Star Block 5 - Tutorial for Modified block

Monday, June 02, 2008

This weeks block at the star quilt along is a bit of a curly one and so I made it twice. Once the hard way and then with a few modifications.

Amanda Jean's instructions include a number of bias seams (There are some tips for these at the end of the tutorial) and the end result is a block where every piece is set with the grain parallel to the finished edges. It is all very proper. After reading through, I thought I had found an easier way to do it. The end result has some of the pieces set at a diagonal so I left it for later. I started by following Amanda Jean's instructions and came up with the block above.

Then I tried it another way and came up with the one below. I needed to make a 12 1/2" star for a friend's quilt using sweet pea colours, hence the muted shades.

Instructions For Modified Block

The modified block is built up with 4 conventional quick pieced flying geese (pink), 4 square flying geese (mauve) and a diamond in the square (purple).


From the background cut

  • One square 7 1/4" (cut on diagonal twice)
  • One square 7" (finger press into 4 squares, do not cut yet)
  • One square 5 1/2" (finger press into 4 triangle, do not cut yet)
  • One square 3 1/2"

From the co-ordinating colours cut
  • Eight 3" squares (shown here as 4 pink, 4 mauve)
  • One 4 1/4" square (cunt on the diagonal twice)

  1. Finger press the 3 1/2" background square into 4 squares. Use these lines to align the purple triangles when sewing the diamond in a square. Sew opposing sides and press. Repeat with remaining 2 sides.

  2. Rule one diagonal line on the back of each 3" square, from corner to corner. Sew pink flying geese using four 3" squares and the 5 1/2" square and these instructions.

  3. Make up the square flying geese using the 7" square and four 3" squares. First, finger press the 7" square into 4 squares. Bring outside edges to the centre to create 2 more vertical creases. Using the finger-press lines as a guide, line up one of the mauve squares on the 7" square - match the inked line with the horizontal crease, and the upper & lower points with the vertical crease at the quarter point. Then follow with the second mauve square.

  4. Sew 1/4" on either side of the inked lines. Cut along inked line and press.

  5. Place a mauve square on each pieced in step 4, as shown below. Sew 1/4" one each side of the inked line. Cut along the inked line and press.

  6. You will now have all the units shown in the photo below. Sew the block together, starting with mauve flying geese to pink flying geese. Sew background triangles to either side of the top right and bottom left flying geese chains. Sew remaining units to either side of the diamond in a square. Sew all three pieces together.

Tips for Bias Seams

Fabric has more stretch in the bias direction so you need to take care not to distort pieces as you piece them.
  • Reduce pressure on the sewing foot to reduce distortion from the feed dogs.
  • If sewing bias edge to non bias edge, put the non bias piece on the bottom to reduce feed dog distortion.
  • Press carefully with either vertical action, or running across the seam. Running the iron along the seam can distort.
  • Where possible sew from the narrower end of a triangle to the wider end. This reduces stretching along the seam.
I hope this helps. The block is challenging but well worth trying.

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  1. Wow, that looks great... I might have to give it a go!

  2. I am completely intrigued by your flying geese square - I've just posted a regular flying geese tutorial myself and now cannot wait to get breakfast over so I can try the square version! I love finding quick and easy ways to put together traditional blocks - but without fabric waste! :-)


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