Monday, June 18, 2012

How to make the stretched star

As you can see I've finished all my blocks.
My next step was to put them on my table in columns, because I had only 7 blocks of each color I made a slight change in size, and had 11 columns each 7 blocks long.  If you have 90 blocks you will want to lay yours out in 10 columns 9 blocks long (10 x 9).  I first tried a "scrambled" look with just putting them all out in any order.  It didn't work so I decided to try a diagonal order, which worked much better.  My diagonal went from upper left to lower right.
Once you have your lay-out decided, put a safety pin in the upper left hand corner of the top left hand block in each column across. This will help you orient the blocks after you have sewn them.

Now flip the top right hand block over the left hand block.

Take these to your machine and being sure to keep them in order sew down the right edge making a 1/4 in. seem allowance.  Do not cut them apart, just keep right on sewing on the next two blocks. This is called chain piecing.  It saves time, thread and helps keep the blocks in order.

Once you have finished your whole column of blocks, lay them back down on your table and flip them open to lay flat.  Use your safety pin in the upper left block to orient each column correctly.

You will notice there is a small chain of thread holding each pair together in the column.  Now take the first column to your sewing machine.  Flip the top 2 blocks over the second 2 blocks and matching edges and center seem, sew them together.

Your chain of blocks will be out to the left of your sewing.

In this picture the top 2 sets of blocks are sewn together. Keep flipping the sewn blocks over the unsewn ones and always matching the center seem, sew them together. Sew each column like this.  You will have 5 double columns each 9 blocks long , if you are doing a 10 x 9 block quilt. I had 5 double columns and one single, each 7 blocks long for my 11 x 7 quilt.

Again I like to lay out my double columns out on a table (or floor, or bed or wherever you have space)  and still using the safety pins to keep them in order, check to see that everything is lined up the way you want it.  It is much easier to fix things now because our next step is to sew them all together.

And here it is, the finished lap quilt. I chose to put a border on mine of the same fabric as I used for the corners.  I feel this works well and helps to hold the whole quilt together.  After I layered the top, batting and backing together I machine quilted this one on the diagonal down the center of each large block. 

 I can see this quilt in many different colors and sizes and I'm sure I'll make it again.  Wouldn't a shorter one done in the flat block be a great baby quilt? 

Any questions or comments, please leave them and I will be glad to answer them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stretched star beginnings

More on Stretched Star...

So all of the fabrics are cut and now it's time to decide what  method  to use to make the block.

Read all of these directions before deciding.

 I have 2 choices, either the flat corner block or the pocket corner block (my names for them).  Both look very similar, but are made in two different ways.  Above is a sample of them.
On the left is the pocket block, in the middle is the flat block and on the right are the 2 extra mini-squares you get if you do the flat block. These mini-squares are not used in this quilt.

The flat block takes more preparation time, in that it has to be marked on the wrong side. The pocket block takes more sewing time, it has to be basted onto the large block, but this may be done by machine. I'll show both methods, first the flat block.

To make the flat block first mark the wrong side of the smaller squares diagonally across from corner to corner.

Then mark again 1/2 inch away, this line will not go from corner to corner, but is parallel to the first line.

Then you may mark a dotted line in between these two.

Next place two of these squares on opposite corners of the 6 inch square, right sides facing, as shown.

Now sew along all four of the solid lines, (2 lines on each of the smaller squares).

Next cut along the dotted line.  If you did not mark this line you may measure over 1/4 inch from the first line marked and cut there. Press the two corners open.

This large block should measure 6 in. square. The 2 smaller half triangle squares will be 2 1/2 in. square.  These smallest squares are extras and are not used in this quilt.  You may save them to use in a 'doll quilt'.  If you don't care to save them, then don't bother to sew the 2nd line (the one that does not go from corner to corner) on the small square, simply trim off the corners and toss.

To make the pocket corner block, start by folding the small square in half diagonally, wrong sides together.

Then place them on the 6 inch square in opposite

Sew these corners down very closely to the edge of the square.  You want these seams to be within the 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This may be done by hand and is a great take along project when you have free time.

The pocket block should look like this when finished.

So now decide which way...I'm doing the pocket block.  Get all the blocks done and next time we put it all together.