We are starting 2021 with a fun FREE ‘Sew Along’ quilt project to cheer everyone up.
This is aimed at all levels and is intended to be fun. The blocks aren’t too difficult so whether you are an experienced quilter or a beginner this is something you will enjoy!
Let’s go through the rules: There are no rules! There are no colour rules and no specific fabric amounts as it has been designed to use up what you have to hand. Having said this, we have to draw the line somewhere and we don’t want to hear any cries of “have you seen my shirt darling…”.
This is a 12-block quilt design and we will be posting a new 12″ finished block approximately every 4 weeks to give you a chance to finish the quilt before the end of the year. These blocks can also be used to create a ‘one-block-quilt’ or can be used to make cushions and other exciting items with them too.
So, let’s get started.
BLOCK 1: Eight Point Star
Finished Size 12″ (Unfinished 12-1/2″)
This block will show you one of my favourite ways to make quick and accurate ‘half-square-triangles’.
You can use any combination of fabric colours you like, but here’s what I used, to give you an idea:
A. Four 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ squares (white)
B. Eight 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ squares (white)
C. Two 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ squares (light yellow)
D. Two 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ squares (dark yellow)
E. Two 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ squares (light blue)
F. Two 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ squares (dark blue)
Whatever you use you may want to choose a specific colour for the background (A & B on this block). Make sure that you have plenty of this background fabric as you might want to use it for all your blocks to visually tie the quilt together.
- All seams are 1/4″ and I use a stitch length of 1.8.
- As a rule, you would press your fabric seams towards the dark side (darker fabric). I finger press my seams before pressing with an iron. This allows you to change the seams’ direction if needed without stretching your fabrics.
- In bulky areas press your seams open as this will help reduce thickness.
Half-Square-Triangle (also known as HST)
We are now going to make 3-1/2″ half-square-triangles. I like to make my half-square-triangles a little larger than they need to be and then trim them to the perfect size. I usually add 3/4″ to the block size so to make a 3-1/2″ block (unfinished) I’ll cut my square to 4-1/4″. Please note that a 3-1/2″ HST will give you a 3″ finished square when sewn into your block.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of your 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ fabric B square. Then take one fabric D and place it right sides together with your fabric B.
Sew 1/4″ away from each side of the diagonal line.
Cut apart on the marked line to make two Half-Square-Triangles. Then finger press seams to the dark side.
Trim your half-square-triangle by placing your ruler’s 45° diagonal line along your seam line, then square your block up to 3-1/2″ and trim away the excess fabric.
Using this method will give you a truly accurate 3-1/2″ block.
Repeat this method with all your coloured and white 4-1/4″ squares to make 16 HST blocks. You will have 4 spare HST’s that you can add to your stash for another project.
Arrange your HST’s into a star shape and place the remaining 4 small 3-1/2″ squares (fabrics A) into the corners. Then keeping your fabrics in order sew them together in rows.
Now is the time to use your iron.
See the photo below for the direction in which to press your seams.
Finally join these rows together nesting your seams in opposite directions as you go to give a flatter finish. Press your centre seam open where possible, matching your points.
If you have sewn your block together accurately it should measure 12-1/2″ square but if you need to trim it make sure you leave 1/4″ seam allowance on all your star points.
Tada!… you have finished your first block.