now you should have 4 quadrants of 4 pieced squares.  And now you can sew those 4 quadrants together.

Place the left hand blocks onto the right hand blocks with right sides together.  Once again, nest the center seam and pin in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along pinned edge.  Press your seams open.

**Note, when you are sewing this seam, if you make sure to cross your seam directly at the bottom of the little white triangle created in the seam you will get a perfect point every time :)

Now just place the top row onto the bottom, and be sure to align and pin each seam in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then press the seam open.

And your center star is complete!!  Set this aside for the moment.


And now, you are ready to do the diamond points.  This is the exact same process as before of making quadrants into blocks.  And note - You will be making 4 of these so assembly line fashion again will save you time.  For each set gather up 4 grey/white HST's and 2 Grey/color HST's and lay them out as follows.

This time I placed the the second square in each row onto the first square and the fourth square onto the third squares with right sides together and sewed a 1/4" seam along all the edges. (it's fun to mix it up a bit).  Press the seams of each quadrant in opposite directions.  Then place the top row in each of the 2 quadrants onto the bottom row and nest and pin the center seam and sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Press the seams open.

Place the right hand blocks onto the left hand block with right sides together.  Once again, nest the center seam and pin in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along pinned edge.  Press your seams open.  Remember to make a total of 4 of these units.


And all you have left is the corners.  And by now, you are a pro at sewing these little quadrants together!!  Gather your remaining 4 Colored Squares, 8 matching colored/white HST's and 4 white squares and lay them out into 4 sets as follows.

Sew the quadrants together just like before, sewing the squares into rows first, pressing in opposite directions, and then sewing the top and bottom row together and pressing the seam open.  As always, use a 1/4" seam and be sure to nest your seams.

And then you have 4 fantastic corner blocks!


Which means, you are ready to sew the entire block together!!!  Lay your pieces out as follows.

Place the right hand blocks in each row onto the center blocks with right sides together.  Align your seams and pin in place.  Repeat for the left hand blocks as well.  Sew a 1/4" seam along all the pinned edges.  Press the seams open.

And you should now have 3 fantastic rows. Only 2 more seams to go!!

Place the top row onto the center row with right sides together and once again align and pin each seam.  Repeat for the bottom row onto the center row as well.  Sew a 1/4" seam along each of the pinned edges.  Press the seams open.

Now just sit back and enjoy your fantastic Star Value block!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!!!  I really had so much fun designing and creating it and hope you will as well!!!  If you do create a Star Value block I would love to see it . . . You can email me a picture at or share on social media  with  #happyquiltingwithmc or add it to my  Flickr Group.  I can't wait to check it out!!

And now let's get a finished quilt shown!!!!  Here is my Star Value Quilt!!!!   And a huge thanks so my bee mate friends who each made a block ;)  It just added to the scrappy goodness!!!!

This is a 3 x 4 layout, so only 12 blocks of the 20" size which makes a great lap quilt at 60" x 80" ;)   Isn't that so much fun!!!

I quilted mine with an all over Swirl.  I love the movement it adds and how it softens all of those points from all the HST's ;)

And I finished the quilt with a scrappy binding.  I always save the leftovers from my bindings, and I just love getting to use up a bunch of them!!!  And I mean, what better way to finish a scrappy quilt than with a scrappy binding!!!

This really is such an awesome scrap buster quilt!!!  So whether you make one block at a time, or make all your blocks at once, you are going to have some happy scrap busting!!!

Thanks for popping in today and sharing this Star Value Block Tutorial and Quilt Finish with me!!!

I hope you hall have a very Happy Quilting Day!!! 
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100 Blocks Blog Tour - Plaid Squared

Today's my stop on Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol 7 blog tour and I am so excited to get to share my block.  I call it Plaid Squared.  It's block #657 and is on page 50, which is super easy to find because it is right where the insert is, so the magazine just wants to flip open to that page all on it's own, yup, I got a kick out of that!!

