Tuesday, 13 September 2016

'Stellar Flare' - Cloud 9 Fabrics - 'New Block' Blog Hop

Can there ever be too many patchwork blocks featuring stars? Well, probably yes. Fair enough BUT can there ever be too many triangle scrap buster blocks? No. Never! I set out thinking about pest control ... a way to make use of the ever multiplying triangle scraps we all produce.

Therefore, I am pleased to present the 'Stellar Flare' Patchwork Block for your sewing pleasure. Wonky stars galore and with them a chance to use up plenty of trinangle scraps. Let's get right to it.

'Stellar Flare Quilt Block'

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I worked with the 'Berry Harvest' bundle which contains five Cirrus Solids that have especially been curated by our Cloud 9 blog hop hosts for this occasion. The solids in question are Amazon, Sky, Iris, Lilac, and Shadow. And, Oh boy, are those fabrics soft! They are also prone to unravel a little bit at the edges but were great to work with nonetheless.

This block is a nine patch variation with some sew, slash and sew again elements. There are only triangles, rectangles, squares and straight seams to sew BUT precision piecing confidence is required.

Skill level: Intermediate



Cutting instructions: 

A – Sky
B – Amazon
C – Iris
D – Lilac
E – Iris (again)
F - Shadow

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Fabric A

4 squares 1.75 x 1.75
4 rectangles 2.5 x 1.75
2 rectangles 2 x 5
2 rectangles 2 x 7.5


Fabric B

4 strips 1 x 10


Fabric C

1 square 2.5 x 2.5
8 triangle scraps (or 8 squares 2 x 2)


Fabric D

8 rectangles 4.25 x 1.5 (4.25 x 2 if you need more room to wiggle)


Fabric E

1 square 2x2
8 triangle scraps (or 8 squares 1.75 x 1.75)


Fabric F

4 squares 1.75 x 1.75
4 rectangles 2 x 1.75
8 rectangles 4.5 x 2.5
2 squares 4 x 4 (or 4 squares 4.5 x 4.5 if you want to play safe)



Assembly:


General notes:


All measurements are in inches. Work with a ¼ inch seam throughout. Read all instructions carefully before commencing to work. Measure and cut with accuracy. Sometimes I will recommend an alternative sewing option which is indicated by the change of font colour to 'Berry'.



Step 1 - Wonky star block using fabrics A and C


If for some unfathomable reason you do not happen to have any triangle scraps but still want to make stars wonky, check out Jenny's 'Tiny Wonky Stars Quilt' tutorial, which works with squares (initially, before producing triangle scraps to continue with   =)

Take the fabric A 2.5 x 1.75 rectangles and the fabric C triangle scraps (or the fabric C 2 x 2 squares) and create the star points of your wonky (or even) star.

If you are using triangle scraps you will place them right side down on one rectangle making sure the points overlap the underlying fabric piece by a ¼ inch minimum. When you flip the piece over it should cover all the intended underlying area. Take care to attach the star points in such a way that the base and the points of the star are aligned along the longer side (2.5) side of the fabric A rectangles. Press the pieces flat and attach the second star point.


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If you use the fabric C 2 x 2 squares, attach them as you would any normal HST by aligning them in one corner and sewing diagonally from corner to corner. This way you will achieve an even pointed rather than wonky star.

Repeat for each of the 4 fabric A rectangles, which should each sport two fabric C star points at the end. Trim the fabric that has been replaced by the star points off taking care not to cut into your seams. Press all for units. Flip the units over and trim them back to the size of 2.5 x 1.75.

Take the fabric C 2.5 x 2.5 square, the four 2.5 x 1.75 wonky star point units you created and the remaining fabric A 1.75 x 1.75 squares to assemble the wonky star unit like you would assemble a normal nine patch block.

Iron the seams of the middle row inwards and the seams of the top and bottom rows outwards. This way you can nest the seams when you join the rows.


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The completed star should measure 5 x 5 at this stage. Next take the 2 fabric A 1.5 x 5.5 rectangles and attach them on the opposite sides of the star block. Take the last 2 Fabric A 1.5 x 7.5 rectangles and attach them to the remaining two sides of the star block to form a square.


