January 2010 - Block of the Month Stars

Introduction and Ohio Star Block

This year, I have planned twelve star blocks, one each month, no skipped months. You can choose to do the blocks either 6 inches square OR 12 inches square, I'll offer cutting directions for both. You can also choose what colors you want to use, and how you want to arrange your blocks. Here's some sample layouts to give you some ideas:

How about a Southwestern theme? You could use oranges, turquoises, denim and indigo blues.

It might look better with sashing between blocks, like some of the examples below.

You'll be on your own for the middle block, if you choose a medallion setting.

This quilt would be 24 inches square before borders, if you did it with six inch blocks around the edges and a twelve inch block in the middle. OR it could be 48 inches square if you did it with twelve inch blocks on the edges and a twenty-four inch block in the middle.

What if you want a bigger quilt? Look at this snowflake version in cool blues, violets, purples, navy, and white.

If you made twelve inch blocks for the edges, this quilt would be 60 x 60 before borders, and that big center snowflake block would be 48 inches square.

Notice this one took 20 blocks to go around the center. You'd have to make some blocks on your own, or you could make duplicates of some of the blocks. Can you find the spiky looking block I've repeated three times around the edges? Did you notice the same block in all four corners, but using different colors in the patches? There's also a six pointed star that I've repeated twice, and a couple of blocks from EQ's snowflake file.

Here's a version in red, green, white, and gold, for Christmas.

Instead of a word in the center of this horizontal layout, how about a sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer? Or a row of houses decorated for the season?

Done with 12 six inch blocks, and with one inch sashing, the quilt would be 36 x 22 as pictured, with the center 6 x 18.

A patriotic version, for Virginia. ;)

Do you know any veterans that need a quilt?

Twelve inch blocks and two inch sashing would make this one 54 inches square, before borders. Because of the sashing, the center would need to be 26 inches square.

Six inch blocks and one inch sashing would make a wall hanging 27 inches square before borders, and that center block would be 13 inches square.


Or, for those of you that want a quilt for every occasion, how about a St. Patrick's Day quilt? This one I set the blocks on point, added some fancy triangles in the corners, with everything arranged around an appliqued bunch of shamrocks for the center.

Does your family have a holiday they're especially fond of celebrating? Maybe a St. Valentine's Day quilt in red, pink, and white, loaded with stars and hearts? Or a Happy New Year quilt, with fireworks in the middle?

How about doing your blocks in brights for an Easter quilt? I'm sure those of you who love applique could make a better looking bunny than the one I drew there... :D Or do a Spring theme, and put a tulip or jonquil in the center.

That center would be 6 x 18 if you use six inch blocks for the edges, perfect for a wall hanging.

In pastels, this might make a cute baby quilt, and you could embroider the baby's name, birthday, height, weight, etc. down that middle block, instead of the rabbit and Easter basket. Add a rattle at the top, and a little teddy bear at the bottom, you'd be all set.

Just remember, if you do these blocks in the smaller six inch size, you're going to be working with some tiny pieces, maybe even paper piecing some bits. If tiny triangles and fiddly pieces aren't your thing, better stick with the 12 inch size.

And of course, if none of the above layouts or ideas sound interesting, or if you're a quilt traditionalist, you could simply pick your favorite colors, and set your twelve 12 inch blocks in a 3 x 4 layout like the one to the right.

Need to do some stashbusting? Challenge yourself to make a scrappy star sampler quilt without buying anything but the B's - borders, backing, and binding!

Whew! Long intro! Let's make this first block an easy pieced Ohio Star. Got your theme and colors picked out yet?

Look at the examples above for the different ways you can color this block. Do you want a dark background or a light one? Four colors or two or three?

I'm never sure exactly how much instruction you guys need. I'll be a little more explicit with the more complicated blocks, okay?

This block has a nine-patch layout, with four quarter-square triangles forming the star points.

Use the diagram to the left for cutting your triangles and squares the right size. Sew the triangles together first, to make a square.

Then lay out your nine squares, sew the squares to make rows, then sew the rows together to make the block.

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