Irish Star Quilt Along Part 4: Irish Star STAR Block TUTORIAL

Welcome back to the Irish Star quiltalong.  If this is your first visit, or as a refresher, refer to the IRISH STAR QUILTALONG tab above for previous posts and general information.

Today I am sharing the STAR block for our Irish Star quilt.  The construction is a little different and took me a few tries to get it right.  Please feel free to ask for clarification at any step of the way.  Some readers have decided that they are going to make the STAR blocks their main project and let the Chain blocks be their leader ender–works for me!

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I look forward to seeing all your quilts grow!

NOTE:  below the first measurement given is for a 1-1/2″ base square quilt.  In parentheses are the sizes for the 2″ and 2-1/2″, in that order.

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MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK (29 pieces in all):

*4 base size squares 1-1/2″, 2″ or 2-1/2″–from your scrappy squares

*For star center and points- 8 base size squares 1-1/2″ (2″, 2-1/2″) and 1 center square 2-1/2″ (3-1/2″, 4-1/2″)

*From background– A) 4 1″x1-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x2″, 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″); B) 4 1″x2″ (4 1-1/4″x2-3/4″, 4 1-1/2″x3-1/2″); C) 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″ (4 2″x3-1/2″, 4 2-1/2″x4-1/2″); D) 4 1″x2-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x3-1/2″, 4 1-1/2″x4-1/2″);

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Attach one base square to one A background piece.  Repeat a total of 4 times.DSC00617
  2. Normally I am not obsessive about pressing direction and just let things go as they will, but this time, PRESS OPEN.  You will thank me later.  Particularly if you are using 1-1/2″ base squares. DSC00618
  3. Arrange your base square-A units around your star center.  NOTE:  The colored square will be UP and OUT from the center.  The background pieces are IN and DOWN/TOWARDS the star center.  Place your background B piece next to them. Keep this reference point in mind. DSC00620
  4. Complete your corner sections by attaching the B background piece to the base-A units. Repeat a total of four times.
  5. Now you are going to build the points of the stars using your background C pieces and the Star Point base square pieces. You will use the stitch-trim-flip method.  I recommend you add the star points by stitching from the middle diagonally towards the point.  This reduces the likelihood of the fabric being “eaten” by the machine.
  6. Attach one to each background piece.  Stitch-trim-flip and iron open.  Then add the second point piece to each background C.  Stitch-trim-flip and IRON open.
  7. Time to complete the star units by adding background D to the TOP (pointy part) of the unit you just created.
  8. Lay out your star parts–you should have 9 small units to assemble.  Double check that the corners are correctly aligned with the colored base squares UP and OUT compared to the star center.  Check again. Avoid your seam ripper. 🙂DSC00647
  9. Finally, assemble the block 9-patch style, one row at a time.
  10. Ta-Dah!  You have created an Irish Star block.  YAY!  Now, how many more do you have to go?  Only 180 for me!!!20170807_142936

Let me know how it is going and if you see any errors (especially that) or if you have any questions.  I am so happy with my growing collection of blocks.  It is going to be a beautiful quilt.DSC00655

You can start to see the chain effect, though it becomes much more noticeable when the blocks are assembled. DSC00653

Irish Star Quilt Along Part 3: Triple Irish Chain Block TUTORIAL

Welcome to The Irish Stars Quilt Along Part 3:  Triple Irish Chain Block.  If you are new or nearly new, you might want to check out the IRISH STARS QUILT ALONG tab for more information.  Don’t worry.  You aren’t late.  You got here right on time.  It is THAT kind of quilt along.

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The Triple Irish Chain block is just a  lot of squares.  It is the arrangement that makes all the difference.  Remember that this tutorial is for a single block.  Refer to Irish Star Quilt Along Part 2: Size and Scale to decide how many blocks you need to make for your quilt.  The number will vary between 4 and 180.  Yep, really!

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MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK:

21 base squares 1-1/2, 2 or 2-1/2″

4 background squares to match the size above.

