Electric Quilt, Free patterns, possibilities, star blocks

Stellar Sampler

It’s nearly the end of the year (how did that happen?) and we’ve reached the last few of our stellar blocks. These are more eight-pointed stars, somewhat akin to the Blazing Star blocks from last month. You can download the 12 inch patterns and blocks to colour for all the blocks featured today here – it is free remember)

We start with Key West

If you divide that up a bit you get Morning Star (we have dubbed this Morning Star 2 in the download – you’ll see why in a moment)

Take the centre points of Key West and add pointed corners to make April Star

If you then take those points and divide them you get Shadow Star

Divide just the corner points of April Star to make Star and Cone

Or make the centre points shorter (and thus fatter at the end) to make Guiding Star

Then we come to our other Morning Star – a Blazing Star / April Star / Key West with added bits!

But we couldn’t leave our stellar year without reminding you of the Tangled Star block

You can find a pattern to make a runner using this block over in our Payhip shop along with many other patterns for runners, quilts and table toppers.

We hope you have enjoyed our exploration of some of the multitude of star blocks – and please download the patterns (they are free) and play with the ‘block to colour’ pages – split up the various bits of the stars and design your own extra stellar blocks.

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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.

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, 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, 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, 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.

Free patterns, possibilities

More blocks

Just in case you are need of yet more blocks / inspiration this year we are running a Six-Inch Sampler every Saturday over on our sister blog – Meadowside Designs. A rummage through various boxes / cupboards / bags produced a quantity of six-inch blocks looking for a quilt (or two) and some new ideas.

This one goes with our Doodles theme quite nicely – it features the blocks from the Little Book Of Stars put together into a mini quilt with an attic windows setting.

The blocks being featured on Meadowside can be put together into one big(ish) sampler quilt

or you could choose a theme such as stars (as the attic windows one) or cakes-and-pies perhaps – there seem to be quite a few blocks with ‘sweet’ names.

Being only six-inches square they are ideal for using up those smaller scraps and can be put together with any of the 12 inch blocks you end up making from our doodles or the twelve inch star blocks coming here from next week!

We seem to be planning a stellar year!