Welcome back to our Summer Quilt-A-Long
We are onto part 7 and only 1 more part to go! It feels like the past 12 weeks, since we started our QAL, have just flown by. This week, we are looking at Star blocks and some free patterns available on the internet that you might want to look up. We will also be making the centre 8-pointed star in our QAL and assembling our quilt top!
Star blocks are some of my favourite quilts to make. Most especially I like going big with them. Have you ever made a one block quilt? Taken a block you love and made as a 60” or 72” size? It’s a lot of fun. Here are a few options for you if you have some fat quarters or layer cakes that you would like to use up.
Moda Love – this is a free pattern from Moda that makes a 72” Star surround block from a layer cake and some yardage. Paula Rafferty made the giant block, a wall hanging and 2 cushions for a gorgeous set that just glows!
So Frosty – I designed this giant block for a Christmas challenge. It’s one of three blocks in a Christmas Star Quilt and this one I made large as a free pattern for the Christmas blog hop run by Celtic Thistle Stitches.
Happy Quilting has quite a few QAL’s with Star blocks including this Star Surround block I made as a baby quilt for a gift a few years ago. She is very generous with her designs and her QAL’s.
Jeni Baker from In Color Order made a free tutorial: Giant Vintage Star Quilt and Amy Friend from Diary of a Quilter added a scrappy border to it from the leftovers which I love and am going to make one day. The pattern uses a minimum of 8 fat quarters and ideally 16 to get a multi-coloured star.
Polka dot chair has a lovely baby quilt.
Rainbow Rose is available here on the Modern Quilters Ireland Blog using layer cakes or 10” squares to big a big block quilt.Making a Block a Giant Quilt Block
When you look at these designs you can see that they are largely made up of Half Square Triangles (HST), Squares, and Flying Geese on a grid of 4, 8 or 12 rows and columns.
To size up a block, first decide how big you want to go. 36”-40” makes a nice baby quilt. 60” a nice lap quilt and 72” with some borders a nice bed quilt.
To make our QAL block a Giant block for example, we look at the number of rows and columns and can see that it is 12 rows x 12 columns so a number divisible by 12 will work perfectly for us.
To make a 60” block our grid squares will need to be 60/12=5” finished. To make a 72” block 72/12=6” finished.
We learned in parts 3&4 what to cut to end up with our desired finished size depending on the method we want to use, so, if you want to size up a block or design your own block, the reference sheets are there for you to go back to.
So, onto our QAL! In the last part we completed the middles of the blocks. This week we are onto the centre star and assembling the block.
The construction for the centre star is the same for both versions of our block: Block 1 and Block 2.
Our C section is 4 rows by 4 columns or a 16 patch. We have squares for the corners and the centre and Flying Geese for the star points.
Arrange as follows and sew into rows. Then sew the rows together to make the centre C block. Make 1 if you are making 1 quilt block or 4 C units if you are making the 4 blocks for the Quilt top.
Now we have our A, B and C blocks, it’s time to assemble our quilt.
If you are making 1 block lay out the pieces as per the image and sew the units into rows A-B-A, B-C-B and A-B-A. Then sew the rows together to complete the block.
If you are making the 4 block quilt top you can make 4 quilt blocks and sew the blocks together, or you can lay out the units 6 x 6 to chain piece the quilt top together by sewing into rows as shown.
Then sew the rows together and a secondary pattern will appear.
For block 2 we have a modification to the block to make a repeating pattern. The block goes together in rows A1-B1-A1, B1-C-B1, A1-B1-A2.
You can sew these 9 units together to make a block and then sew the 4 blocks together, or you can lay the units out in a 6 x 6 grid and chain piece them together as below.
Option for 1 block quilt
If you are making an item using only 1 block of the Block 2 design, then instead of A2 in the bottom corner make an A1 unit to have a symmetrical block.
Lay out the pieces as per the image and sew the units into rows A1-B1-A1, B1-C-B1 and A1-B-A1. Then sew the rows together to complete the block.
If you missed any of the earlier parts of our QAL, you will find the instructions on our branch page at www.irishpatchwork.com.
Please join us in two weeks time, when we look at borders, backing, binding and quilting options.
Thanks for joining us,
Stay safe and happy sewing!