CONSTRUCTION:

  1. The only thing you HAVE to do in making this block is to make sure your background squares (white in my case) are correctly positioned:  in the CENTER position on each side.  DSC00576
  2. Grab 2 squares and sew them together.  You will do this a lot of times.  I keep my stack of squares to the right of my sewing machine in a little space where they are very handy but out of the way of my regular sewing.DSC00574
  3. I get asked how I make the decision of what to sew together.  Basically I try to keep good contrast between colors and not have the same fabric appear twice in a single block.  That is about as far as the “theory” goes.  Trust yourself and keep it lively.
  4. You will make 2 rows in the pattern: color, color, BACKGROUND, color, color. DSC00579
  5. You will make 1 row in the pattern: BACKGROUND, color, color, color, BACKGROUND.DSC00581
  6. You will make 2 rows of  color, color, color, color, color.DSC00585
  7. Lay them out in order as shown and sew together, nesting seam allowances in opposite directions.DSC00588
  8. Cut accurately. Press diligently.  Watch your seam allowance.  That is all that is really needed to be successful in working with small pieces. DSC00590
  9. Ta-dah!  You have completed a block.  Remember that your base square size determines the size of your block:  if 1-1/2″ then a 5-1/2″ block, if 2″ then 8″ block, if 2-1/2″ then a 10-1/2″” block. This is size-as-created including the seam allowance.  They will each be 1/2″ smaller when finished
  10. I am storing mine in a perfect size container.  It is very satisfying to watch them pile up.  The nice thing about scrappy leader-ender quilting is that it is practically FREE!  Other than the time to cut the squares, you are using thread you would have thrown away and fabric you would have thrown away. How worthwhile to make a quilt instead!DSC00592

Irish Stars Quilt Along Part 1: Basics and Preparation

Welcome to the Irish Stars Quilt Along!

IrishStarsButton

So many of you responded positively to the invitation to leader-ender-along with me that we are going to go ahead with it.  This will NOT be a traditional quilt along where we issue a specific step on a specific date.  Rather, we will all be producing blocks at a rate that suits our sewing style and our goal.  We’ll do it together for a while (time undetermined) until we have completed some quilts and it has served its purpose.

In order to prepare for this quilt along you should:

  1. Study up (or refresh your memory) on what a leader-ender quilt is.  As far as I know, Bonnie Hunter invented the term and still is considered the guru: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/leaders-enders-whys-and-hows.html
  2. Decide on your base square size:  1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″.  How to decide?  Well, what do you have the most of, either already cut or easily cut from your scraps?  That is how you will know.  We will NOT only use squares this size.  You will also need some background fabric (can also be scrappy, but should be in one color family and a good contrast to your base square color–I am using whites).  You will also need some fabric of other sizes for the stars.  Some have asked if the stars can be scrappy also.  Yes, they can, because anything can, but mine will not be.  I believe having the stars each made from a single fabric will help the eye to have a resting place.  You could even make all of your stars a single color–yellow, for example–and NOT use that color in your scrappy squares.  So many decisions.
  3. Gather your fabric and start cutting your scraps.  In the next few days I will post again with tips and suggestions for deciding on a goal size for your quilt.

Thank you for your enthusiasm.  Let’s get scrappy!

 

ps–My thanks to Susan for the great button–feel free to grab it and share on your blog or to invite others to participate.

TUTORIAL: Lily Pad Baby Quilt

This happy little quilt is based on the Fresh Flowers quilt by Karen. (You can see the original here: http://piecesofcontentment.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/fresh-flowers-quilt.html ) She kindly gave permission for me to resize it and write a tutorial for the design.  I just love the happy shape.  Hers uses a charm pack (5″ squares), a great alternative.  This one is based on 4″ squares.

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Finished size: 32-1/2″ 32-1/2″

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MATERIALS

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36 4″ squares.  Use scraps to give variety.  On this one I used 6 different fabrics in the six colors chosen to match the backing fabric.  I like doing that with baby quilts.

1/3 yard for the outer “strip” and binding (not shown in picture above)

1  yard background fabric

1-1/8  yard backing fabric (or as required for quilting technique)

batting suitable

CUTTING DIRECTIONS

  • Prepare your colored squares.  36 of them.
  • Background fabric:
    • 36 4″ squares
    • 4 2-1/2″x 9-1/2″ strips
    • 4 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ strips
    • 4 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ strips
    • 2 1-1/2″ x 30-1/2″ strips
    • 2 1-1/2″ x 32-1/2″ strips
  • Colored Strip:
    • 4 1-1/2″x9-1/2″ strips
    • 4 1-1/2″x10-1/2″ strips
    • 4 2-1/4″xWOF for binding

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Pair the colored squares with background squares.  Draw a diagonal line across the back of the background square.  Stitch 1/4″ away from the line on each side.  Cut and iron open to create two half-square triangles. Do this 36 times.  It will create 72 half-square triangle blocks.

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2. Square up the half-square triangles to 3-1/2″ inches. Yes, this does matter.

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3. Lay it out in a pleasing arrangement.  You will notice that it is an arrangement of 8 by 8, plus 8 more in triangles outside the array.

