Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tutorial of a 6 Inch Sawtooth Star Block

Here's my work in progress for this Wednesday.  I'm sharing it with WiP Wednesday, WiP and Whatnots, Let's  Bee Social, I Quilt Thursday, Needle and Thread Thursday, Friday's Whoop Whoop and Crazy Mom Quilts.  For quick links, see the blog buttons I've loaded on my right-hand side bar.

For this post, a special thank-you goes out to ConnectingThreads for sponsoring this blog post and my next quilt pattern to be released.  I'm working through the pattern-testing and demo part of this quilt.  True, this is my most piecing-intricate pattern to date and I'm so excited about it. 

Connecting Threads sent me their newest line, Hometown Summer to play with for this design.  You can purchase the fabrics through the underlined hyper-link above.  My new pattern will also be available on their website as early as next week--and I should have a finished project to show you on Friday!  Yay!  I'm grateful that Connecting Threads will let me blog (blab? ha!) about it.  So many companies ask you to keep stuff hush-hush until they post it first--but not Connecting Threads--they just like you to show-off their cute fabrics!

Aren't these cute!  I've always been a fan of red, white and blue quilts and traditional prints.  This fabric line is perfect for any summer or patriotic quilt!

So...let's talk about sewing 6 inch sawtooth stars.  Shouldn't be too tough, right?  But yes, there are tricks.  The smaller the block is, the more important it is to get it sewn and trimmed correctly.  I've assembled a step by step photo montage of sewing these blocks so point out what needs to be done so the points do not get blunted in the final project.

What a messy pile!  This project requires 25 of these blocks (plus 20 more of a different size....that's a lot of blocks in one quilt!).

CUTTING DIRECTIONS: (for one block--the pattern has directions for strip cutting all 25!)

  • For the center light-blue square, cut one square measuring 3 1/2 inches.
  • From the cream setting fabric cut:
    • 4 squares measuring 2 inches for the outer corners.
    • Cut a square measuring 4 1/4 inches, then cut these into quarters diagonally for the flying geese point of the block.
    • For the navy blue points, cut 4 squares measuring 2 1/2 inches then cut them in half diagonally once to yield 8 triangles for the flying geese unit.
  • Sew the flying geese unit first by sewing the navy blue points onto the cream back-ground triangle.  Make sure to match the bias edges together.  You will have the unit shown in the photo below.
Trim the "dog-ears"--those funny yet pesky points of fabric that are sticking out beyond the block (I'm pointing to it).  They just get in the way.
Press seams out toward the darker fabric.
  •  Add the flying geese unit to the center 3" block.
To ensure that you do not blunt the point of the flying geese unit, pin the block through this point.  Then, watch your needle as you are sewing and approaching the intersection of the thread lines (the scissors are pointing to them and the tip of the pin is sticking through this point).  If you sew between the "X", you won't blunt the point.  This is important when sewing small blocks.

To press, I press the flying geese unit so it lies flat on top, then flip the block over.

Holding the flying geese down with the iron, I peel back the 3" block.  This way all of the seams lie flat.  When longarm quilting, there is nothing more annoying than a poorly (not pressed flat) seam that puckers up.  It creates problems in the quilting machine.  This method corrects that piecing error.

Chain-sew on the remaining sides. and press in the same manner.
  •  Add the 2 1/2 inch squares to the outsides of the remaining two flying geese units and add to the outer edges of the star block as in the manner already described.
Voila!  A 6-inch star pieced block that actually fits and has no blunted points!
 In other news...we finally learned how to dutch-braid my daughter's hair so that it goes all the way around her head!  Yep, that's an accomplishment for me--especially since she has three older brothers so I haven't been able to practice.  Her hair goes to her waist so this "hair-do" wrapped around her head 1 1/2 times!   Wow!  The calls it the, "Elsa at the Coronation 'do"--after Disney's Frozen.  Love that show!

Now it's your turn to share....what have you been working on that's fun this week?  Remember, when it comes to sewing, "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun!".

Modern Tradition Quilts