Quilt Block Tutorial: Quasar

A quasar is a spinning star. That seemed an appropriate name for this block, designed specially for the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt-as-you-wish-Along.

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Don’t be put off by the number of pieces. It goes together fairly easily (just watch seam allowance) and makes good use of scrap or that honeybun you bought because it was so cute and haven’t known what to do with it.

By the way, you can make 30 of these blocks out of a single honeybun plus background fabric.  That is enough for a nice size quilt, particularly if you use alternate setting blocks or an on-point setting.

Jane suggested we say a little about design inspiration.  Well, I love stars and pinwheels, too.  This block sort of brings them together.

My design software is usually the back of junk mail envelopes or 1/4-sheets of scrap paper I keep lying around the house.  Here is my first idea.

The problem with that block was that it really and truly had too many pieces and each section had to be assembled differently.

Then I realized that I could make one pattern four times and spin them.  Ah!  Happiness!

Yep, that is my beautiful sketch of a quarter-block with the basic measurements written in and checked after I made sure they were correct.

I am sure that real design software helps, but anyone with a pencil and a dream can design.  Don’t doubt yourself.  Give it a try.  You might be surprised at what you find in your head.

Anyway, after  way more than you wanted to know, here you have:

QUASAR QUILT BLOCK TUTORIAL

Finished size 8″ (rough size 8-1/2″)

Cut the following out of background fabric:

4 squares 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

8 squares 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches

8 rectangles 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

Cut the following from your scraps (or honeybun strips),  These can be completely scrappy or in sets of four:

8 squares 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches

ASSEMBLY

1. Sew a 1-1/2″ colored square to the corner of a 2-1/2″ background square.  Sew along the diagonal of the colored square.  Make four of these.

2. Sew a 1-1/2″ colored square to the end of a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ background rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the colored square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the correct direction. Make four of these.

3. Sew a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ background rectangle to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Line up so the colored rectangle is on the bottom and the background rectangle is pointed to the left.  Make a small mark if needed to see where to start your stitching.  Sew along the diagonal of the background rectangle. Make four of these.

4. Sew a 1-1/2″ background  square to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 3-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the background square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the right direction. Make four of these.

5. Sew a 1-1/2″ background  square to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 4-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the background square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the right direction. Make four of these.

6. Now you need to trim off all the little triangles, leaving seam allowance, to prepare for pressing and block assembly.

7. Press seam allowance open or towards the colored pieces.

8. Now you are ready to create your quarter blocks.  I did mine assembly line style, adding each new part four times, then pressing, then moving on to the next part .  Start with the 2-1/2″ square.  Keeping the colored piece in the upper left hand corner, add the 2-1/2″ background piece with the colored triangle in the upper right corner.  Press. Again, make four of these.

9. Add the 2-1/2″ colored and background rectangle to the right side of the 2-1/2″ square, colored section at the bottom.  Press. Again, make four of these.

10. Add the 3-1/2″ colored rectangle to the bottom of the existing shape, background triangle to the lower left.  Press. As you know by now, make four of these.

**SORRY:  No picture of this step**

11. Add the 4-1/2″ colored rectangle to the right of the existing shape, with the background triangle to the upper right. Now you should have a shape that looks like this. This is one quarter of the finished block.  And, you will have four of them.

12. Lay out your block so the 4-1/2″ rectangles are in the center and form a spinning star pattern.  Sew together and press seams.  TA-DAH!  You have a Quasar Block.

Or, two…or more.

These little blocks are fun and satisfying to make.  I plan to make an at least throw size quilt before I am done.

I look forward to seeing the blocks you make.  Thank you for visiting Wedding Dress Blue.  And, thank you to Jane for letting me be a part of her Quilt-as-you-wish-Along.

*****QUASAR BLOCK GALLERY*****

Susanne’s Version from make.share.give

Karen’s version from The House of Wilson

16 thoughts on “Quilt Block Tutorial: Quasar

  1. I popped in from FNSI and scrolled down to see this fantastic block. I would be whipping up a few of these myself if I didn’t have SO many things on the go at the moment.

  2. My Quasar block is finished and in the Desperate Housewives flickr group. It made me think of 4 tulips and leaves. I used up some little pieces I’d been saving. It was really fun to make. I love how it came together- like a little puzzle challenge.

    1. The blocks should be 8-1/2″ unfinished or 8″ finished. Deanna

      ________________________________

  3. Thank you, thank you. You have made it all so easy I like that you showed the thoughtvpt
    Process. Looking forward to more. You gave this 70 year old beginning quilter the confidence to actually do a project.

  4. Very attractive block, want to make it and was wondering about the bulk to the back….did you press open the seams, or is it not necessary? Thanks

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