4. Stitch the rows together.  I created strips and then sewed the strips together, nesting the seams for accurate piecing and to minimize bulk.

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5. Now you are going to create the first set of borders.  Sew the 1-1/2″x9-1/2″ colored strips to the 2-1/2″x9-1/2″ background strips.  Do this four times.

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6. Make a long border that uses a strip-background pair, two half square triangles in a pyramid shape, and a second strip-background pair. Make sure the colored strip is on the side that is at the base of the pyramid as shown below.  To this two times.

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7. Attach the borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.

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8. Now, you are going to create the borders for the other two sides.  The technique is similar, but there are extra pieces. First, attach the 1-1/2″x2-1/2″ background pieces to the 1-1/2″x10-1/2″ colored strip.  Do this four times.

NOTE: I thought for sure that I had pictures of each step. I guess I was caught up in the creative process.  I’ll have to make another one sometime soon and do better on photography.

9. Stitch the pieced strip to the 2-1/2″x12-1/2″ background strips.  Double check first to make sure the small background  piece will end up on the outer end of the larger pieced unit and on the base of the triangle.  Yep, I had to use my seam ripper here when I didn’t double check. 🙂 Do this four times.

10. Again, Make a long border that uses a background-strip-background pair, two half square triangles in a pyramid shape, and a second background-strip-background pair. Make sure the colored strip is on the side that is at the base of the pyramid.  Do this two times.

11. Attach the borders to the sides of the quilt.  The colored strips should meet, giving a continuous look to the corners of the colored border.

12.  Attach the 1-1/2″x30-1/2″ background strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.

13.  Attach the 1-1/2″x32-1/2″ background strips to the sides of the quilt.

14. Ta-dah!  You have a finished quilt top.

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LILY PAD GALLERY

This is the first Lily Pad quilt I made, for a family in my neighborhood.

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Your beautiful creations shared here…

TUTORIAL: Times Two Baby Quilt

This isn’t a full tutorial with step-by-step photos, but, I hope you will enjoy it and feel free to ask clarifying questions.  It is perfect for using up scraps from a jelly roll or other leftover strips (which is what I did here).  I am planning another one with random-width strips in the near future.

Enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TIMES TWO

33-1/2″ 33-1/2″

MATERIALS

an assortment of strips 2″ wide, or a charm pack and a half-ish, or leftover jelly roll scraps, or whatever makes you happy

3/4 yard background fabric

1-1/8  yard backing fabric (or as required for quilting technique)

batting suitable

1/3 yard binding fabric

CUTTING DIRECTIONS

  1. From your colored fabric, cut at least 108 rectangles 4-1/4″ x 2″.  You can also strip piece the fabric and then subcut blocks 4-1/4″ x 9-1/2″
  2. From your background fabric, cut the following: a) 21 2″x9-1/2″ strips, b) 4 2″x2″ squares, c) 2 2″x30-1/2″ strips, d) 2 2″x 33-1/2″ strips.

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Using the colored strips, piece 6 into units measuring 4-1/4″x9-1/2″.  Create 18 of these.  If using miscellaneous scraps, stitch them together and then trim to form units of the same size.
  2. Form complete blocks using 2 units and one background strip measuring 2″ x 9-1/2″.  Create 9 of these.
  3. Lay out the blocks so that they alternate vertical and horizontal layouts.  This is where I really regret not taking step-by-step pictures, but look at the pictures I do have and you’ll get it.
  4. Join the blocks into rows using background strips measuring 2″ x 9-1/2″.  It will take 6 to do the job. You will make three rows.
  5. Create sashing strips using 3 background strips measuring 2″ x 9-1/2″ and 2 of the 2″x2″ squares.  Make two of these.
  6. Join the rows together with the sashing strips between.
  7. Add the 2″x30-1/2″ strips to the sides and the 2 2″x 33-1/2″ strips to the top and bottom.  Congratulations, you have a quilt top.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  8. Layer, baste and quilt as desired.  I used a simple diagonal through the blocks.  It was something I could handle on my home machine.
  9. Label and bind.  Ta-dah!  You have a quilt.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TUTORIAL: Pint Size Baby Quilt

Little squares again?  Yep, I never seem to get tired of them.  This quilt is based on 2-1/2″ squares and you might have some of those, or something close to it, laying around.  You can use plain old scraps, jelly roll leftovers, a charm pack (with a few friends)…really just about anything.  I have a plastic shoe box where I put 2-1/2″ squares as I cut them.  All I had to do was sort through the box and find pieces that worked.  Don’t worry…the box is still full.  In fact, the box is ALWAYS full.  Scraps don’t seem to match the laws that govern the rest of the universe.

