Welcome to the second week, and the second quilt, of the Stunning Stars Quilt Along! Last week I shared a super simple star quilt called "Scrappy Stars"...
...and I've been so excited to see some of you already working on your own versions! So simple, and a great way to use up scraps and leftover charms and layer cake bits and pieces.
This week I've decided to revisit one of this blog's most-pinned quilts from the past...
This quilt was originally designed for the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along in 2015, based on a block design by Judy Martin called Star Cluster. I transformed it into a one-block quilt called Interlocking Stars. Rather than repeat the same quilt, though, I decided to ramp up the "star power" of this quilt, so here's this year's version - Exploding Stars!
The stars in this version are made using scraps and small yardage leftovers from my solids stash - all of which has been getting way out of hand lately! It felt good to whittle some of that down.
I love the way the colors play so happily on the Kona Graphite background fabric (also from my stash!)
Lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots) of straight line quilting on my long arm quilting machine, Jolene, give this quilt some fabulous texture!! It's so soft and supple after washing, too...
And I dug through stash for some long-forgotten yardage for the back, too! This quilt certainly fits into the criteria of #SewMyStash2017!!
So - - - do you want to give this one a try? Here are the directions!
A few notes: (1) This quilt is scrap friendly. Just be sure you have enough of your chosen fabric to cut all the pieces you need! (2) I prefer to cut my pieces a little oversized and then trim them down to size after piecing. This helps me get nice points when I piece. I've listed the sizes for cutting that I used, which is about 1/8” of an inch larger than shown in EQ7. (3) I really recommend that you square up your HSTs after making them. This will make your quilt go together so much more nicely, and you'll be happier with the result in the end!
Fabric Requirements (I used solid scraps for my version, and just made sure that I had enough material to cut the number of pieces I needed from each):
Let’s work from the inside of the stars to the outside.
For each inner star, you will need:
1 - 4 1/4” square
4 - 2 3/4” squares for HSTs
There are four inner stars.
For each middle star, you will need:
4 - 4 3/4” squares for HSTs
4 - 2 3/4” squares for HSTs
4 - 2 3/8” squares for corners
There are four middle stars.
For each outer star, you will need:
4 - 8 1/2” squares for HSTs
4 - 4 3/4” squares for HSTs
4 - 4 1/4” squares for corners
There are four outer stars.
Background fabric (about 2 1/2 yards will give you enough for background and binding):
From the background fabric, cut four 8" squares, and four 8" x 30.5" strips. These will complete the background of the center of the quilt. (The easiest way to cut these is four 8" width-of-fabric (WOF) strips, each divided into one 8" square and one 8" x 30.5" strip.) Don’t cut the 30.5” strips to their final length until you are ready to work them into the quilt, to ensure that they are the correct length.
12 - 8 1/2” squares for HSTs
2 - 2.5” x 60” strips (cut these after assembling the stars, to ensure that they are the correct length.)
2 - 2.5” x 64” strips (cut these after assembling the stars, to ensure that they are the correct length.)
Begin by deciding your color layout - the inner, middle, and outer star colors for each of the four stars.
Now assemble the inner stars for each. For this you will need the inner 4 1/4” center square, the 2 3/8” squares for the corners, and the inner and middle 2 3/4” squares which will be made into HSTs. Using the traditional method for making HSTs, create the points of your star using the 2 3/4" inner- and middle-colored squares. Square up the HSTs to 2 3/8". Lay out your star block. assembling the sides and attaching them to the center, then assembling the top and bottom and attaching them to the center.
Now you will build the next ring out. For this you will need the outer 4 1/4” squares for the corners, and the outer and middle 4 3/4” squares which will be made into HSTs. Using the traditional method for making HSTs, create the star points using the 4 3/4" outer- and middle-colored squares. Square up the HSTs to 4 1/4". Lay out the pieces, assembling the sides and attaching them to the center, then assembling the top and bottom and attaching them to the center.
Now comes the (slightly tricky) part. Take the outer 8 1/2” squares, using three of each color and setting one of each color to the side for later use. Take the twelve 8 1/2” background squares and draw a diagonal line on the back of each one. Pair a background square with a colored square and make your HSTs. Square up the HSTs to 8". You should have six of each color.
Now take the 8 1/2” squares you set aside in the previous step and cut them in half diagonally. Referring to the diagram, match the colors up to create the HSTs that interlock the stars (where the stars touch, sharing an edge). Square up the HSTs to 8".
|Sections are "blown out" to show how to assemble.|
Lay the pieces out on your design wall/floor. Assemble the four units shown here. Measure the long edge of each unit to determine the correct length for the background strip, cut and attach to the side of each unit. (Hopefully, these will all be the same size!)
Assemble the four units into the center unit of your quilt top.
Sew your 2.5” background strips together end to end. Measure the center unit from top to bottom through the center, then cut your strips to that measurement and attach to each side of the center unit, easing as needed to make them fit. This will help square up your quilt top. Repeat for the top and bottom, measuring the center unit from side to side across the center.
This quilt finishes up at about 64" square.
There you go! You’ve got a finished quilt top!!
I hope you like this quilt as much as last week's - even though it's a bit more involved, it's still fairly simple to construct. Squaring up those HSTs make a world of difference! If this week's quilt isn't your cup of tea, hang in there - there's four more to come!
And after those four, it's time to start the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2017! The new button is up on the right sidebar if you want to grab it for your own blog. I'm still finalizing the charities for this year, but that info will be available soon. The new schedule is posted on the Hands2Help page above if you want to see it.
If you are interested in being a guest blogger for this year's event, I have five spots available. You can either leave a comment below (be sure to leave your email address just in case you're a no-reply blogger) or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to be a part of it! And many of you have been sponsors in past years - if you want to do that again, please let me know! This really is a group effort, and that's the whole reason it's been so successful and so much fun! Thanks in advance to everyone for all their help!!