Sunday, August 5, 2012

Craftsy BOM August - DONE!

This month over at the Block of the Month class, we're making star blocks. I've said it before and I'll say it again...this is a great class and it is free! I talked to a friend this weekend who has no intention of making the quilt, but enjoys the lessons as skill builders. She hasn't been quilting for long, and this is a good way to pick up new skills and practice old ones. Another good part of the class is that you can watch the videos over and over again, and can make notes throughout the video using time markers. That makes it easy to get to the part of the video you most want to see again.

The first block this month is a traditional Ohio Star block. This was a good chance to practice quarter square triangles. I like making quarter square triangles but I'm always nervous that they are going to end up too small. To overcome this, I always use a seam allowance that is much less than the usual quarter-inch. I should of put a ruler on this, but here's the back of my block. Hopefully, you can tell the seam allowance is super skinny.

One of my favorite parts about making these is how the center points nest together so nicely. If you've done a good job pressing, it's hard to mess up the center point.
Each of these units should finish to 4 1/2". You can see how much bigger my block is than the finished size, and that's okay with me. I can trim it down to be a perfect 4 1/2" with the center point exactly in the center.

I'm using my favorite ruler, Creative Grids. Since I know my finished block is 4 1/2", I know I want the center point to be exactly in the center of that, which is 2 1/4". I can also make sure it isn't wonky by placing the 45 degree line right down the diagonal seam.

There are other techniques for making quarter square triangles spot on, and the extra squaring up step does take extra time. I like to sew for fun and I don't want to sweat being perfect with each and every step. The extra squaring up step gives me the ability to have fun and know that I have room for error.

I'm happy with my fabric choices for this block, even though I'm getting bad to mimic what is shown in the pattern illustrations rather than venturing out into my own color choices. The only concern I have with my finished block is that I stand a chance of losing some of those outer points when I put it all together. They are very close to the edge.

The second block this month is called a double star and it's a star in a star block. This block used lots of Flying Geese units. There are several methods for making these, and the method used in class is probably the first one most quilters learn. It is the method of laying a square on a rectangle and sewing a diagonal line. You can see the details in the class video. For this block, keeping your seams a scant 1/4" rather than a full 1/4" will help make sure the end result is the right size.
It's really hard to see here but I tried to sew just outside the pencil line rather than spot on the line. And then I added a trick I learned from Bonnie Hunter over at She goes back and sews a second line a generous 1/4" away from the first line. When I trim the extra fabric away, I cut right between the two sewn lines. All those triangle scraps turn into nice 2" half square triangles that I can add to my 2" square scrap pile for use in another project. I love it when there's no waste!

Here's my finished double star.

The transition from the smaller star to the background is a little muddy, but I'm okay with that. It is nice to be caught up with this project so early in the month. It will be an exercise in patience waiting for the September instructions to be available.

While I wait, I plan to spend some more time working on my New York Beauty blocks, along with a few other projects that have caught my eye.

1 comment :

  1. I have really got to get busy on my BOM! Keep on inspiring me and maybe I will get to it! Yours is beautiful!


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