Monday, June 1, 2015

Hive 6 - Exploding Stars Block

Howdy from Texas!  Y'all, it's already hot down here.  I live in Houston where you don't need to own a sauna - you can just walk outside!  However, we do have some great Tex-Mex and barbecue - almost makes up for the weather!

My name is Summer, and I blog over at as The Easy Quilter.  My philosophy is just like Tim Gunn's "Make It Work!"  My first quilt, I didn't really know what I was doing...quarter-inch seam? blocks all the same size? rotary cutting?  I started by doing what I saw my grandmother do, cardboard templates, running the fabric through the machine in as straight of a line as I could manage over needles.  I have since learned a LOT in the last 7 years!  Check out how that first quilt turned out here.  (Go easy on me; it's my first blog post, too!)  Well, if I can do all that stuff wonky and still make a pretty darn good quilt, I won't sweat the small stuff.  I'll just take it easy and do the best I can at the time.

This month we'll be making a Star-in-a-Star block.
I call my version "Exploding Stars."  They look like they're bursting out of the fabric!
You may want to make some for yourself out of patriotic fabric to get geared up for the Fourth of July!

Unfinished size: 12.5" x 12.5"

What you'll need colorwise: Saturated color!  Prints preferred, but you can use solids, too.  
No color is off limits, but it must be a saturated hue.
Here's another way of saying it:
"Color saturation refers to how vivid and intense a color is.
For example, ... poor color saturation will look washed out or faded."

Do not use: Low volume, pastels, batiks (unless it really reads like a print)

How much fabric? 

 I forgot about those middle star corners when I took the first photo!

Here's a complete list:

Fabric A (inside star):

1 - 3.5" square
4 - 2.5" squares

Fabric B (middle star):

1 - 4.5" square
4 - 4" squares
4 - 2" squares

Fabric C (outer border star):

1 - 7.25" square
4 - 4" squares

You'll need to make two sets of Flying Geese, both different sizes.

Inner Geese unfinished size = 2" x 3.5"
Outer Geese unfinished size = 3.5" x 6.5"

Pressing: Whichever way works for you.  I prefer to flatten seams at intersections using this method, but you may want to press open in some areas since there is some bulk at the flying geese points.

Making Flying Geese the No-Waste Way
Put two sky pieces on the corresponding goose piece.
(You'll be putting Sky A on Goose B, and Sky B on Goose C.)  
Mark and sew just inside both lines.

Cut corner to corner

Iron back the "ears" then add and mark the last two squares (sky pieces).
Sew just inside the lines and cut corner to corner between them.

Square up - use a flying geese ruler if you've got it!

Here's a PDF tutorial that may make it a little clearer. Please note that my measurements are just a little bit bigger for the Fabric B or "sky" unit. I speak from experience when I say, it is better and easier to cut to a full inch or half-inch so that when you trim, you have something to trim! So, instead of adding 7/8" to your cut size, add 1" instead. You'll thank me for it later! 

Here's a layout of the block with the Flying Geese made:

Now you sew the middle of the block together:

 It is a 6.5" square unfinished if you need to trim here.

Then sew on the outer pieces to get your finished star!

I request that you don't square up your block
If it's a bit wonky on one side, no worries!  I'll trim so that they're all even. 
And, as you can see, even I don't get it right the first time -


My question for the group this month:
Have you ever participated in an online Quilt-Along (QAL)?
If so, which one and did you enjoy it?
If not, do you have any in mind or is it just not your thing?

I found a fun and free QAL at called Scrappy Adventures 2015 BOM.
It's all paper piecing which I'd like to do more of, and I love to use scraps, so win-win!

 Happy sewing!


No comments: