Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

Browsing through the star blocks in BlockBase and Electric Quilt Chris came across a star called Star and Dot which looks a bit like a Blazing Star with bits missing. Further browsing produced a few more stars in the same family.

Let’s start with Star and Dot

Then add a few lines to make New Star

Or add spiked corners to make Blazing Star

Split those corners to make another version of Blazing Star

Change the corner and centre to make the Emerald block

Or add in lots of extras to make Optical Illusion

You can download the cutting instructions for all these blocks (12 inches) and blank blocks to colour here. You could also use the blank Star and Dot block to design a block of your own.

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colouring in, Free patterns, Inspiration, possibilities, scraps

Meadowside blocks

One of the blocks featured recently over on our Meadowside Designs blog was one called Thrifty – rather appropriate we felt in these times. It’s very simple – just lots of squares.

But you can make some interesting quilt designs with it by changing the lights and darks around

Then we thought what happens if you combine the 6 inch block from Meadowside with a 12 inch block? We called it Double Thrifty!

You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here, for a 6 inch block from Meadowside Designs here and a Double Thrifty quilt to colour in and play with here.

Once you start moving the lights and darks around in a quilt design it gets very interesting indeed! As each Double Thrifty block is 24 inches you have a big quilt in no time at all. Here the quilts are set 3 x 3 instead of 4 x 4 (so 72 inches square instead of 96 inches) without borders.

To be very thrifty remember that you don’t have to use all the same fabrics throughout, just the same colours (more or less), so it worth hunting through the scrap bags to see what you can find.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We’ve another family of blocks to explore this month – the Eight-Pointed Stars, based on the LeMoyne Star

You can download cutting instructions for 12 inch blocks and blank blocks to play with here.

Taking Lemoyne Star as a starting point you could add some extra little points – we called this one Double Star

But those corner squares looked a bit plain so we added four-patches and, with our usual panache, called it Double Star Variation

Or you could start dividing the star points – to give a block often called Blazing Star

Another division of the star points and turning the corner squares into half-square triangles gives us EQ Star

The blocks above are all included in the download but there are lots of other variations to the basic star – dividing the star points in half lengthwise and adding half-square triangles in the corners gives us a block often called Silver and Gold

Using stripes – or strips – to make the star points can make Spiderweb Star

or Wrapped Star

If you go searching you will find dozens of other variations like these, or you can draw your own using the blank blocks in the download – the templates included should be enough to make many of the variations.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns

Meadowside Sampler blocks

Over on our sister blog our wander through the block alphabet has reached S. So far we have posted six-inch patterns for Schoolgirl’s Puzzle

Shoofly (and Snowball – just a different way to colour the same block)

Simple Basket

Six-Grid Chain

and (as it’s October) two Spiderweb blocks.

There will be another two blocks next Saturday before we explore blocks beginning with T.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

This month we’ve been playing on EQ and exploring the family of star blocks that include 54-40 or Fight. The starting point is a block simply known as Eight-Pointed Star

Eight-pointed Star

but then various other units get added to the plain squares in the centre and/or the corners to make new blocks. Starting with just triangle corners and then adding something to the centre we end up with these four – The Eight-Pointed Star, Judy in Arabia, Doris’ Delight and an un-named block from the 1920s

Just adding a more complicated centre to the starting block gives us Dove at the Window

Dove at the Window

And then if we add four-patch units to the centre and corner squares, then change the lights and darks around you get 54-40 or Fight, Garden Patch and Bird of Paradise

The star point units (often called Peaky and Spike – and Chris can never remember which triangle is Peaky and which Spike) are probably most accurately made with foundation piecing so these are included in the download pack. Rotary cutting the equilateral (background) triangle is nigh on impossible so the other method is to use templates – also included in the pack. These plus rotary cutting instructions and a block to colour for each block mentioned in this post can be downloaded here.

As usual we then had a ‘what happens if . . ?’ moment and divided up the Peaky and Spike units too, adding a square on point to the centre.

