Yummy stack of fat quarters in Denyse Schmidt Shelburne Falls fabric line provided the inspiration to create a quilt made up of a series of large stars.
I'll show you how to sew this block using the triangle pieceing trick I learned last week at a friend's quilting group. Up until now I have always pieced triangles like this.
To make the above 24 inch square block you will need EIGHT 10 x 10 fabric squares.
Three 10x10 inch squares in background fabric (white above)
Two 10x10 inch squares in 'lighter fabric' color (stripes above)
Two 10x10 inch squares in 'darker fabric' color (squares + circles above)
One 10x10 inch square of complimentary fabric for four corners (flower print above)
Note: I do have some "layer cake" 10 inch block squares in these photos but i couldn't make these stars with just one layer cake because mine only had one square of each print and these blocks require two each. I also used the fat quarter packs. In the future I think I will stick with fat quarters or half yard pieces because it really doesn't take much time to cut 10 inch squares and you get the option to pre-wash your fabric.
One background + one lighter square
One background + one darker square
One background + complimentary fabric for corners
One Lighter square + one darker square
2. You now have 4 sets of 2 squares each.
Note: these next 5 photos are of a different square and feature different fabrics. This is because I used white thread in the original tutorial and needless to say the pictures didn't turn out so well. So I pieced another block this morning using blue thread so you can see better. Please don't mind the change in fabrics - everything else remains the same.
3. Take your 4 sets of blocks and place them RIGHT SIDES FACING EACH OTHER.
4. Here's the trick: SEW AROUND THE PERIMETER OF ALL 4 SIDES WITH A 1/4 INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE. DO NOT LEAVE ANY OPENINGS. WE WILL NOT BE TURNING THESE. WE WILL BE CUTTING THEM. (see photo ABOVE)
Once all 4 block sets are sewn...
After you sew around the perimeter of each of the 4 block sets above and then cut them each open into 1/4's on the diagonal you will have the 16 six-and-a-half-inch triangle blocks that you will need to make the large star block.
8. PRESS each block with seam allowance to the darker side.
9. Snip off extra fabric at the corners.
Note: Because we cut these blocks on the diagonal the unsewn corners are unstable because the warp and weft of the cotton threads are at an angle in these blocks. The ladies who shared this trick with me told me all would be fine once all seams are pieced. My old triangle piecing method produces a more stable block if this bothers you. Personally I think this method will work just fine but DO NOT IRON THESE SQUARES SO THE CORNERS WON'T STRETCH - JUST OPEN THEM UP AND PRESS THE SEAMS FLAT with a hot iron.
12. Next connect your sets of 2 into 4 rows of 4 squares each.
14. When sewing the rows together make sure that you match up the points. The easiest way to make sure your seams line up is to butt the seams together like this. I prefer not to pin but to match up the points and hold them butted up as I get to them. This involves stopping every so often as you sew your rows together and adjusting your fabric and butting up the coming point. I find that my seams align better when I stop and adjust several times midway through the row than if I pin all at once and then sew all the way through the row. Of course, use the method that best works for you.
15. Then begin all over again and make lots more blocks because this is easy and fun! Laying them out all over your couch is optional but highly recommended.
Let me know if you have any questions. I'll answer all questions in the comments so ask away!