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!

possibilities, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Stars

Is it too soon to mention December 25th? Chris has been rummaging in the cupboards of C&B Towers and come across a set of table mats made some (oh dear – just done the sums!) 30 years ago for parents’ Ruby Wedding and for Christmas that year – parents got married at Christmas (foolish time of year according to mother many years later).

Enough rambling – today’s theme for Scrappy Sundays is Stars and quite fortuitously several of those mats feature star blocks. There’s loads of star patterns out there and what better for using up scraps than a few star blocks? And if you can use up scrap Christmas fabrics and decorate your table too?!

These were just simple 12 inch blocks quilted in the ditch and bound. They’ve been washed every year too – and still they have gravy stains.

But you could make a slightly more sophisticated style – border a block on two sides for instance and add a bit of fancy quilting before binding.

So why not give it a go? There’s plenty of time – for next year!

Free patterns, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sunday – Stars

Trawling through photos of quilts looking for inspiration for a scrappy post I came across this little quilt.

Hig pig stars

I’d called it Higgledy-Piggledy Stars many years ago before computers got too smart. But now? Spellcheck really doesn’t like that name – perhaps we should just call it Wonky Stars instead. But whatever its called, it is a great way to use up scraps. This one is a 9-patch with smaller 4-patch stars in the cornerstones of the border.

wonky star 4 scraps

You can make each block with scraps of the same colour – as I have in my quilt

wonky star yellow scraps

Or you can make them with different scraps.

wonky star scraps

You could use different prints, but similar colour, backgrounds as in my quilt.

wonky star scraps2

At the moment the pattern for this little quilt is available as a Free Pattern in the Meadowside Designs Payhip Shop – along with several others – if you fancied giving it a go.

Electric Quilt, Free patterns, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Stars

As some of you may have noticed, we have been doing a star block every week over on our sister site Meadowside Designs. The other week we featured one just called Two Colours – it was ok (ish) but needed a few tweaks, partly to make it easier to rotary cut and machine piece. The tweaks opened up a few more possibilities for colouring and it struck us that it would make quite a good candidate for a scrappy block.

Two colour block

You can find out a little more – and download instructions to make it – over on Meadowside but here is what a quilt or two might look like if done scrappy-style, without sashing

Two colour quilt b

and with sashing.

Two colour quilt a

colouring in, Electric Quilt, Scrappy Sunday

Scrappy Sunday – Stars

Barbara and I are bouncing ideas off each other with these scrappy posts. I said I would do scrappy stars this Sunday but hadn’t decided which one to look at until I saw Barbara’s post last week about squares. There is a star block called Sawtooth Squares. This is how you usually see it coloured in – just one colour family for all the pieces.

sawtooth squares

 

But no reason why you can’t do a scrappy one.

scrappy sawtooth squares

Or several ones and turn them into a scrappy quilt.

scrappy sawtooth squares quilt

Download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block and have a go. Remember that your backgrounds can be scrappy too.

Download a colouring page as well – a little downtime amid the chaos of life today.

colouring in, Electric Quilt, Free patterns, Inspiration, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sunday – EQ Doodles

And suddenly its March! If the techie gods have been kind then our March EQ Doodles are up on the Doodles page; if not, then hopefully they will find their way there soon.

Our block for March is Doris’ Delight, a variation of 54-40 or Fight.

Doris Delight block

Over on the Doodles page we’ve changed the shading around a few times and given you a few ideas for quilt settings. But what about a scrappy version?

We would suggest keeping the star points the same colour – not necessarily the same fabric, just the same colour and then mix and match the other pieces – bright plus light for instance – and move them around. You might end up with blocks a bit like these two

But what about a quilt?

March scrappy

Alternating the light/bright placements and keeping the points the same colour does seem to work. Download a quilt to colour here and the templates, rotary cutting measurements and even a foundation piecing pattern (for the Peaky and Spike units) can be downloaded here if you fancy making some 12 inch blocks for real.