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Take a moment to enjoy what your star looks like because next, we are going to cut it apart again. Yes that’s right! Bring out the rotary cutter!





Step 2 – Slash and Sew using the step 1 units and fabric B


Your star block from step 1 should measure 7.5 x 7.5 at this stage. If it is too big, trim it down to that size taking care to keep the star in the middle.

Place your quilting ruler diagonally onto the square and cut from corner to corner. Carefully lift the ruler without disturbing the underlying pieces. We do not want them to move just yet. (if unsure, keep them in place with a bit of washi or builders tape) Place the ruler diagonally on the other axis to again cut from corner to corner.

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Next we want to sew the fabric B strips to the triangle pieces making sure the triangles are in the middle of the fabric B strips.

Take a 1 x 10 fabric B strip, lay it down right side facing up and gently fold in the middle to create a middle crease. Take one of the triangle units we just cut. Hold the piece right side facing down and create a middle crease in its base, which is its longest side, by folding it corner to corner.

Nest the fabric B strip and the triangle piece rights side together using the middle creases as a guide. Hold or pin the fabric pieces in place and sew the triangle to the fabric B strip using a ¼ seam.

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Fold open and press flat. Repeat the process for the three remaining 3 fabric B strips and 3 triangle units.



Step 3 – Another wonky star using fabrics E and F


We basically repeat the process of step 1 until we have a nine patch wonky star. (Please note that the measurements differ slightly)

Take the fabric F 2 x 1.75 rectangles and the fabric E triangle scraps (or the fabric E 1.75 x 1.75 squares) and create the star points of your wonky (or even) star. If you are using triangle scraps you will place them right side down on one rectangle making sure the points overlap the underlying fabric piece by a ¼ inch minimum. When you flip the piece over it should cover all the intended underlying area. Take care to attach the star points in such a way that the base and the points of the star are aligned along the longer side (2.0) side of the fabric F rectangles. Press the pieces flat and attach the second star point.

If you use the fabric E 1.75 x 1.75 squares, attach them as you would any normal HST by aligning them in one corner and sewing diagonally from corner to corner. This way you will achieve an even pointed rather than wonky star.


Repeat for each of the 4 fabric F rectangles, which should each sport two fabric E star points at the end. Trim the fabric that has been replaced by the star points off taking care not to cut into your seams. Press all for units. Flip the units over and trim them back to the size of 2.0 x 1.75.

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Take the fabric E 2.0 x 2.0 square, the four 2.0 x 1.75 wonky star point units you created and the remaining fabric F 1.75 x 1.75 squares to assemble the wonky star unit like you would assemble a normal nine patch block.

Iron the seams of the middle row inwards and the seams of the top and bottom rows outwards. This way you can nest the seams when you join the rows. This time your wonky star should measure 4.5 x 4.5 inches.



Step 4 – Secondary Star Flare Units using fabrics D and F


Mark the ¼ seam line with a soluble pen or chalk on one of the longer sides of each fabric D rectangle. Fold the fabric piece over at the marked line gently finger press.

Take two of the 8 fabric F 4.5 x 2.5 and place them right side up in front of you like shown in the picture. Now, measuring from the lower right and lower left corner firstly outward and then secondly upward mark the fabric pieces with a soluble pen or chalk at 1 inch from that corner on the shorter side and 3.5 from that corner on the longer side. Connect the two points with a line drawing on the right side of the fabric. We want the pieces to mirror to create secondary star points or flares. =) Repeat for the remaining fabric F pieces until you have four pairs.

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Take a fabric D piece and use the finger pressed seam allowance to align the rectangle along the line drawn on the Fabric F piece, making sure to place it in such a way, as to fully cover the underlying fabric F when folded over. My, that sounds complicated. Just look at the pictures, it is very easy =)

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Now hold or pin the fabric pieces right sides together and sew fabric D to the fabric F piece. Repeat the process for the mirror piece and then for the remaining six fabric F and fabric D pieces.

Press all the units. Flip them over and trim them down to the size of 4.5 x 2.5. Now pair a left and right mirrored unit and sew them together to create the secondary star flares. Press the seams open to reduce the bulk. Each star flare unit should measure 4.5 x 4.5 at this stage.



