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Plaid Star

February 12, 2012

Well, let me just say that geometry can be a real jerk.  I started out yesterday confident that I would have this baby whipped up in a matter of minutes.  But that confidence was completely unfounded.  I wasn’t far into my block construction when I realized that I had made a rather obvious (in hindsight) false assumption.  So…back to the drawing board, or graph paper, as it were.  I cut everything out, sewed all my parts together (taking many pictures along the way) and…  Ugh.  Geometry got the better of me a second time.

I got to work recutting all the pieces for the star points, grabbed my camera and…  Grrr.  Out of batteries.  I guess I can’t blame geometry for that one, can I?!  So I decided to go to bed.  Sometimes walking away is the best solution, don’t you think?

I’ve heard a number of comments through this whole process about how people are challenging themselves to construct blocks that are out of their comfort zone, which I think is really exciting.  Well, the same is true for me.  My promise to provide 15 different variations was a bit of a leap of faith on my part.  I had lots of options on paper and trusted that I would be able to work out how to make them when the time came, something that has turned out to be easy in some cases and more challenging in others.  I’ve really pushed my understanding of block design, and I might not have done so, had there not been an audience ready and waiting for the next tutorial.  So I owe you all a THANK YOU for motivating me to take some chances and work through some frustrating moments!  (And also a thanks for your patience with me this week!)

There are many pieces in this block, but it has the potential to be a great way to use up scraps.  The two sets of eight (8) that are used to make the star points end up having so much trimmed away that you can use scraps that have chunks missing from one corner.  (Scroll down to see what I mean.)

Plaid Star Tutorial

To start, we’ll put together the centre.  To keep from needing to be wordy, I put all the pieces for the centre of the block in the bottom row of the diagram above.

Take the two strips of fabric #2 (blue) and attach them to each side of the square of fabric #1 (yellow).  Press and set aside.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Attach the two stripes of fabric #3 (purple) to the rectangle of fabric #2.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Press, and then cut the resulting rectangle in half along the long dimension.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Now take the three (3) parts you’ve assembled thus far and sew them together as is shown in the following photos.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Press and set the centre block aside.

Now onto the points.  First we have to create the stripes by sewing our blue and yellow bits together.  Four (4) sets need to be “L” shaped, and the other four (4) need to be mirrored “L”s.  Also, since it’s not entirely clear from the photos, you are sewing the short dimension of the yellow blocks to the blue blocks.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

When the “L”s are sewn and pressed, trim them to 3-7/8″ (2-7/8″ | 1-7/8″) in both directions.  Take care that the blue fabric remains 1-3/4″ wide (1-1/4″ | 0-3/4”) while you trim.

Finally, create the triangles by cutting from the upper corner on the blue fabric to the lower corner of the yellow fabric.

Plaid Star Tutorial

Now we can assemble the flying geese.  When you sew the points you just made to the QSTs (cut from the large square of background fabric…), line the edges up along the “tail” of the goose, so that there is a bit of fabric overhanging at the “beak.”

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Plaid Star Tutorial

Trim up your four geese to 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and then assemble your pieces using the strategy from the basic star.  And you’ve gone plaid!!!  (Anyone else watch Spaceballs FAR TOO OFTEN  as a kid?!)

Plaid Star Tutorial

I have to say, even though I spent more time with my seam ripper and my graph paper than my sewing machine on this one, I think it might be my favourite so far.  I hope you like it, too!

Oh My Stars! (A Quilt-Along)

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2012 11:15 PM

    VERY NICE!!! I am loving this star, and am in awe that you were able to work out all the measurements and what-not!! This is one fantastically great looking star!!!

  2. AngieSue2 permalink
    February 13, 2012 2:02 AM

    I can’t wait to get started on this — I can tell nothing else is going to get done today!

  3. February 13, 2012 6:35 AM

    I do love it! Sheila, I haven’t made any of these stars, but whenever a new one pops up in my email, it’s the first thing I click on. Wonderful pictures, tutorials. I’m just starting to love the geometry of quilt blocks. You’ve completely sold me starting some soon! :)

  4. February 13, 2012 7:36 AM

    I like this one alot – the yellow is awesome!

  5. February 13, 2012 10:02 AM

    Wow, I think this is my favorite one too.

  6. Kara permalink
    February 14, 2012 2:46 PM

    This block looks great, and I like that we are all learning together. This will be the biggest quilt I have ever made, and the individual blocks are helping me improve my color selection skills. Thanks for all your hard work!

  7. February 15, 2012 10:43 AM

    they are all so wonderful!


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