PINT SIZE

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37-1/2″ 37-1/2″

block size:  8″ finished (8-1/2″ raw)

MATERIALS

192 2-1/2″ squares.  You can use scraps, a jelly roll, or take one-and-a-little charm packs and cut them into quarters

1-1/3  yards background fabric (in the model I used two different colors, but both the white sashing and borders and the very light blue in the blocks is background)

1-1/4  yard backing fabric (or as required for quilting technique)

batting suitable

1/3 yard binding fabric

CUTTING DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare your colored squares.  Because I am sometimes a little obsessive, mine get sorted by color.  But, you don’t have to do that.  Just make sure a good pile is ready.
  2. Background fabric–for each block you will need 4 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares and 4 2-1/2″x 4-1/2″ rectangles.   That means a total of 64 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares and 64 2-1/2″x 4-1/2″ rectangles.
  3. Background fabric, continued–for sashing and borders you will need 24 1-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangles, 9 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ squares, 2 1-1/2″ x 35-1/2″ strips and 2 1-1/2″ x 37-1/2″ strips.

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Using your colored squares, create a four patch block.  Be color obsessive (I raise my hand here), or just grab 4 pieces and stitch them together.  The finished 4-patch blocks should measure 4-1/2″ square. Do this 16 times.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Choose one of your 4-patch centers, 8 colored squares, 4 2-1/2″ background fabric squares and 4 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ background rectangles.  Lay out your proposed block.
  3. You will create a flying geese block using 2 colored squares and a background rectangle.  Use the “stitch and flip” method. Do this four times.
  4. Assemble the block as you would a 9-patch.  Just join the sections into rows, then join the rows together.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  5. Yay!  You have a finished block.
  6. Do steps 2-5 a total of 16 times.
  7. Lay out your blocks in a pleasing arrangement.  If they are scrappy enough, it probably doesn’t matter.  But, just looking at them all is part of the fun.
  8. Create rows of blocks by alternating four blocks with the 1-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ background strips between.  It will take three strips. Do this four times.
  9. Create sashing rows by alternating 1-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ background strips with 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ background squares.  It will take four strips and three squares.  Do this three times.
  10. Sew the block rows and sashing rows together.
  11. Attach the 2 1-1/2″ x 35-1/2″ strips and 2 1-1/2″ x 37-1/2″ strips to the top and bottom and then the sides.  You have a finished top.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  12. Layer, baste and quilt as desired.  I used a simple diagonal through the blocks.  It was something I could handle on my home machine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  13. Label and bind.  Ta-dah!  You have a quilt.
    PINT SIZE GALLERY

Your beautiful creation here…

 

 

TUTORIAL: The K-Quilt

This quilt was designed for two different babies, so we have already made it twice with two really different looks.  I don’t have step-by-step pictures, so this is more like a general guide, but I do hope you’ll like the results!

K-QUILT TUTORIAL

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Finished size approximately 39″ x 49″

MATERIALS/CUTTING DIRECTIONS

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109 4″ assorted squares of all the beautiful colors

40 4″ squares background (for stars)

20 4-1/2″ squares, cut on the diagonal (for star points)

5 4″ squares (for star centers)

1-1/2 yards WOF for back

1/3 yard WOF for binding (cut at 2-1/4″)

CONSTRUCTION

  1. You will build 5 star blocks using the background and star fabrics listed above.  I followed THIS TUTORIAL for the stars themselves.  They will seem a little awkward at first, but the result is worth it. NOTE:  The tutorial uses 5″ squares, but it works just fine with the changed dimensions.

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2. Lay out the quilt in a pattern 11 blocks wide and 14 blocks high.  Note the placement of the stars.  Now you can see the reason it is called a “K-quilt.”  See the constellation?  The family name of the baby it was designed for begins with a K.  I try to sneak special messages into quilts when I can.

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3. Assembly is a little tricky, but if you build chunks you can join them together with no partial seams.  Here is one suggestion from my lovely sketched plan for the quilt.

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4. Ta-dah!  You have a finished top.  Now just quilt and bind and it is a completed quilty item.  I used a spiral done free-hand on my grandmother’s faithful Pfaff 130.  Not fancy, but it gets the job done.

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5. Here is a glance at the back.  The fabric was printed by Cranston Print Works in 2007.  I don’t know the line.  But I love it!

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K-QUILT GALLERY

Sparkle Jane was commissioned to make a baby quilt and decided to use this pattern, too.  What a difference a color scheme makes!

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…your beautiful creation HERE