Step 5 – Some more assembly


Take the 2 fabric F 4 x 4 squares, place a quilting ruler from corner to corner and cut once from corner to corner diagonally.

Use the thus created fabric F triangles, the secondary star flares units from step 4 and the wonky star from step 3 and lay them out as you would a normal nine patch block. Using the fabric F 4 x 4 squares cut up in triangles option cuts down on fabric wastage.

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 If you feel safer going for the nine patch proper, use 4 fabric F 4.5 x 4.5 squares instead of the 2-fabric-F 4 x 4-squares-cut-up-in-triangles to assemble the nine patch.

OK, lay your pieces out as shown in the picture and assemble the pieces in rows using a ¼ inch seam.

Assemble the rows to create the nine patch block and press everything flat.



Step 6 – The Finale


Looking at your block so far you should notice that the flare units have middle seams that will serve as out guiding lines. Working on the right side of the fabric, measure 0.75 inches to the left and 0.75 inches to the right from the middle seam and mark the spot with a soluble pen or chalk. Repeat the process on all four sides. Then connect the dots to mark sewing lines as shown in the pictures below.

Take the triangle corner units created in step 2 and drawing on the wrong side, mark the ¼ seam line with a soluble pen or chalk along the edge of what was the Fabric B strip. Fold the marked seam allowance over at the marked line gently finger press.

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Now for the magic part. =) Place the corner unit along the marked sewing line, taking care to align that corner unit with the sides of the rest of the block. The lines you have drawn are there to guide you. If it does not quite align along this very line, wiggle around a bit to the left or right until it does. Just have a ruler handy to make sure that the block width on either side amounts to 12.5 inches.

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Carefully flip the corner unit over, trying to make sure to try to keep the piece in place. Hold or pin the pieces together and sew the corner triangle unit to the rest of the block along the marked sewing line using a ¼ seam. This is the trickiest part of the assembly. Therefore, I recommend to baste before sewing properly, just to make sure the corner unit ends up where it is supposed to.

Use the basting stitch or lengthen your stitch length and baste along the sewing line without locking the beginning and end of the seam. Flip the corner over to see if it aligns properly. If not, gently remove the stitches and repeat until happy. Shorten the stitch length again or chose your normal sewing stitch sew along the basted seam, this time locking the start and end as your normally would.

Repeat for the other three corners. Cut the exess fabric off on the back and fold the corner over. Trim around the edges, give the block a good press and you are done.

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The block should now measure 12.5 x 12.5 and isn't it a beauty. Now repeat this process - uhm - say 19 times over and you have a lovely throw quilt - ha ha - or you just task your quilting bee mates next year. 


and now, a little causerie to finish things off



WOW, this was an exciting, exhilerating and frightening experience. The deadline or task to write a tutorial did not daunt me BUT the prospect of pulling out an idea and making it work did. I know our favorite bloggers and designers seem to do it all the time - and it looks effortless too =) but it is no small feat to be able to translate an idea into an actual real life object.

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I scribble and draw many design ideas onto my writing pad and Post-it notes but this is the first one that was made from those doodles. The maths around the block construction gave me headaches. I made the first sample block in paper, which brought quite a few measurement calculation errors to light. When I started cutting into fabrics for my test block, I felt I had things about right.


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What can I say, I LOVE how my little blocks turned out. By now the 'Berry Harvest' version should almost have reached Cheryl to be incorporated into a charity quilt.

(Pssst - by the way - I made the 'Flares' stand out more prominently in this test version and love it! I marked the fabric pieces with a soluble pen or chalk at 1.25 inches from the corner on the shorter side and 4 inches from the corner on the longer side - compare Step 4)


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I hope you will give it a try. If you do, feedback and pictures are always welcome. Just leave a comment beneath this post, send me an e-mail that links to your work or use the hashtag #stellarflarequiltblock on Instagram. I can't wait to see your work.


Hop some Blogs


This blog hop was generously sponsored by Cloud 9 Fabrics and made possible by our inspiring blog hop hosts, Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter.  Thank you so much for the opportunity.


