colouring in, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Last month our stellar sampler looked at Ohio Star and some of its variations and this month we continue that theme – one of the reason we love the basic block is that are so many ways to alter it, colour it and create a new (or new-looking) block.

One variation we looked at was Swamp Angel, but what if you split those corner triangles, or use a wide stripe? The resulting block is called Jacknife or Treasure Chest

Or you could split the outer triangles into a square and two smaller triangles and make Aunt Dinah – note too the change of colouring in the ‘star’ units

Or divide the inner triangle into two smaller triangles to make Mystery Flower Garden

Or split the corner squares with a thin strip from the inner to the outer corners – which makes a block called Old Snowflake

You can download the cutting instructions to make all these blocks at 12 inches and we have included colouring pages for each one as well – the colours shown above are the EQ default colours but there are plenty of opportunities to make these blocks your own.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

More six inch blocks

Our Saturday Sampler of six-inch blocks over on Meadowside has reached the letter J and this week’s blocks include one called Jewel Star

It really doesn’t look very star like but if you look at the colour versions that EQ and its magic wand came up with and then put sixteen blocks together in a 4 x 4 setting you start seeing stars – but it does depend very much on where the strongest colours are placed and on the contrast between those colours

The design also depends on which blocks you turn, and how far you turn them

That last pair illustrate the importance of where the strongest colours are placed – the centre brown and yellow dominate and the star is almost lost whereas in the pair above the contrast brightness of the yellow highlights the star.

If you fancy having a play with this block you can download the templates and a block to colour from our Meadowside blog.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We couldn’t have Stellar Sampler without our favourite block – the Ohio Star. But it has many, many names depending on how you place the colours, which book or magazine you found it in and even when you read that book or magazine. These blocks below all look like Ohio Star – they have the four corner squares, a plain square in the centre and quarter-square triangles as the star points. Download cutting instructions etc here.

However – the first one is usually known as Mosaic and the second as Ohio Star. On the second row we have multiple names for the first two. According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Block Patterns Block 1 is (has been) known as Eight-Point Design, Lone Star, Star Design, Texas Star, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, Texas, Eastern Star, Eight Point Star, Shoofly, and just Star. Block 2 is often known as Variable Star as well as Texas, Star Spangled, Western Star, Star of the West, Henry of the West, Star of Hope and Lone Star. The final block is usually known just as Flying Crow. Having said all that most of us refer to them all as either Variable Star or, more often, Ohio Star so as not to confuse it with the 4-patch Variable Star block.

By using different units in the centre or corners you can alter the block to make a new one, and there are many variations to be found. Today we have just a few with altered corners starting with Swamp Angel – sometimes known as The Four-X Quilt depending on the colour placement. This just has half-square triangles in the corners instead of squares.

The Ornate Star has altered corners too

This next variation doesn’t have a name

and if you turn the corner units round you get another variation

Yet another variation without a name is this one

If you don’t fancy making just one block but want to turn one or more of these into a quilt, what would those quilts look like? Perhaps something like these –

Your download this week has cutting instructions / foundation papers for all the variations we’ve shown this week as well blocks to colour and some quilt settings to colour too. There are so many ways to play with Ohio Star so next month we will have found some more ideas.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Browsing through a book of blocks the other day we came across a couple that we have made before (but don’t seem to have pictures of!) and realised that they are related to another block we do have a picture of . . . and then one thing led to another and with the aid of Electric Quilt we had some more related blocks that we may, or may not, make. You can download a PDF of the templates to make all these blocks at 12 inches, foundation piecing is a possibility but they didn’t fit onto A4 paper so they haven’t been included, but you do get a picture of each block to colour in.

So what are these blocks? First of all is Wheel of Destiny and then the star points were made slimmer and the colour kept the same

At which point it began to resemble Starry Path

And then with a bit of tweaking of the outer triangles Starry Path became Interwoven Star.

But you could join the centres of those two stars so they form a quarter-square triangle unit in the centre and make these two blocks – which we’ve called Spinning Stars 1 and 2.

But what happens if we go back to Starry Path and change the outer triangles again and make them a different shape?

And then if we add a tiny triangle to those new ones it almost looks as if the points have folded over (with a bit of clever colouring).

Join us next month for some more stellar blocks.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Last month we featured Eccentric Star but this month we go back a step to Friendship Star and several variations of it – including both Eccentric Star and Ribbon Star from last month. You can download a pdf with all the ideas and instructions here.

So first here is a reminder of what Friendship Star, Eccentric Star and Ribbon Star look like

And this is Friendship Star in a straight set quilt and then with two different colourings of sashing between the blocks and finally set alternately with Ribbon Star.

You could make a 3D variation of the block by using folded triangles for the star points – and even add a contrast colour that will show when the edge of the triangle is rolled back (the rolled back edge is orange, possibly should have done one with a greater contrast to show up here!)

We then played around with the corners of the block and came up with these and also a quilt with the Sawtooth variation to illustrate why we gave it that name.

Then finally – what happens if you make your Eccentric Star star points with a striped (or strip-pieced) fabric?

If you want to have a go at making any of these you can download the PDF with cutting and brief piecing instructions, including both templates and foundation piecing papers for the ‘ice-cream cone’ corners. If you need assistance with any of the units or techniques you can find information on our sister blog (Meadowside Designs) on the tutorials page.

star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Yet more blocks! Well, we wouldn’t want you running out of things to do this year. We’ve been trawling through our old worksheets and class notes and EQ projects from the last (I think we’d rather not say) ‘several’ years and have come up with a random selection of our favourite (mostly) star blocks to add to the ones from this year’s Doodles. Each month we will provide cutting instructions for a 12 inch block – there may be a worksheet to help with piecing as well and a few ideas to go with it. And to start you thinking here’s a few we made earlier –

To start us off we’ve found a nice simple block – the Eccentric Star. Just a few half-square triangles and a centre square. Download the instructions (a worksheet from a long-ago sampler quilt class).

But how you colour it in can change the way the blocks look when put together.

And what happens if you make mirror images of the block (which often happens quite by accident here).

Or if you turn those corner triangles round?

This ‘new’ block is called Ribbon Quilt.

There’ll be another star to download and play with in a month’s time.