Star Quilt Photo Tutorial

The Mean Green Sewing Machine has been hard at work again today!

Here is another tutorial which documents the making of my latest quilt top. It is another episode in my quest to use up my birthday charm packs (I can’t buy any more until they are all used up).

I gave a sneak preview of the work in progress a couple of days ago but thought, as I am taking photos of the rest of the process, I might as well share it with everyone else. However, I do realise I’m no expert and there will, of course, be other ways to make this. I just thought I’d share my way :-) I hope you like it!

Start by cutting three dark and three light 5 inch strips across the width of fabric. I’ve used Moda Bella Solids Burgundy and Ivory.

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Cut twenty 5 inch squares from each colour.

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Take 2 squares from a charm pack and put them in your stash :-) I discarded two plain ones as I was using a lot of plain fabric anyway. You will only need 40 squares from the charm pack (most have 42). I used Fa La la La by Moda. Divide the charm squares into two piles of twenty lights and twenty darks (as best you can).

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Now, the fun begins! The lights are going to be paired with the dark solid squares and the darks are going to be paired with the light solid squares. Take one pair and put them right sides together.

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Sew together all the way around the edge with a one quarter inch seam. All seams will be the same width from now on.

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Make sure you sew all four sides.

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Then cut across both diagonals.

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Press the four pieces open to give four squares of contrasting triangles. It is important to press two with seams towards the light fabric and two towards the dark. I know this is against the rule of always pressing towards the darker fabric but this way helps the seams to nest together when you join them in the next stage of construction. You’ll get lovely matching points which we all love :-)

Repeat this with all of the other pairs and then keep your groups of four together. You should now have 160 small squares (40 groups of 4).

Here are my dark charms with ivory solid fabric.

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Here are my light charms with burgundy solid fabric.

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Next cut strips for the centre squares. You need to cut 2 strips of each solid colour measuring five and seven eighths inches wide. I know this is a horrible width but I had to do this so I could leave the charm squares at 5 inches. Most rulers show eighths anyway. I hope your ruler does! From these strips cut 10 squares of each colour measuring five and seven eighths across.

Now for the corner squares. Cut 3 strips of each colour across the width of fabric measuring three and one quarter inches. Cut these strips into three and one quarter inch squares. You will need 40 squares of each colour. I managed to get 39 from my 3 strips and used the scraps from earlier to get the 40th.

Now arrange the pieces to make one star block. I used two of my groups of four from earlier and placed matching pairs opposite each other. Take care to put one which was pressed towards the light fabric next to one which was pressed towards the dark fabric (so the seams will nest).

Sew together the triangle pairs first. Remember to nest the seams so the points match up. Sew the pieces together to make three rows. Then sew the rows together.

Complete 20 star blocks. Arrange them into four rows of five. Sew the blocks in each row together. Sew rows one and two together.  Then sew rows three and four together. Finally, sew the two double rows together.

I’ve added two borders using 2 and a half inch strips. The inner border (ivory) needed 5 strips across the width of fabric. The outer border (burgundy) needed six strips. I attached each border in turn to the long sides first.

Here is my finished quilt top. It measures 62 x 51 inches.

Now I just need to cut the binding strips and piece the backing before I quilt it. I don’t have suitable quilting thread for this one so I’m off to order it now :-)

Two last things…… I hope you can help :-)

Firstly, I don’t know the name of this block. I thought it was Ohio Star but now realise it isn’t. Does anyone have any ideas? No doubt there will be more than one accepted name for it.

Secondly, this quilt top needs a name! Any suggestions would be very gratefully received. Thank you sew much in advance :-)

You can find more of my tutorials by clicking here.

Have a lovely week! Avis x

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45 Comments

  1. Great tutorial! Another job well done!

    Reply
  2. Oh it’s lovely Avis. From the first pictures I thought the plain burgundy was too strong but when it’s all together the other fabrics tone it down and it looks great. I think it’s name should have some reference to wine (because of the burgundy)… (and because I like wine lol!) ;)

    Reply
    • Have a drink on me tomorrow! I’ll take better photos when it has been quilted. The ivory is more creamy and the burgundy is a rich dark red in real life. I love red wine too :D

      Reply
  3. Depending on my meds I will! Could do with one tonight but not allowed :(

    Reply
  4. Well done! Hope the tute I will do next week comes out as clearly as yours. Should be no problem to follow! Love the positive/negative (or yin/yang). Isn’t that method for HST the best?? Just like the “no waste flying geese”!! Blessings……..

    Reply
  5. witchylin

     /  June 25, 2012

    :-) Lovely Avis. I’ve emailed you a scan from my “Traditional Patchwork Quilt Patterns.” book. The design is very close to King’s Crown.

    Reply
    • witchylin

       /  June 25, 2012

      So here is my suggestion for a name “Wine King Quilt.” This title is, of course, influenced by my liking for red wine too. :-D (There is no stopping me now!!)

