It’s April, so this month we are piecing the blocks for the Handi Quilter quilt-along, Seeing Stars. Last month we chose fabrics and cut out our pieces. If you are just learning about this quilt-along it’s not too late to join the fun.
Find the pattern here: https://handiquilter.com/product/quilt-top-pattern-seeing-stars/
Find the hints and hacks page here: https://handiquilter.com/download/152247/
I have to make a confession here. I’m not so much a “read-the-pattern-and-follow-the-directions” type quilter as I am a “look-at-the-picture-and-sew-the-pieces-to-look-like-the-picture” type quilter. Can you relate? Let’s take a poll. Tell us what kind of piecer you are in the comments.
Anyway, that’s how I put these blocks together. I’m glad I took a little time to color in the coloring page found in the hints and hacks pdf. It really helped me and my visual style.
Here are some tips I jotted down as I was doing the piecing.
1. Chain piece as much as possible. It saves time and thread.
Notice I did not cut the squares into triangles but rather, marked the diagonal on the squares and stitched on either side of the line. Then I cut on the marked line and I have 2 identical half-square triangles. I find this makes the stitching easier as I don’t have to worry about stretching that bias edge.
2. For half-square triangles, cut your pieces slightly larger and trim to the required size after piecing.
I use a Bloc Loc ruler. It makes this process easier and more precise. The groove down the center of the ruler “locks” onto your seam and you end up with perfect corners where the 2 pieces of fabric come together. A rotating cutting mat is a plus for this task.
Trimming takes a little extra time but the results are worth it. It also creates lots of tiny slivers.
When a quilt has lots of half-square triangles like this one does, there’s quite a bit of trimming. It’s good for TV time.
3. When you are going scrappy, it’s good to lay out your pieces and make sure you have good color distribution in your blocks. And you can check to make sure you’re not repeating the same fabrics within the block. (The turquoise triangles are meant to be repeated. It’s part of the overall pattern.)
Then it is an easy matter to simply sew the block together.
More on sewing these triangles next week!
How is Pam doing?
Here are some photos of Pam’s progress. Remember I told you she is adding stars to the large open diamonds? She is taking the “Seeing Stars” title to the next level!
To make her stars she needed to make flying geese units. You can see Pam likes to chain piece too.
Her method involves some trimming.
She likes the Bloc Loc flying geese ruler.
And she lays out her blocks to piece the units together.
The results are spectacular! I can’t wait to see her finished top.
I love the fabric for those gold stars! It has lots of movement.
How are you coming along with your Seeing Stars?
Quilt Every Day!
by Mary Beth Krapil
I am very much a paper-piecer; can’t stitch a straight line without the backing!