Quilt size: 46" X 46"
Block size: 8"
Click HERE for Printer-Friendly Version!
I WAS going to do it last weekend, but I got busy with going to retreat ---
I started wondering if I had taken enough pictures of the process to write the directions without having to make another block to show each step. My Bernina is with Lisa getting a tune-up and as I write this, I don’t have another machine set up, so I grabbed my featherweight, set it up and set to making a sample with the novelty square that Laura had given me at retreat.
It’s a simple block --- a traditional Evening Star made with squares and flying geese units. When it comes to the flying geese, my favorite method is using my 2.5” strips and my easy angle ruler and my companion angle ruler. I get BOTH shapes out of one width of strip this way….
Of course, there are many methods for making flying geese, some using bricks and squares which give you cut off bonus units, or some using a larger square, and smaller squares to make two identical units – in which case, you’d have to make two sets to get the four geese that you need.
I don’t keep 5-1/4” squares or 2-7/8” squares on hand, which is what I would NEED to cut to make these geese with the square method. Or larger, if you are using a ruler that has you cut extra big so you can sew haphazardly and then use the ruler to trim everything down to some perfect size later ---
But cutting from scrap strips already cut to size waiting for me in my Scrap User’s System drawers is what works for me. So let’s get started on some stars shall we? This quilt has 16 star blocks, each with a center square cut from a fun novelty fabric.
From Novelty fabrics cut 16 4.5” squares.
Choose three different 2.5” scrap fabric strips in colors to go with each novelty square.
From one strip, use the Companion Angle Ruler, and the 2.5” marking down the center of the ruler to cut 4 quarter square triangles. If you are NOT using the Companion Angle Ruler, cut a 5-1/4” Square, and slice it twice on the diagonal with an X to give you the 4 triangles needed.
Using the Easy Angle and another colored strip --- Fold the strip in half with right sides together and cut 4 PAIRS of triangles, giving you 8 wing triangles with 4 in mirror image.
You can see how the dog ear is cut off on these mirror image pairs, and this helps to line things up neatly when sewing the triangles on. If you are NOT using the Easy Angle Ruler, cut 4 2 7/8” Squares. Slice these once from corner to corner on the diagonal to give you the 8 wing triangles needed.
Can you see how the right hand wing triangle lines up with the blunt tip at the top of the goose triangle?
Chain these through the machine…the outer corner tip of the green triangle will be OFF the edge of the purple triangle. You can see it in both pictures above. This is okay. Press seam out toward the wing triangle and clip the dog ears.
Now place the left hand wing triangles with right sides together on top of the goose triangle. This time, sew from the bottom of the goose, toward where the triangles overlap. Look at my finger…can you see how the flat edges of the “Missing” dog ears are lined up straight with each other? This is important! Match this spot! If you do, you will get a goose unit that is nice and straight across the top when you open it up to press.
Here’s my needle heading right for that corner…..right out where it needs to be!
Voila! Perfect goose! You see how that is straight across the top of the whole unit with no “bi-level” thing going on? This is as perfect as I can get it…easy cutting from strips I already have on hand in sizes ready to go, no drawing lines, no cutting sizes of stuff I don’t keep on hand, no sewing extra big and having to take hours to trim each unit down to size one at a time ----THIS is the method I like and why! Repeat for all 4 goose units per block.
From 3rd 2.5" strip, cut 4 2.5" squares for block corners.
To start, place the top goose unit on top of the upper left corner square with right sides together, and stitch. Fold the center square over the left hand side goose unit with right sides together and sew right onto it after the goose --- no breaking of thread here!
Continue stitching, and sew that bottom goose unit to the bottom left square…..see this picture? The first two rows are chained together, and now I’m going to add the top right square, the right side goose, and the bottom square to the block all in one continuous chain as well:
The block is now sewn in rows across, with the three rows simply being chained together by the threads between the rows. From this point I can finger press, or iron press, the units in the way I want the seams to fall, and then flip the rows together and stitch the two remaining seams.
Story-Time Star block complete! Make 16!
Because I was sewing from scrap strips in varying lengths, I can’t tell you how many “STRIPS” you need to make the 4 patches required, but I can tell you the number of 4 patches you need ---180!
Join a black strip to a light strip with right sides together and press fabric to the black. Lay two strip sets with right sides together and fabrics opposing so that seams nest. Cut the matched strip sets into matched pairs, with 1.5" sub-cuts, ready to be fed through the machine into 4 patches.
I do ALL my scrappy 4 patches this way, preferring to do all my matching up of pairs in the cutting process, rather than sit at the machine and pick “one of these…and one of these” matching up my units one at a time for each 4 patch. That would take FOREVER! If you want more variety, match up shorter strip sets. Do what you have to do to come up with the 180 4 patches required.
I spin the seams on the back of my 4 patches so they will nest each other easily. Check out THIS TUTORIAL on how to feed your 4 patches through the machine, how to spin them, and why it is important that they all be fed and spun the same way!
Carefully study the picture above with the partial layout. Notice that the sashings are each made of 4 4 patches sewn side by side. Keep the 4 patches in the same orientation in ALL the sashing units. All the sashing units are identical, do not rotate the 4 patches in any of them. Make 40 sashings. You will have 25 4 patches left over for border posts.
From scraps, cut 25 2.5” squares for cornerstones.
Lay out the quilt with the sashings and cornerstones the way you want them. Stitch the quilt center into rows, and join the rows to complete the quilt center. Press.
From Scrap 2.5” strips, cut 16 2.5” X 8.5” rectangles and 4 2.5” squares.
Here you can see for the border how I placed the rectangles, the extra 4 patches, and the 4 corner squares to complete the border around the quilt. A black binding finishes the edge!