Friday, August 1, 2014

Megan's Star - A Tutorial


Well, I haven't finished my Micheal Miller Challenge quilt, but I did make the main block.  Baby steps.  Baby steps to the goal.  :)

I found some star designs that I liked and tweaked them to make this star.  I am calling it Megan's Star because the quilt is for my niece Megan (if I give it to her - I'm tempted to keep it - I really like it so far!).  

I really have a thing for pinky-coral fabric and wanted to work in some of my Meadowsweet scraps of into the quilt.  In order to get all of my favorite fabrics in, I decided to use "made fabric" a la Fifteen Minutes of Play for the side point of the star.  I think it adds a fun subtle scrapiness to the quilt.    But feel free to use regular fabric for the points instead.  To balance the scrapiness of the side points, I used solid fabric for the corner points.

It is jumbo sized at 18" finished and I thought I would share the tutorial for it today.  Are you ready to make one?

Megan's Star - 18" Block
Step 1:  Make scrappy fabric panel

The scrappy fabric is made by sewing little pieces of fabric together, trimming and sewing more pieces together again.  Go herehere or here to see how to make your own fabric from scraps.  Make sure the scraps are small enough that you will see more than one piece of fabric in a 3" HST.  You will need to make enough scrappy fabric to cut four 3 7/8" squares and one 7.25" square.

Step 2: Cut fabric

From white (background):
4 - 3.5" squares (for the corners)
6 - 4" squares (for the hst)
4 - 3 7/8" squares (for flying geese)
1 - 7.25" square (for flying geese)
4 - 2" squares (for inner star corners)
1 - 4.25" square (for inner star flying geese)

From yellow solid:
4 - 4" squares

From coral solid:
2 - 4" squares

From pieced scrappy fabric (or regular fabric):
4 - 3 7/8" squares
1 - 7.25" square

From dark gray (inner star points):
4 - 2 3/8" squares

From gray (center of inner star):
1 - 3.5" square

Step 3:  Piece the half square triangles (hst):

-Draw a line from corner to corner on each of the six 4" white squares.
-Place the white 4" squares right sides together with the 2 coral and 4 yellow 4" squares.
-Sew a 1/4" seam on either side of the line.
-Cut on the line.
-Set seam (press while the fabric is still right sides together) and press open.
-Trim to 3.5" square.  (Check out this post for step by step instructions on how to trim).

You should have a total of 8 yellow hst and 4 coral hst.

Step 4: Make the flying geese units:

The next step is to make the flying geese units out of the scrappy fabric.  You will need four units where the white fabric is the "goose" (the big triangle in the middle), four units with scrappy fabric as the goose and four small units with dark gray as the background for the small inner star.

I love this quick and easy method of making four flying geese units at once.  It is like magic!

-First, draw a line from corner to corner on the back side of the four 3 7/8" white and scrappy squares and on the four 2 3/8" gray squares.  
-Pin two scrappy squares right sides together with the white 7.25" square.  Put the smaller squares in opposite corners with the drawn lines running from corner to corner as pictured.  The small squares will overlap in the middle.
-Sew 1/4" to each side of the line.
-Cut on the line.
-Set seam and press open.  You will have two heart shaped units.
-Pin the last small scrappy squares right sides together with "heart" units as illustrated.
-Sew 1/4" on both sides of the line.
-Cut, set and press.  You will have four flying geese units with the scrappy fabric on the edges.

-Repeat with the 7.25" square of scrappy fabric and the four 3 7/8" squares of white fabric to make four flying geese units with the scrappy fabric as the goose.

-Repeat with the 4.25" white and 2 3/8" dark gray squares to make the flying geese units used in the center star.

Step 5:  Make sub-units

All of the block pieces are ready.  Now it is time to put them together!

-Use the white 3.5" squares and the yellow and coral hst to make the first sub-unit.  Lay out the fabric as illustrated.  Sew the rows together.  Set seams and press.  The arrows indicate which way to press.  Then sew the rows together.  Make four of these units.

-Sew the scrappy flying geese units together as illustrated.  Press 2 seams up and 2 seams down so the seams will nest well in the final block.

-Lay out the 2" white squares, gray flying geese units and gray 3.5" square as illustrated.  Sew the units together into rows.  Press towards the white and light gray squares.  Match the seams and sew the rows together.  Press towards the center.

Step 6:  Put it all together
-Lay out all the sub-units as illustrated.  (The scrappy flying geese units that are pressed downwards are on the top and bottom.  The units that are pressed up are on the sides.)
-Match seams and sew together into rows.
-Press as indicated by the arrows.
-Match seams and sew rows together.

Yea!  I love, love, love this block and hope you do too.  Let me know if you make one.

Now I've just got to find the time to sit on the porch swing and applique the little stars onto the background fabric.  It's a rough job, but someone's got to do it.  :)


  1. Gorgeous block. Its on my list of to do's!

  2. I love this star block! I'll definitely find some time to make it.

  3. Really pretty block. Please give a tutorial on how to applique the little stars onto the block. As a Beginner, I have never done applique.

  4. Is there a pattern for the little stars?