If you print out a few plain Eight-Pointed Star blocks from your download you too can grab a pencil and play at designing a new-to-you block – you are not obliged to make it!

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities

Over on Meadowside . .

We are continuing our jaunt through the alphabet with patterns for 6 inch blocks. This week we have reached Q. But are there any blocks beginning with Q? There are a few, many of them more suited to hand stitching over papers (which is very much not Chris’s ‘thing’) so we went for the one that can be rotary cut and machine pieced – Queens Petticoat.

But, looking at it, all Chris can see is a hat – with a feather!

What do you think?! How could you colour it so it looked more like a petticoat and less like a hat? Instructions, a block to colour, and more colourings of the block can be found on the Meadowside website.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We’ve chosen another old favourite to highlight this month – the Sawtooth Star.

There are a gazillion variations of this block – and no rules to say you can’t make up your own. You can download a block to colour or play with plus cutting instructions for many of the blocks featured – and there should be enough information in there to work out how to make lots of other blocks.

To start with you can add triangle corners and/or a diamond-in-a-square centre to make a Variable Star, a Variable Star Variation and Mosaic #19

Or you split that centre square into triangles to make Free Trade, Chisholm Trail, Sarah’s Choice, Barbara Frietschie, Anna’s Choice, Margaret’s Choice and and another Variable Star Variation

Some of the blocks look identical – apart from the way they are coloured and this has been enough to give them different names over the years.

Those centre triangles can be divided again to give us two very similar looking blocks – Martha Washington’s Star and Star and Pinwheels

Or how about dividing the centre (and maybe the corners) into smaller squares? This will give blocks such as Sawtooth 16-patch and Frayed Sawtooth

Sometimes a Sawtooth Star block has been used as the centre square – this gives us Rising Star and Eight Hands Around

Taking these a little further by dividing the corners and even the large triangles around the edges to make a Rising Star Variation, Free Trade, and Odd Fellows Chain and its Variation

What we haven’t yet done is split the small Flying Geese triangles – doing this gives us Aunt Addies Album and from there you can get Square and Stars and its Variation

Start playing with this exceptionally versatile block and see what you come up with – download the PDF to help you on your way.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns

Sweet treats at Meadowside

As you probably know by now we are rambling through an alphabet of six-inch blocks over our sister blog – Meadowside Designs. Among the many blocks featured are a number of pies, deserts, puddings, cakes – or ‘sweet treats’. Put together these could make an entertainingly different sampler quilt. This month we have reached P for Peach Cobbler

Last month we had O for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Previous posts have included Apple Pie

Blueberry Pie

Chocolate Cake

French Silk Pie

and Key Lime Pie

Still to come are Raspberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Smoothie and Tiramisu. All the cutting instructions are free to download.

We’re feeling quite peckish now – time to go in search of the biscuit tin . . . .

Free patterns, quilt patterns, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

We have yet more Ohio Star variation blocks this week – there’s just so many of them to choose from!

Some are more complicated (fiddly?) than others but you can still find the basic Ohio Star block in there. You can download the cutting instructions to make all these12 inch blocks to add to your Stellar Sampler or just make one into a cushion or bag front.

We also had a bit of fun making virtual quilts with these blocks – some with just the one block and some with pairs of blocks set alternately.

Your download includes pages of the blocks to colour in so you could cut these up and make your own ‘quilts’. Have fun!

Free patterns, star blocks

June’s blocks on Meadowside

Over on the Meadowside blog we have reached M in our alphabetical odyssey with Maple Leaf blocks, a Merry Kite and this week we are dipping our toes in the Mississippi.

Superficially the Mississippi block looks a bit like a Friendship Star or the Ribbon Quilt block but look again. The difference becomes very apparent when you put four blocks together

It’s a simple block to make, even at six-inches, and four together will (of course) make a 12 inch block to fit in with the Stellar Sampler we are slowly making this year. You can download the cutting instructions to make a six-inch block over on the Meadowside blog.