Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Constellations --Red

Hi everyone, and welcome to the next exciting episode in our quest to make a lovely star quilt!  This month's color is red, which is a color that I have a problem with.  I just don't have very much red at all.  Even in my stash I have only 4 short red pieces.  It's just not a color I use.  I was able to scrounge up some small pieces, though, and ended up making this block for the next section of the quilt:

This block is called Best of All and is a Clara Stone block from 1906.  It looks like a complicated block, but it is much easier to make than it looks.  The effect of this block can change a lot depending on color choices.  For a block like mine, you will need a 6-inch wide strip of red about 20 inches long or so, a square of a second red for the center square, a piece of orange about 6 inches square, a 4 inch gold scrap, and a background.  The block would also look great all in red, or with a contrasting color replacing both the orange and the gold.  The center square could be a good place to put a large scale print or a fussy-cut piece, or you could replace it with a background square for a more open look.

With that said, let's make a block!


For the center square, cut:

1 4-1/2 inch square.

From the red, cut:

1 5-3/4 inch square (for hsts, so can oversize if that's something you do)
4 2-7/8 inch squares

From the orange, cut:

1 5-1/4 inch square

From the gold, cut:

1 3-7/8 inch square

From the background, cut:

1 5-3/4 inch square  (for hsts, so can oversize)
1 5-1/4 inch square
4 2-7/8 inch squares
8 2-1/2 inch squares

To complete this quilt section, also cut from background:

2 2-1/2 inch by 12-1/2 inch pieces
1 2-1/2 by 16-1/2 inch strip


This block is constructed of several basic units.  If you have a different method that you would rather use for any of them, go ahead!  Adjust the cutting if necessary.

Start by using the 5-3/4 inch red and background squares to make 8 half-square triangles using the Magic 8 method.  (If you haven't used it before, the tutorial for it is HERE.)

Your hsts should measure 2-1/2 inches to finish at 2 inches in the block.

Next, use the orange 5-1/4 inch square and the 4 2-7/8 inch background squares to make 4 no-waste flying geese using what my friend Linda calls "the heart method,"  also called Fast Flying Geese.  (Tutorial HERE.)

The geese should be 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches to finish at 2 by 4 inches in the block.

Pieced geese:

The next unit involves the squares and triangles that I'm calling 'pieced geese' in the center of the block.  I've developed a technique to make these pieced geese quickly without having to fuss with little squares and triangles.  Read the whole description, then decide if you'd like to do it this way.  An alternate method follows this description if you decide not to try my method.

First, take the 5-1/4 inch background square and cut it in half from corner to corner twice to make 4 triangles.

Attach these triangles to the sides of the gold 3-7/8 inch square.  I didn't get progress pictures, but you are making a square in a square unit.  The blue triangles will be oversized and it may look wrong, but it gets trimmed in the next step, so don't worry too much.

Press the square in a square unit well, and trim it to 5-1/4 inches square.  Make sure that there is 1/4 inch seam allowance beyond all of the points.

Use the 4 2-7/8 inch red squares to make the remainder of the geese using the fast flying geese method above.  You should have 4 geese which look like this:

These should also measure 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 to finish at 2 inches by 4 inches in the block.

Alternate methods for making these units:

Alternate 1:

If you don't want to make the fast flying geese above, you could make the geese individually by cutting the square in a square unit as shown:

To get these pieces, cut the square from corner to corner twice, through the points of the blue triangles. After cutting, cut the red 2-7/8 inch squares in half corner to corner and attach to the sides of the pieced units to complete the geese.

Alternate 2:

Cut 4 1-7/8 inch gold squares and 4 2-inch background squares.  Cut the background squares in half from point to point to make two triangles.  Attach the triangles to adjacent sides of the gold squares to make pieced geese sections that look like the photos above.  After you make the pieced geese, the next step is to use the red 2-7/8 inch squares and complete the geese.  Cut the squares in half from corner to corner so that each makes two triangles, then attach them to the sides of the pieced geese to complete the unit.


Let's put this block together!  First, take the pieced geese that you just made and join them to the orange geese as shown:

Make 4. (You may want to press this seam open to avoid bulk in the final assembly.)

Next, lay out the red/background hsts and the 8 2-1/2 inch background squares as shown, so that the red triangles "kiss" in the center of the block:

Stitch and press.  Make 4.

Finally, take the units you've made and the center square and lay them out as shown:

Join the units into rows and the rows into a complete block which should measure 12-1/2 inches square.  Press well and do a happy dance!

Completing the quilt section:

Stitch the 2-1/2 by 12-1/2 inch background strips to the top and bottom of the block.  Add the 2-1/2 by 16-1/2 inch strip of background to the right side of the block, giving you a section that looks like this:

Press well, then join to the first two sections of the quilt:

Row 1 is done!  That means that 25% of this quilt is finished!  Time to take a break and celebrate, perhaps with some nice chocolate or a cool drink.  Or wine, that works too!

Enjoy making this block and come back on April 4 for the next installment!

Sharing at Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and soscrappy for RSC17.


Preeti said...

Your blocks definitely brightened my morning. Love the bold colors. And you found time to write a tutorial as well - you rock!!! Enjoy the chocolate - you deserve it.
Let's meet soon. I think I am having Quilter Buddy Withdrawal Symptoms.

claudia said...

Great tutorial, beautiful block!

Jayne Honnold said...

Thanks for the tute! It sure looks like a fun block. I'll check out the others in your BOM.

Jo said...

It's better than nothing. Using up some fabric and making blocks. Well done

Danice G said...

So pretty. Busy making my block later today :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoying this quilt, but it is by far the hardest of my four BOM/BOW projects. Thanks :)

Tish Stemple said...

Mari, I am loving how all these stars pop against the blue background!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Love the tutorial, thank you. The stars are looking great together.

JanineMarie said...

I love the strong colors against the blue. I don't have a lot of red in my stash either. I wonder if it is because reds used to be less stable and I was scared to use them. (Oh, and I'd say chocolate AND wine.)

Kate said...

A very vivid block. Red just seems to be a color that pops no matter what you pair it with. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

LA Paylor said...

your tutorials are so good Mari. I like the layout of this block a lot

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

This latest block is so striking with the colors that you chose against the blue; just lovely!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

You have the best fabric! I love the background color and the center print. This is a beautiful block, and love the photo of all the blocks you've made!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Thanks for instructions for yet another wonderful block!!

Marly said...

How sweet: a star within a star - lovely!

gayle said...

Making fast flying geese out of that square-in-a-square - very tricky! Thanks!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Perhaps red needs to be added to the shopping list ?? Great block!

PaulaB quilts said...

The blue background is the perfect choice when the stars are put together. I think it's because it's so strong that it unifies so well, like black does. The star pattern is fascinating.

scraphappy said...

Great color selection. The red and the yellow both look great with the background fabric and together. Beautiful block.

Nell's Quilts said...

What a beautiful block. The stars, all of them, really glow against the blue skies. This will be a striking quilt.

Rachel said...

Very pretty! I had some trouble finding reds this month too, but I think your star came out lovely! That confetti square in the center is great. And thanks for the tutorial!