Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Stars Align [The Tutorial]


I am in Portland (Oregon) this week, visiting my parents. Portland is my home place! I may live in North Carolina right now, but I am a Pacific Northwesterner at heart. I grew up in this green part of the country and being here reminds me of all of those good times. 

We are skiing, eating, drinking, visiting old friends, and eating (we love food).

Anyway, I told you a long time ago I would pass on my techniques for making this little block. The quilt on my couch is still making me happy everyday. It might look hard or fussy, but trust me there are no fancy seams or funky rulers needed. I did it and I am a quilting wuss. 

Another tutorial! I am on fire. 

Stars Align Block

1/4" seams used throughout

Disclaimer: I have not seen this block floating around on the inter webs, but I am sure I did not invent it. I got inspired by those nordic sweaters and sketched out this block. Also, I am sure there are better ways to put this together, this is just how I did it. Let me know if you come up with a better method. 

For the purposes of this tutorial, I divided this block into three different components (types of blocks). There are the corner blocks, the half square triangles (HST) blocks, and lattice lines.


For the HST blocks-
4 - 4" x 4" squares of background fabric
4 - 4" x 4" squares of star color A
4 - 4" x 4" squares of star color B (for the stars, I tried to combine one low volume fabric with one more "noisy" fabric)

For the corner blocks- 
4 - 2.5" x 2.5" squares of background fabric
1 - Approximately 28" x 1.5" strip of the white fabric (choose a fabric that contrasts with other fabrics)

For the lattice lines-
Approximately 14.5" x 1.5" strip of white for the vertical lattice
Approximately 15.5" x 1.5 " strip of while for the horizontal lattice

Rotary cutter, ruler, scissors
Water or heat soluble marker

To make the HST block

I am going to run through this really quick, refer to this handy guide for details on making two HST out of squares of fabric. 

1. Pairs: - 2 square A's with square B's
- 2 square A's with background fabric
- 2 square B's with background fabric

2. Mark a diagonal line across one of the fabrics in each pair. 

3. Sew 1/4" on either side of the line. I chained pieced these like a boss. 


4. Cut along the line for each of the squares, magically making one square composed of two triangles. Press your seams open. 

5. Trim each HST down to 3.5" x 3.5". 

6. Now you have the blocks to make the pretty star. You could stop now and have a pretty basic HST block, but keep going and it is more special and stuff. 

To make the corner blocks

1. Line up the 2.5" x 2.5" squares of background fabric along your 28" strip of white fabric, with small gaps in between each square. Sew them all down as pictured (sorry it is blurry). You should have extra fabric for the next side of the corner. You totally do not need to strip piece these, it is just faster.

2. Press the seam open and cut the blocks apart so that each block is 2.5" wide by 3.5" tall. 

3. Line up these blocks on the remainder of the white strip and sew them down. 

4. Press open and trim. Each block should measure 3.5" x 3.5" and you will have four of them.

Bringing it all together

1. I like to layout all do my block so I know what goes where. Like this, you have 16 blocks.

2. Sew together pairs of blocks. Time to buddy up. I totally used pins at this point. You want your seams to line up. Press seams open. You should now have eight blocks.

3. Buddy up again, bring the pairs together, again, use pins to make sure your seams line up. Press seams open. Now there are four blocks.

4. Using your 14.5" x 1.5" white strip sew the upper and lower sets of blocks together, separated by the white strips to complete the vertical lattice. Trim the block and press the seams open. 

5. Sew the upper and lower halves together separated by your 15.5 " x 1.5" strip. Make sure you line up the vertical seams above and below the white strips and use pins. Press your seams open and trim the edges of the strips. 

Block complete. It should measure 13.5" x 13.5"

If you make this share it with me! Please! I want to see. 



  1. Who's the crazy who ignored a table full of wips to test this block immediately?! Well.

    I had a TON of fun making it. I think there may be more in my future! I love the Architextures in it, thanks for that idea too.

    One question: in corner blocks Step 1, do you mean the 28" strip, not the 14.5'' strip?

  2. I love love love it!! It is now officially on my to do list!

  3. Just came across this block, thanks to Laura of Little and Lots, and would love to use this for one of my bees - it's gorgeous!

  4. I'm always so surprised at the easy steps to make this amazing block. Makes a beautiful quilt! Thank you so much for sharing.


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