Plaid Squared is a modern block that looks fantastic in solids.  The block was actually inspired by my husband's robe, which is made of a plaid flannel print.  I know, only quilters cut up and recreate something inspired by fabric in the first place :)  The fun thing about the simplistic nature of Plaid Squared is that it has endless design options :)  Like simply alternating the color layout to make a fantastic picnic blanket.

Or maybe, doing solid color blocks to really emphasize the design.  Wouldn't these just be the cutest baby blankets for little baby boy and little baby girl.  And you could easily add some applique in the center of the squares if you wanted to add a little punch.

And for a super bold look, you can always add a background color.  Don't you just love the way a super dark background just makes the colors pop!!!   And what a great way to bust some scraps!! 

Plaid Squared  also can be easily put into a sampler quilt as it will match with just about anything.  In fact, Colette DeGroot's, one of the fabulous block testers, used Plaid Squared in her adorable Summer Picnics, Hugs and Kisses sampler found in the back of the magazine.  (Yup, I was pretty thrilled to see it there :)

And I loved the idea of using Plaid Squared for a summertime project and thought wouldn't this just make the cutest summer tablecloth??  Some beautiful citrus colors and maybe add some lemon, lime, and raspberry shaped applique's!!  Yup, I think I have another project on my to do list :)

The possibilities are just endless.  And speaking of endless possibilities, be sure to pop on over to Quiltmaker and see all of the other blocks on the tour.  They are fantastic!!  But before you go . . .

Would you like to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol 7??   Quiltmaker will be sending a copy of 100 Blocks to a lucky winner!!

And for fun, I will also send that lucky winner their choice of 3 of my patterns!!


So . . . .  What do you have to do for a chance to win?????

Simple . . .  Just leave a comment.  How about any comment that includes the number 7 :)  

Easy right.  The giveaway is open to everyone and will end on  May 9th and a winner will be announced shortly after.

Oh, and by the Way . . . If you are stopping by for the first time, Welcome!! I am so glad you stopped by and hope you will come back often.  I just love sharing my passion for quilting.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blocks, Blocks, Blocks

This week has been all about Blocks.  No big quilting projects, just blocks for this, that and the other :)

The first block, I can't show a picture of.  It is my block for the Between Heaven and Texas Blog Hop that I will share on Friday :)  It will also double as my May Beejeeber's block so I am super excited to see it quickly turn into a quilt :)


I also managed to get my April Beejeeber's block put together and fiinished it last night.  So technically, does that mean it is on time??  Linz asked us to make improv circle blocks via this tutorial.  She will be using the blocks to make a bedspread for her boy.  It was a fun block to put together and I was delighted to use up some of my ever growing scrap stash :)

The last blocks will be sent off to Quilts for Boston.  Have you heard about it??  The Boston Quilt Guild is collecting blocks to be made into quilts and given to those families affected by the horrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Making these blocks helped in the healing process for me, it is nice to feel that in this little way I can reach out and do something that will hopefully help to bring peace to those hurt in this terrible act of violence.

Lastly, I have a few blocks in process.  I need to make some block samples for the classes I will be teaching in June at the Panguitch Quilt Walk.  I am starting with some Refracted blocks cutting into my treasured Pure fat quarters.  After the class, the samples will be turned into a baby quilt for my sister :)  Love it when you can double up projects!!

And since I haven't listed my WIP in a while . . . here's the rundown :)

Designing Stage
  • Circle Meets Square Quilt 
  • Midnight Stars
  • Boxed In and Out
  • Becca's Baby Quilt
Piecing Stage
  • Jessi and Me Quilt 
  • SD
  • Block of the Month - Lucky Stars (So far behind, I don't know if I will ever get caught up)
  • Scrappy Stars
  • Jen's Baby Quilt / Class Samples
Quilting Stage
  • Solids Quilt for Free Motion
  • Starburst Quilt-A-Long (I need to schedule to go rent time on a long arm)
Completed Stage
  • Refracted Rainbows Mini
  • Road Home Snuggler
  • Ring Around
  • Beejeeber's April Block
  • Going Dutch Block
  • Scrunchy Strips - For Kami
  • Star for Texas Block -My May Beejeebers Block
Linking up to Lee's :)
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