I've been wanting to make a tutorial for this quilt block for ages.. I made a bunch for halloween (they became pillows) and my friends were so impressed. Since this block is very easy to make, and some people wanted an explanation, here is a tutorial!
Ah, this is not my idea, I got it from an old Fons & Porter tv show that I saw on QNN (www.quiltingchannel.com
). Those 2 ladies are the best!!!!
I made these 2 blocks for the december unconditional swap, an took pics along the way.
Kategirl, if you don't want to spoil your surprise.. stop reading NOW!!! PROS:
- easy instructions
- cut & sew as you go
- different every time
- you make 2 at a timeCONS:
- you never know *exactly* what size it's going to be (I started from 20cm squares and got 18.5cm square blocks after trimming)
- lots of cutting and lots of seams to sew (takes time)
- different every time
- all your friends are going to want one :-)YOU WILL NEED:
- know how to draw a 5 pointed star
- cutting mat, ruler & rotary cutter (NOT strictly necessary though.. you could use a very sharp pair of scissors, but have to be extra careful!!)
- 2 squares of contrasting fabric (any size is ok, but I would recommend at least 8" or 20cm)
- 1" (or 2.5cm) strips of contrasting fabric (make sure you have enough! usually 1-2 yards in length is enough). They should NOT be cut on the bias.
- ironing board & iron
- sewing machine (use a 1/4" or 0.7cm seam allowance). You could sew this by hand but it would probably take you 100 years
- seam ripper (every time I make these I have to rip out seams.. so it could be useful!)http://web.archive.org/web/20070202034726/http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic01.jpgHERE'S WHAT YOU'LL GET:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic18.jpgLET'S BEGIN!1.
Practise drawing a 5 pointed star on a piece of paper. This is crucial, really!! Once you cut, there's no going back. The way I do it, starting from the bottom left corner:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic00.jpg2.
Stack your 2 squares of constrasting fabric on the cutting mat (when stacking, always try to be as precise as possible!). Using your ruler & rotary cutter, cut the 1st line (that you would draw). http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic02.jpg3.
Now, separate the 2 parts that you just cut, and swap one top fabric with the bottom one. Then sew them back together, putting a 1" strip in between.http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic03.jpg
This is how you do it: first you sew a 1" strip to the larger (or smaller) piece of fabric, for both fabrics. Then you press the seam allowance toward the strip, and then trim excess strip fabric.http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic04.jpg
Then you sew the smaller (or larger) piece of fabric to the strip. Be careful that you should leave a little "triangle" of fabric sticking out, so when the 2 pieces are sewn and pressed, they line up. If you match the raw edges and sew, when you press open you will notice that the pieces DO NOT line up. That's because you're sewing triangle-like shapes!TIP:
To be sure (I hate ripping seams!!!) I use a pin to "simulate" my stitching.. then turn over and see if everything is ok. If it's not, I just move the fabric and pin until I am satisfied.
Remember to press the seam allowance toward the strip:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic05.jpg
This is what you get once you're done:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic06.jpg4.
Now, stack the 2 pieces again on the cutting mat, and make the second cut. When stacking, try to match the sewn strips rather then the edges of the block!! And when cutting, you should ALWAYS aim for the middle of the strip.http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic07.jpg
You will get a little "notch".. you can just throw away that little extra piece. You'll see what I mean when you get to this step. http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic08.jpg5.
Swap the fabric pieces, and like you did before, sew back together putting a 1" strip in between, trimming the excess strip fabric when neededhttp://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic09.jpg
This is how it looks now: (you can see that, again, the seam allowances are pressed toward the strip)http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic11.jpg6.
Stack again, cut again, and get ready to swap the fabrics:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic12.jpg7.
Sew the strip to the larger (or smaller) piece, press, trim and CAREFULLY line up the smaller (larger) piece before sewing!!!! There is a "joint" where you should try to make the pieces line up the best you can, so you get a straight line. Again, you can use the "pin instead of sewing" techique to see if your pieces are lined up correctly.http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic13.jpg
When you're done, you get this:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic14.jpg8.
One more stacking, cutting, and sewing back together. This time, too, you'll have to be careful to match up lines. Have that seam ripper handy!!!
(no pics for this step)9.
Ready for the last step! Stack your blocks once again, and get ready to cut. At this point, you just have to join the 2 points.. remember to always aim for the middle of the strip when cuttinghttp://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic15.jpg
Sew back together, putting a 1" strip in between, trim, and press toward the strip. You should have something like this now:http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic16.jpg11.
Trim your blocks so that they are squarehttp://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic17.jpg12.
Add a border to reach the desired sizehttp://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic18.jpg
You're finished!!!COMMON MISTAKE:
Sewing back together the WRONG pieces of fabric is a big no-no. Here is an example. (I didn't do it on purpose!!!!!!!! It can happen if you're not careful)http://www.wakarimasen.org/pics/pic10.jpg