Basic Sawtooth Star
First, my apologies for not having this post ready for yesterday. It’s been cloudy for the last few days and I was holding out for some decent sunshine, which thankfully arrived today…although my pictures still seemed to need far more tweaking than usual. Perhaps I’m feeling the pressure?!
Which leads me to my second point: Holy participants, Batman! It seems that word has spread, and my expectations of a small little group has been eclipsed. If the comments on the first post are any indication, there will be about 65 of us! I’m completely surprised, and honoured, by the level of interest, and I really hope that I can live up to it. :) I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everyone’s interpretations of the design, and of course everyone’s fabric choices! Which reminds me, if you haven’t found it already then please head over to the Flickr group that I set up especially for this project, and start adding pictures of your yummy stacks of fabric.
Alright, now let’s get started! (I know that some of you are chomping at the bit. :) )
The quilt top consists of stars in 3 sizes: 12″, 8″ and 4″. In the end, you’ll need the following numbers of each size:
In this post I’ll be showing you how to construct the most basic star, without any fancy-schmancy piecing of either the centres or the points. (That will come later on…) For each star, you will need ten (10) pieces, and the dimensions for each star size are shown below:
The first step is to construct the points, which are actually four (4) flying geese units. There are many ways to construct geese units, but for a simple star this is my favourite method for two reasons: it doesn’t result in left-over triangles, and I find that it produces the most accurate geese units.
Start by marking the back of the squares which will become the star points. You can either mark a single line down the centre, if you have a really accurate 1/4″ foot for your machine, or you can mark 1/4″ on each side of centre if you don’t. I fall into the latter camp. Then pin two (2) of the squares to the large square of background fabric, right sides together, making sure to line up the marks you made.
Be sure that when you sew that you use SCANT 1/4″ seams. It will make a big difference to the accuracy of your block. I find that if I stitch right beside my marks that the final block is the most accurate.
Next, you want to cut down the centre between your two seam lines to produce two (2) separate pieces.
Then press both parts. Personally, I prefer to press seams open, but whatever you prefer will be fine. I know that everyone has an opinion on this particular point!
In order to cut down on some of the bulk where all the seam allowances join, it helps to cut a bit out at this stage. So trim out the parts of the seam allowance that overlap. (You can also see the difference in the two parts in the photo above.)
Now pin the remaining two small squares of foreground fabric to the larger units that you’ve just pressed, and repeat the sewing, again using scant 1/4″ seams.
Once you’ve finished sewing, cutting down the centre between the seams and pressing, you should be left with four (4) geese units, without any waste!
Trim up the geese units, and then attach all the parts in three rows. You will have a top and a bottom row made of one (1) geese unit and two (2) small squares of background fabric, and a middle row of two (2) geese units and one (1) large square of foreground fabric.
Now give the whole thing a nice pressing, and you’ve got one completed star! (Only 110 left to go…)
I hope that this was clear, but if something doesn’t make sense then let me know. I’ll post the first “variation” block next week, for those who want to throw in a few different stars. Although of course you could complete the quilt top using just these simple stars.
So get to work! I’m really looking forward to seeing the first stars as they are posted in the group!
And just a reminder that you can find links to all the posts in the series by clicking on the “Oh My Stars” button, either below or in my sidebar, or on any blog that has added it to their sidebar.