Hello again, I hope you are having a happy, healthy start to the month of February. This week I am announcing the second mystery star block in my Facebook Block of The Month group, and I thought it would be great to share the tutorial with my blog readers as well! This month's block is called the Friendship Star. This is a fairly easy beginner block and will give you good practice in making half-square triangles. Variations of this block are the Ribbon Quilt Block, the Nine Patch Star, and the Water Wheel Block.
Are you ready? Let's begin!
Pieces you will need for one 12" block...
The above image shows the pieces you will need for one 12" block. The 4 1/2" piece will be placed in the middle of the block. The 5" pieces will be made into half square triangles which will be arranged around the middle piece.
Making the Half-Square Triangles (HST's)...
1. The first step in making half-square triangles (HST for short) is to draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 5" background square. In my block the background squares are white.
2. Second, place the background squares and the 5" patterned squares with right sides together. This will give you four sets of squares.
3. Sew 1/4" seam allowance on both sides of the diagonal line for each 5" background square.
These squares can be chain pieced for quicker assembly. Click the link HERE for an easy tutorial on Chain Piecing.
4. Carefully cut the sewn squares in half on the diagonal pencil line. This will give you two HST's as shown above.
You will have eight HST's in all after cutting the four squares. Next, follow the directions below to prepare the squares for sewing them into the Friendship Star block.
I like to use a nice steamy iron to press my HST's open. A little word of caution here...press gently and take care not to over-do it, or you could warp the shape of your HST's.
Wasn't that easy? Now, you're ready for the next step!
Each HST should turn out to be 4 1/2" square.
5. Finally, we are ready to trim and tidy up our HST's using a square ruler. Click HERE to read my tutorial How to Trim Half-Square Triangles in Three Easy Steps. Please don't skip this step...it really makes a difference in how your final block will turn out!
Assembling the Friendship Star Block...
We're almost finished! You're doing great! Now it's time to lay out the squares into our block pattern as shown above using the 4 1/2" square for the middle piece of the block.
Sew the top, middle, and bottom rows as shown above. Again, we are using a 1/4" seam allowance throughout the entire process.
Using a steam iron, press the seams of the top and bottom rows outward and the seams of the middle row inward...this will help the seams lay flat when the rows are sewn together.
Pin the top and middle rows together (as seen above) taking care to nest the seams in opposite directions as shown below.
Sew a 1/4" seam.
Pin the remaining row and sew in the same manner as above; press the seams from the back first and then press the front. In this case, you may prefer to press the seams open rather than to the side. This will also help the block to lay flat.
Lastly, trim the finished block to 12" if necessary using a 12" square ruler. Click HERE to see a wonderful tutorial on How to Square up a Quilt Block from the Crafty Mummy!
Ta-dah! Give yourself a round of applause for completing your beautiful Friendship Star block. I'm so proud of you! Remember, the time you invest in quilting today will find you that much more of an expert at it tomorrow!
!Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial on this beginner-friendly quilt block. I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or question, and I'll promptly respond. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Happy quilting!
Hello! It is wonderful to have you stop by again! I hope your week has been happy and productive so far. I know from experience that some weeks just don't go as planned. Sometimes we lack opportunities to work on our hobbies and projects because pressing needs in our home and family come first (which is the way it should be).
Sometimes it's just survival! This week has been a little of both for me. At times it has been extremely hectic, but I have managed to make time for quilting projects and client orders. All in all, keeping balance has been possible and I am very thankful for that.
When I first learned to quilt, I thought all you needed to do was sew blocks together in rows. However, as I made progress from simple squares to blocks that were constructed of more than one piece, I started having trouble getting my rows to line up together because my blocks were lop-sided. I was frustrated, but I was far away from giving up (Mom always said that I was "bound and determined"...). After doing some research I found that the problem was the fact that my blocks weren't nice and square. After I learned to "square up" my blocks, sewing my quilts became easy as pie...well, almost.
So today I wanted to discuss the important topic of "squaring-up" our half-square triangles (or HST's)... it can be done in three easy steps! Just a side note here: if you are reading my blog for the first time, you may want to read How to Choose Quilting Tools for Successful Cutting and Measuring for some helpful information and links on the tools in this discussion.
The truth is that no matter how carefully you cut & sew your quilt pieces, sometimes the blocks will be uneven and will need to be "squared up" in order for seams to match accurately within your quilt. Even though it takes a little more time, the end result is worth every minute because the final result will be an accurately pieced quilt (and a lot less frustration). Below is a quick and easy tutorial I've written especially for you on how I trim my half-square triangles.
Since I've been working on a new doll quilt pattern that is mostly made up of HST's, it seemed like a great example to use for this tutorial.
Once you've decided on what size your blocks need to be, you are ready to do the next three steps. Mine will be 2" square finished size after trimming.
Start with the colored (or patterned) side pointing down to the bottom right (see image above). Lay the diagonal 45 degree line of the ruler exactly on the diagonal seam of the block as above. Depending on how much needs to be trimmed, there will usually be some extra fabric that extends beyond the outside of the ruler. Be careful not to have the other two sides of your block on the inside of the lines (or 2" as in the example), because when you do Step 2, the block will be too small.
Beginning with the right side, carefully trim the block while holding the ruler firmly in place to prevent slipping. Next, trim the top.The first two parts of your square are now trimmed as shown above. Great job!
Now simply flip your block so that the colored half is on the top left and trim the remaining two sides. Be sure to keep the diagonal of the block lined up with the diagonal of the ruler. All done! See, that was as easy as pie!
From the picture above it is easy to see how squaring up our blocks will make a huge difference in how the entire quilt turns out. Not to mention, we will have so much less frustration in matching up blocks and seams!
You are doing great and I'm so proud of your efforts! I'm here for you if you have any questions, and I'll always do my best to help and encourage you. Now,let's go tackle the rest of those HST's and get our quilts finished.