Saturday, January 28, 2012

New One Patch Wonder plus 1.....

Beginning of my Evening Star quilt top!
Evening Star block plus corners
 I wanted another one-patch wonder to add to my list, and found this block: Evening Star (according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns). The triangles are all the same size 45° triangles which can be easily cut using any 45° star ruler. I'm sure it could be cut using any ruler with a 45° angle marking, but I didn't try it that way since my own star ruler works so quick and easy. (You can purchase one for yourself from my website, if you'd like. Look for the Wall Flower pattern. You have your choice of buying the ruler only. Add a note to your order, and I will include one of my lone star patterns for free.)

The following instructions will make a 15 1/2" finished block, depending on the accuracy of your 1/4" seam allowance. Because of how many seams are in the block, your block size may vary slightly from my measurement.

Put 5-6 layers of tape at 4 3/4" from tip of ruler

First, prepare your ruler. Cut 5 or 6 pieces of masking tape about 4" long and affix them to the ruler at exactly 4 3/4" from the tip of the ruler, making sure that the tape is straight across the ruler.

Next, cut fabric strips 4 3/4" x 18" (across the width of a fat quarter). Each strip will yield 8 triangles. I like to layer 4 to 6 fat quarters of fabric on my ironing board, add a little starch/water mixture to the layers, and press them dry. The starch serves to stick the layers together, and will hold them well for rotary cutting. I can cut pieces for 2 or more blocks at one time when layered like this.

Use tape on ruler as a guide to cut first triangle.
Align the tape cutting guide on the prepared ruler along one long cut edge of the 4 3/4" x 18" fabric strip. Using a rotary cutter, cut along both angled edges of the ruler. Rotate the ruler 180° and cut the next triangle. Continue rotating and cutting pieces across the strip. You should be able to get 8 sets of triangles across the strip.

Continue cutting triangles by rotating the ruler.

Now, arrange the triangles in 2 groups of larger triangles, as shown, with 4 triangles in each stack of triangles. Set one group aside.
Arrange triangles in 2 sets of 4, with 4 deep. Set one group aside.
 Measure and pin at the 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold the far right triangle onto the middle triangle, right sides together. Stick a pin through the first fabric layer exactly where the quarter inch seam allowances cross. Note: A 1/4" piece of blue tape placed on your left thumb can be used to help you determine where the seam allowance line will fall. Then stick the pin point through the second layer of fabric exactly where the seam allowances cross. Bring the two layers together and if you wish, pin the layers together. Note that a triangle of the lower layer sticks out beyond the top later. It is very important that this step be accurate, or your pieces will not go together nicely.

First step.
Add the lower triangle to the set. Make 4.
In a similar manner, stitch the far left triangle to the set, then add the lower triangle to complete the large triangle. Make 4 and set them aside.

PRESS SEAMS OPEN! This is important, because these seams will not nest. Pressing seams to one side will make subsequent matching of seams difficult. (Ask me how I know!)

Second set of triangles

Cut two 6" squares of the corner fabric, then cut them in half diagonally, to yield 4 corner triangles. Add them to the layout of the 2nd group of triangles, as shown.
Cut two 6" squares in half diagonally.
Cut 4 corners triangles 

Add corners to the layout.

Stitch this group together in the same order as before, then center and add the corner triangles, as shown.
Stitch group together in same order as before.

Center at stitch the corner triangles to the group.

Stitch with the triangle group on top.
Stitch exactly through seam intersection.
This preserves the star point.
Press seams open. You may choose to press the corner triangle seams toward the corners, but if you will be stitching the blocks together without sashing strips between them, you will want to press the corner seams open, too.

Lay out the triangle groups, alternating the corner units with the first sets, as shown.
Lay out the sets, alternating with corner units.
Stitch the units together into quarter blocks, as shown, carefully matching seams.

Stitch units into quarter blocks.
Next, stitch the quarter blocks into half blocks. Be very careful to match all seams, but especially the center seams. When stitched, the center seams should form a perfect 'Y'.

Stitch quarter blocks into half blocks.

Carefully match the center seams.

Center seams should make a perfect 'Y'.

Stitching halves into wholes.....

Half blocks will look like this.
Stitching the halve into the entire block poses some challenges: Matching all seams, but in particular, matching the center seam. If the center doesn't match perfectly, the center may cup in, or it may pooch out. For the center seams to lay flat, you must take care to match it. Follow this sequence of steps to match the center seams:

Use a single pin to match the center seams, as shown.

Bring the layers together on the single pin.

Then pin layers together on either side of the single pin.
Remove the first center pin.

Stitch up to the first pin. Remove it.
Then stitch to the second pin before removing it.
Stitching line should fall exactly at seam intersections.

Aha! I did it! Perfect!

Underside of a finished block.
Note: seams are pressed open.
You may trim pointy pieces off at this time.

Using a very large square-up ruler,
trim two edges 1/4" beyond the points.
Turn the block 180° and trim the
remaining 2 sides. Your trimmed block should be
approximately 16" square.

 And, here is the beginning of my Evening Star quilt top:

Don't you love it?

A reminder for readers: February special is a free Ruthie's Stars pattern with order of any book. I'll extend this offer to any order of the Star Ruler, too, of course!  UPDATE:  no longer free but still available at:

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