Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Star Struck!

Stitch a "Star-Struck" Quilt!
HERE for printer-friendly .pdf file)

This quilt is Sew Fun and Sew Easy to whip up in co-ordinated fabrics, or in scraps!

This plaid version was made using a variety of homespuns and fabric obtained from thrift-shop shirt purchases! 80 blocks set 8X10 give this quilt a center measuring 64"X 80" before borders! Click here for close up of continuous baptist fan quilting detail!

I stitched this quilt top in a weekend retreat with my Sulphur Springs Sit n Sew group at the Stitchin' Heaven Bunkhouse in Quitman TX!

Here is a glimpse of this quilt done in totally random scrappy colors!
Click Here for close up detail.
Sept, 2005: This quilt donated to Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts.)

Since this is a scrap quilt, no exact yardage is given. But I will tell you how *I* constructed this quilt, and you can adjust it to your own needs. The green/red quilt has 99 8" blocks set 9X11! Quilt is 72X98 before borders. For a quick baby quilt, try setting 25 blocks 5X5 for a quilt that measures 40" square before borders.

For a LAP size (shown)...try doing 30 blocks set 5X6!

From various light and dark scraps cut strips 2 1/2" wide. The minimum size is 2 1/2" X 4 1/2". Also..cut a bunch of 2 1/2" squares from your light fabrics (396 for the big quilt, or 120 for the lap size) and the same amount of 2 1/2" squares from your accent color. In the green quilt they are reds, in the brown lap quilt they are antique pinks, but the totally scrappy quilt uses everything in dark values.

These two lap size quilts were donated to the local breast cancer center.

This 'brights' version uses an all black tone on tone print for the 'background' in place of the scrappy lights above. If using one background fabric, plan on about 23 2 1/2" strips cut across the width of the fabric, selvege to selvege. Depending on the length of your colored strips, (and the amount of waste you may have from the ends of odd lengths of scrap strips) you will need approximately 13 to 15 strips to cut the main block 'star quarters' . The other 8 strips are to cut the 120 2 1/2" squares you need for the block corners. This is an average due to the differences in fabric width, the amount you might get per strip may vary.

Set the squares aside for later, and start with your strips!
All seams are 1/4" unless stated otherwise.

Place the light strips on top of the dark strips with right sides together, and stitch along one side with a 1/4" seam.

If your dark strip is longer than your light, strip just add another light on when you reach the end....you want as many combinations as you can come up with of darks and lights! When you get a good long trail of lights sewn to darks, take them to the ironing board and press, presing the seam allowance towards the darks. Now the cutting begins!

Cut the light/dark strips into 4 1/2" squares. You will need 4 of these for each block. If you are making the big quilt above, you will need 396 of these or for the lap size, 120!! Just do them in batches.....it goes fast!

Next! lay the strip-square on top of your machine bed as shown watching the placement of the lights and darks. Place an accent square on top of the light rectangle with right sides together. Have you done these kind of "dog earred" triangles before? Set your presser foot at the upper corner of the square, and sew across the square on the diagonal through both layers. If it helps you, you can draw a diagonal line on the square from corner to corner first, but I prefer to just "aim and shoot!" The extra will be trimmed later! Just keep stuffing these through your machine til you have the little squares sewn to the big squares in this way....

When you are done...trim the excess about 1/4" from the stitching, and press. If you are really ambitious, or crazy like me, you can stitch again about 3/8" to 1/2" away from the first seam and when you trim, you will have a whole nuther batch of eensy-teensy triangles already sewn in to squares for another project!

Is THIS why they started calling me The Masochist at the retreat? *LOL*

This is the pile of 396 1/2 square triangle units that I salvaged from my "dog ears" by double stitching them! NUTS, huh? I am thinking of putting them together in an ocean waves quilt...I will update on that later if it ever gets past the UFO stage..*heehee* These little units will be squared up at 2"....fun!

But first, back to the Star Struck Quilt! After trimming...repeat the process with the opposite diagonal corner by placing a LIGHT 2 1/2" suare on top of the dark strip in the strip square....

You can trim these, press them, and toss the excess, or do like I did, double stitch about 3/8" away from the first seam line and end up with another pile of already sewn 1/2 quare triangles....ready to square up to 2" and use in another project.(I won't tell if you toss them tho!) This is what my pile looked like at the back of my sewing machine as I was stitching all of these!

By this point you should have all your block quarters finished.

Now we are getting somewhere!! Time to sew the block quarters into block halves! Like this:

Our minds will always see the "dark" stars first when we look at the quilt, but we make the block with LIGHT stars first, then the dark ones appear when the blocks are set together. Stitch all your block halves....and press.

Then...pair up and stitch the block halves into complete light star blocks like this! The only rule I used was trying to not put two of the same lights or darks next to each other.

Finished blocks look like this!

Set the blocks together and you are ready for borders! Because I was using scraps and other odd sized pieces that I was wanting to clear out of my fabric stash, I also made my borders out of random fabrics to carry out the scrap theme to the outside of the quilt. I joined lengths of 2" strips together on the diagonal for the inner border....and for the outter border I did the same with 5" strips. The binding is going to be the same as the inner red border....

This quilt wa a gift for my baby sister, Mary Sherwood who graduated highschool in May, 2001.
Mary and I are "bookends" as far as the family goes. I was the first child of 8, and she is the last of 8.


  1. I love this. I really like it with the black stars. That's what I'm going to make. But I have a feeling I'll make more than one.

  2. This seems to be just a touch above my normal abilities, but I am very tempted to give this a try. I have about 3-years worth of old dresses I want to turn into a quilt, and I think this just might be the perfect pattern for that. :-)

    Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Thanks for this pattern. I just finished making a quilt with it.


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