Sunday, May 27, 2012

33 - Mini Lone Star

Tutorial for a 12 inch finished Mini Lone Star 
 Sorry it took so long to get this Skill Builder Sampler tutorial up.  It has been one of the most busy weeks of the year around here, but things have officially calmed down for now.   Knock on wood.  :)

 I really like how this mini Lone Star block turned out - Mine's not perfect, but still, oh so cute.  I think a whole quilt of these would be beautiful.  If you do not wish to piece the diamonds, you can use this tutorial for a LeMoyne Star block and get the same look with less piecing.   (scroll down for instructions)

Edited (4/15):  The Skill Builder Sampler will soon be available for purchase in book form!  It has been renamed "You Can Quilt!  Building Skills for Beginners" but covers the same skills with the easy, medium and challenging blocks and is a million times better than the original quilt along.  It is perfect for the beginning quilter or the experienced quilter who wants to branch out and learn new skills.  Find more information and pre-order a signed copy in my Etsy shop or pre-order on Amazon.  The Skill Builder Sampler tutorials will remain up until the book is released.  After release, some will be removed.

Cut four strips of fabric 1.75 inches wide and 23 inches long.  Cut two of the same color.  This color will be the middle ring of diamonds.

Out of background fabric, cut four 4 inch squares and one 6.25 inch square.  Cut the 6.25 inch square on the diagonal to form 4 triangles.

Sew the two strips that are the same color to the other two strips with a scant 1/4 inch seam.  Press.  Measure.  The strips should be 3 inches wide.

Cut the end of the strip off at a 45 degree angle.  Move the ruler over and cut at the 1.75 inch line.  Repeat down the length of the strip until you have cut eight units.  Repeat the process for the other strip.

The diamonds strips now need to be pieced together as shown above.

Lay the two diamond segments right sides together with the points overlapping the edge of the fabric.  They should overlap 1/4 inch in from the edge (see picture below).  Also, if you hold the unit up to the light, the seams should cross 1/4 inch below the edge of the fabric.

Sew all eight units together.  Notice how I will start sewing at the V formed by the fabric 1/4 inch from the edge.

Press the units open.  Take a second to measure your diamonds.  If laid on their side they should be 3 inches tall and the length of each side should be 4.25 inches.  Trim to size if necessary.

Mark each obtuse/large angle with an X one quarter inch from the edge.

Mark the background fabric triangles on the 90 degree corner and mark one corner of each of the squares 1/4 inch in.

Lay out the fabric as shown.  Sew two of the diamond units together.  Sew from the 1/4 inch X at the obtuse angle of the diamond to the end of the fabric at the point.  Remember to back stitch at the beginning of the seam.   Repeat for all four units.

Next sew a large triangle to the diamond unit.

Fold one of the diamonds down to expose the 1/4 inch gap.

Lay the triangle on top of the diamond.  The points of the triangle and diamonds should line up and the quarter inch Xs at the base should also line up. Sew from the point of the diamond down to the X.  Back stitch.  (If you have to choose, line up the Xs.)

Adjust the diamonds and line up the other side of the background triangle with the opposite diamond.  Again sew from the quarter inch X at the base (back stitch) to the point.

Repeat for all four diamond pairs.  This is what your block should look like at this point.  Next sew two of the two diamond units together to form a four diamond unit.  Remember to start sewing at the quarter inch  X.

The next step is to sew in the square.

Again, open up the seam and sew from the point of the star down to the quarter inch X and back stitch.  Bring the square fabric over to the other edge of the diamond, move any extra fabric and seam allowances out of the way and sew from the edge of the fabric down to the X again.  Repeat on the other half of the block.

Next sew a square to the side of one of the diamonds.  Start at the 1/4 inch X and sew out to the edge.  Press.

Repeat for the other side of the star.  The block should look like this now.

Lay the two sides right sides together and sew along the star from one 1/4 inch X to the other back stitching on both ends.

Bring the edge of the square over to the diamond and sew from the 1/4 inch X to the edge.  Repeat and press.

If the block is larger than 12.5 inches trim down to size.  (Thankfully some of my wobbly edges could be trimmed off!)  This is a time consuming block so just take your time and remember...

You Can Do It!  :)

One June 8th we will start on our three weeks of "There-is-no-way-I-Can-Make-That!" blocks.  Does anyone have any blocks they would like to nominate?  We will definitely make a Mariner's Compass style block.  My husband thinks they look cool and has been telling me I should make one for years and I have been responding with, "No way!  Too hard!  You make it."   :)

What have you put off making because it was too hard?  


  1. Looks great! I think this might be a step (or several)too far for my sewing group at the moment - I'm trying to do a block a week with them and I've started them off with a 'Tumbling Blocks' which is forcing me to hand sew - I am normally a slave to the machine.
    I think the stained glass window type blocks are quite a challenge but they do look stunning afterward. That might just be, again, because I am not so much a hand-piecer.

  2. Your block is beautiful! I need to get in gear and catch up! :)

  3. Okay this one might be the inspiration to get me up and moving on this quilt again!!!! Great block thanks for the tutorial.

  4. I have a block for you to try. I would love to tackle it again and win this time. It is the Gethsemane block on this site...

    My quilting teacher did it too and neither one of us could get to lay flat. I tried inset seams with every piece and she did it another way. Please consider doing it. I will if you will. ;-).


  5. It`s fantastic.Thanks for the great tutorial!!

  6. Have you considered seminole work as part of this? It could be quite interesting, and a little different. Plus, I need an excuse to actually try it!

  7. I did it but mine is a mess in the center. I have no idea what happened!

  8. I don't know how I didn't see this until today, but CUTE!!! I can't wait!

  9. I just saw your tutorial on the Moda site. What a great little apron, and great directions. I'm hoping to make one: it's so cute!! Thanks for the great inspiration :-) hlebrett at live dot com

  10. I just found this. This is great. Thanks so much for all the tutorials. I nominate mariner's compass, dalhia, double wedding ring. If those blocks could be done with techniques already shown, then maybe that should be a post.
    marilyn2222 @

  11. Cathedrial windows
    marilyn2222 @

  12. This was a wonderful tutorial, thanks so much for sharing. I made this block last night and had to tell you how helpful this was. You fabrics are so inspiring too, love your choices. I visited the blog you referenced in another post regarding Y seams...I wanted to ask, do you keep your needle in the fabric when sewing, and pivot at the center of the seam to go down the other side as described in the tutorial you linked to? I am reading here that you say to back stitch, then I am guessing you completely remove the fabric, readjust and go back to finish sewing the seam. Is that correct? I have sewn Y seams in the past but I never did them right as I always had a little open unsewn gap at the Y...I'd like to correct that!!! ;) Thank you!

  13. New York Beauty. That one gets my vote...Thanks for the great tutorial. Just jump in and try it. I finally did and I made a quilt. I just love mine.

  14. Thank you! I have bern looking to do thid for a challenge for our Quilt In this yr. Have to mske miniature block beginning with our initial. Minr is L =Lone Star is what l have chosen. Wish me luck following your much needed tutorial. Cheers n thanks again...Lyn