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Sew. Happy. Quilt. Tutorial #3 – Template Star Quilt Block

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Hello! Welcome to the 3rd tutorial of Sew. Happy. Quilt. From now on, we’ll only be working on one block per week. This week’s block is fairly simple to put together, but you’ll be using a template to cut it out, and there is a bit of a trick to getting it to come out right when you sew it, so I’ve put this in the Slightly Advanced Beginner category.

I have a Lazy Angle ruler which for you North Americans is available at Fat Quarter Shop, and for those UK/Europeans, it’s available at Creative Grids. I’m not saying you HAVE to have one, but if you like the look of this block, it might be worth investigating it.

First, you’ll need to print these PDFs I made. I don’t think you need any special settings on your printer, but you can check they’re the right size by making sure they’re 6.5″ high. Make sense? Here they are:

***UPDATE: Apparently, I screwed it up (what’s new?), so DH has fixed it – So when you print this, make sure you’ve got things set to NO SCALING . You can easily check that it’s right by checking that the template pieces are 6.5″ tall. The large S is toward the top of the skinny template piece, and the large B is toward the top of the background piece. Please read the whole tute before cutting as there are more pictures to help you below. If you have trouble, please email me at jenna@sewhappygeek.co.uk If you want to link to the template, that’s fine, but PLEASE link back to this page, NOT the PDF. And I’ll know if you’re cheating.***


Then you’ll need 3 fabrics – one for the inner star, and two for the background parts of the block. (You could do it with just one background fabric if you want.)

From your inner star fabric, cut a piece measuring 6.5″ x 8.5″

From your background fabrics, cut a piece of each measuring 6.5″ x 10.5″ (or one 6.5″ x 21″)

A word about templates: if you were doing a whole quilt using these templates, I’d recommend you buy the plastic template sheets that are designed to do jobs like this. But you’re only doing one block, so I don’t think it’s necessary. Since you’ll only be needing to cut one side, you could use a little double sided tape or tape rolled up on the paper template piece. Then you can ‘stick’ the template to the fabric and use your regular ruler to make the cuts necessary. Then transfer the tape to the other side to make the next cut. This will make more sense when you’re doing it.

So here’s how you cut for the star. If you’re right handed, you’ll start at the left hand edge and cut 4 pieces, rotating the template piece to upside down so they come out like this. If you’re left handed, start at the right side. You may have an extra bit leftover from the 8.5″ length. That’s ok.:

Do the same with the larger piece on your background rectangles (6.5″ x 10.5″). You’ll need two of each fabric. You might have a bit leftover after cutting them, too. That’s ok.

You’ll need to sew the star pieces to the background pieces like this (Right Sides Together – I’m not sure if you can tell the from the picture & my crazy orange fabric). But there’s a trick to getting it to line up, so keep reading and reference the pictures below.

You only want the TOP (dog ear) of the STAR piece just barely above the top of the BACKGROUND piece:

And the bottom dog ear just barely goes past the bottom of the background piece, with the background just barely peeking out. If in doubt, use a long stitch so you can undo it. When you’re happy with it, stitch over it again with a smaller stitch setting.

When you’ve stitched it, press the star portion and seams to the right.

Repeat until you have 4 pieces:

Stitch them together into twos:

And stitch again, making sure to line up the middle seams:

That’s it! You’re done! You totally rock!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2011. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.
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9 thoughts on “Sew. Happy. Quilt. Tutorial #3 – Template Star Quilt Block

  1. You *do* need a special setting when you print a PDF for making paper-pieced blocks. When you look at the printing options (the same place where you select how many copies you want to print), also look for the drop-down menu about scaling. The default is “scale to fit”, which will shrink your pattern down, usually to about 97% of the original size. You need to select the option that does not scale anything. Near the bottom of that window, it should tell you that you are printing at 100% the original size.

  2. Okay, you totally confused the heck out of me there, I was looking for 2 blocks and thought it had loaded funny then I went back and read it lol

    @ moose, it depends on the program and who used it last, it’s not always set to scale to fit, but it’s good to check that that isn’t ticked

  3. hello ! I have just opened my LAZY ANGLE that I got for a project I never did ( ;( ) so now I will open it and cut it out after dinner and hope to have enough time to sew it before I leave tonight !! thanks and when I see how EZ it is I will start my other project ; RIGHT ?????

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