In June of 2017, I started my own Irish Stars Quilt. The goal was to make a queen size quilt using 1-1/2″ squares. The bucket of 1-1/2″ squares was positively overflowing and I knew I would cut as I went along. (It would involve a total of 9749 pieces, if I calculated correctly.)
But, this week I realized that the bucket…was nearly EMPTY.
Obviously, I have done some cutting as I go along, but still, the stock has fallen short. And I still have a long ways to go.
Unless I change plans.
The true queen would have been 95″ square and contain 365 blocks (19×19 layout of 5″ squares).
Right now I have 133 star blocks and 141 chain blocks. IF I change plans and go for an 85″ square quilt it will be only 289 blocks. I would be REALLY close.
So…what do I do? Change plans? Be happy? Press on?
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!
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.
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″);
- Attach one base square to one A background piece. Repeat a total of 4 times.
- 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.
- 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.
- Complete your corner sections by attaching the B background piece to the base-A units. Repeat a total of four times.
- 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.
- 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.
- Time to complete the star units by adding background D to the TOP (pointy part) of the unit you just created.
- 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. 🙂
- Finally, assemble the block 9-patch style, one row at a time.
- Ta-Dah! You have created an Irish Star block. YAY! Now, how many more do you have to go? Only 180 for me!!!
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.
You can start to see the chain effect, though it becomes much more noticeable when the blocks are assembled.