      Reply
      • Thanks Witchylin! I’ll bear that in mind. I have a few ideas but it is always good to hear what everyone else thinks :-)

        Reply
    • Yes! That is the same block with the geese rotated. I’ve actually seen this one alternated with my star block. If you choose the colours carefully you get diamonds and stars. It is really nice I think traditional blocks are my favourites :-D

      Reply
  6. Hi Avis! Your quilt top is beautiful! I love those stars and your tutorial is great! Sorry but can’t help with my sleepy mind for the name – just came back from work and it’s sooooo hot here. Have a wonderful week! x Teje

    Reply
    • Hi Teje, Thank you. I’ve ordered the quilting thread so it will have to join the queue to be quilted later. I’m doing pin wheels today, enjoying triangles at the moment. We’ve all got sweaters on in the house here. It is cold and very wet outside….again! P.S. my secret creation, which is still in my head, is working its way to the top of my to-do list now ;-) Don’t work too hard in the sun! Avis x

      Reply
  7. So that is how it is done!! Wow I had respect for quilters before but it has tripled now, says the woman who struggled to sew a torn sheet yesterday. LOL

    Great job, I’m calling the quilt “Burgandy Dreams”

    Reply
    • Ah, you see Jodi….repairing a sheet is more difficult than making patchwork in my opinion ;-) I have another recent tutorial here. http://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/jelly-roll-strip-quilt/
      One of these days you’ll be a quilter too :-D
      I hope Delilah didn’t tear your sheet :lol:

      Reply
      • I’m pretty sure it was her! LOL Do you have any tips for sewing a strait line? :-)

        Reply
        • If you mean by machine…..I like to put a piece of sticky tape from front to back on the machine and then I guide the raw edges of the fabric past the tape. If you enlarge the first photo in this post you will see what I mean. http://ohsewtempting.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/cimg12473.jpg
          It is important when sewing patchwork, to maintain accurate one quarter inch seams so a lot of quilters buy special feet for their machines to help them do this. I just improvise with tape. If I need a different width seam for other things, I simply move the tape across. It crinkles up after a while but a bit of tape costs little to replace. I hope that helps :D

          Reply
  8. Oh, nice tutorial! Very easy to follow.

    Reply
  9. claire93

     /  June 26, 2012

    totally inspirational – you make it look so easy

    Reply
    • Oh thank you Claire :-) It is very straightforward when you break it down into small steps.

      Reply
      • claire93

         /  June 26, 2012

        maybe, but I’m still not confident about stitching straight lines with my machine. However . . . if you have time, check out my daughter’s blog. She has just made her first ever patchwork project (by machine) and I’m ever so impressed. She’s only 18. http://lindashee.over-blog.com/

        Reply
      • claire93

         /  June 26, 2012

        once I’ve mastered hand-piecing, I’ll try with my machine ^^
        on a side-note, my 18 year old daughter is light years ahead of me already . . . she began her first ver patchwork project only 2 days ago, and she’s already mastered the art of quilting by machine. If you have 5 minutes, you can see her work here http://lindashee.over-blog.com/ (just waiting for cording to be able to make the strap part for the bag)

        Reply
        • If your daughter can do it, so can you :-) I’ve just been to her blog and she’s an expert already. Funny how the young ones just pick things up and it works first time. Looks like she’s enjoying sewing. She’ll be hooked now :D
          P.S. Both of your above comments went into my spam (wordpress). This is really strange because I haven’t disallowed your comments?? So sorry about the late reply :-)

          Reply
  10. The first thing I thought of, when I saw your lovely quilt, was lingonberries. Don´t ask me why, cause the berries are more red than your fabric :)
    Gun, Sweden

    Reply
  11. Hi I just popped over from Teje’s blog after seeing the sweet cross stitch you sent her. I am a jewellery and card maker but after seeing this wonderful quilting tut I could be tempted!! How lovely and so kind to share your skills. Love the colours you used.
    Jane x

    Reply
    • Hi Jane. Welcome to my blog :D You could always try something really small to start off with…maybe a coaster or potholder. Honestly, once you get started, you’ll be hooked like the rest of us. I’ll have a look at your blog later today. Have fun! Avis x

      Reply
  12. Hi, loved your tutorial on the block, it is very easy to follow. When I first saw the completed quilt picture I immediatly thought it twinkled at me. And I love the burgundy “wine” comments. So while I was reading the comments my thoughts went to “Twinkling Wine”.

    Reply
  13. Great tutorial! I can’t wait to give this one a try!

    The more I look at quilting blogs and see the tutorials that people make, the more I look at things that I thought I would never have the skill to accomplish and now think that I could actually manage! :D

    Reply
    • Thank you Ria :-) I think everyone could do this….especially when there are so many bloggy friends to hold our hands along the way! Avis x

      Reply
  14. Denby

     /  June 27, 2012

    Another excellent tutorial. I think you should name this quilt after your late Mother in Law as she was the person who purchased the Husqvarna from which you created this beautiful quilt. Well done.

    Reply
  15. I must confess I was not charmed by the single star but I have completely changed my mind after seeing all the stars together in the top. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Nice work.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Happens all the time :-) Sometimes blocks are quite plain until they are next to each other and all of the secondary patterns can be seen. Also, the same block will look completely different in other colours. Thanks for stopping by :-) Avis x

      Reply

I really enjoy reading your comments. Have a lovely day :-)

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