2016 New Quilt Bloggers

Of course I am not the only participant revealing a new block design today. Please also check out the posts of my fellow bloggers:


Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Jennifer @The Inquiring Quilter
Sarah @123 Quilt
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Jen @Patterns By Jen
Jennifer @RV Quilting
Amanda @Quiltologie
Sharon @Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
Jen @Faith and Fabric
Carole @Carole Lyles Shaw
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Susan @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Amista @Hilltop Custom Designs
Nicole @Handwrought Quilts
Marla @Penny Lane Quilts
Silvia @A Stranger View
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Carrie @the zen quilter
Mary @Quilting is in My Blood
Velda @GRANNYcanQUILT

40 comments:

  1. Katrin, it truly is stellar! Great job!

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  2. Fabulous block...and I love the quilt you made...just wow!!!

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  3. 😱😱😍😍😍😍need I say more???🙌🙌🙌 Awesome!!!

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  4. I love this!-great block-thank you

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  5. Fantastic! Great tutorial too!

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  6. Getting to see the repeat with a real set of blocks is super fun! I like the slight improvisational technique, and thanks so much for joining the hop. :)

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  7. Wow wow wow - I LOVE this design. I like that the middle is a little wonky, and I love the little secondary star, too. This is awesome and I love it in the alternate fabrics, too. It seems like it has a good challenge to it, too, which is fun. Wanna make this one...

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  8. It is lovely Katrin, such a clever block, and so fun. You did a great job on the tutorial, and I loved how you made the corners too.
    Smiles
    Kate

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  9. This is a really interesting and unique block, i love it! You did an amazing job!

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  10. Beautiful block! I love how you made it in two different fabrics for very different looks.

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  11. what a lovely block. i really love your trial block also

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  12. Stunning! You created such a beautiful block! Your test version is beautiful!

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  13. Wow! I would have never guessed that the outer triangles were originally a wonky star that had been cut up. So clever! Also, who doesn't have a ton of leftover triangles hanging about the place?!

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  14. Great block! Love the quilt you made too. Great work.

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  15. Wonky stars are always fun! Great block :)

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  16. Fabulous block and tutorial!

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  17. You've outdone yourself Katrin. It is a wonderful block.

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  18. Your block is fantastic. I love the color combos, too.

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  19. This block is above my skill level but love it.

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  20. Wow. The secondary pattern is amazing.

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  21. Such a beautiful block, and it is a clever way to use some of those pesky triangles. Your test piece is very striking, too!

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  22. Love the little wonky star and the layout is absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to try this one. Beautiful work!

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  23. This is such a great block Katrin - I have lots of those pesky triangles all over the place! The block is gorgeous and in your test colours looks fantastic!

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  24. Great use of these fabrics, and looks like it would be such a fun quilt if you used all scraps!

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  25. Its fabulous. Just beeing curious: Don't you end up with the same amount of leftover triangles? Love your design.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe yes actually, BUT they shrink in the process so they are smaller than before - Ha Ha
      I did not keep the mini ones that were the result of the process.

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  26. Wow, what a fun block! I love how it all comes together - just stunning! Great work :)

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  27. Der Block ist ja großartig! Wie schön die kleinen wonky stars wieder zusammen kommen :-) Ich bin ganz beeindruckt von den vielen verschiedenen Blöcken, die ihr euch so ausgedacht habt - Respekt für die tolle Arbeit!

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  28. Lovely block and love the final quilt!

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  29. I love your block and how it can put to use all our triangle scraps. I'm going to have to give your tutorial a try some time. Take care, Mary.

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  30. Yummy! The secondary design is stunning. Lovely wonkiness and the freedom it provides. Great job!

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  31. I love your block. I don't usually do wonky, but you are making me want to give it a try.

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  32. Your block did turn out very well. My husband laughs at us quilters since we buy perfectly good fabric and cut it up and sew it back together. Then your block takes it to the next level and cuts it up again and sews it back together. It was also interesting seeing the secondary pattern emerge in your larger sample you made. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I fully agree with your husband. It would be crazy really if the outcomes weren't so pretty =)

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  33. Holy wowzers! This is a great block! And I absolutely love how it comes together in a quilt layout.

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