Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Constellations quilt!  We are almost done-- this is our second-to-last block!  The color for this month is pink, which is one of my favorite colors, so I've got a lot of pink scraps.  I've got a granddaughter on the way, too, so there is sure to be lots more pink in my future.  Here is our block:

This is one of the more modern variations of a block called Clay's Choice, which dates back to the 1920s.  It makes beautiful sparkling stars that are very easy to construct.  This month's block would also be a good place to use up some of the leftover small pieces of background fabric that I'm sure you have floating around. 

Let's make some stars!


For this quilt section, we need to make 4 6-inch stars.  The first column gives the cutting directions for one star, and the second column is for 4 stars in case you are using one fabric for all four.  An alternate method for making the diamonds is given in the instructions but not included in the cutting directions.

From the background, cut:

For one star:                                                       For 4 stars:

8 2-inch squares                                                    32 2-inch squares
4 2 inch by 3-1/2 inch rectangles                        16 2 inch by 3-1/2 inch squares

From the pink, cut:

4 2 inch by 3-1/2 inch rectangles                         16  2 inch by 3-1/2 inch rectangles

To complete this quilt section, cut from the background:

2 4-1/2 by 6-1/2 inch rectangles
1 2-1/2 by 12-1/2 inch strip
1 2-1/2 by 18-1/4 inch strip
1 2 by 14-1/2 inch strip

On to construction!


There is just one unit to make for these stars, a diamond-shaped unit.  Making the diamonds the way I've described here is easy and quick and saves time and seams, but there is an alternate method given at the end of these instructions if you want a different way to make them using half-square triangles.  If you want to try this method but are nervous about it, cut everything 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger and trim down to the correct size at the end.

First, take all of the 2-inch background squares and draw one line from corner to corner on the back:

Take one of these squares and place it on a 2 by 3-1/2 inch rectangle, right sides together.  Be sure that one end of the line on the background square is in the upper right corner of the pink rectangle.  Stitch on the line, then flip the resulting triangle up and press.

To complete the diamond, place another triangle on the bottom of the same pink rectangle, making sure to match the angle of the top triangle.  This means that the end of the line on the background square should be in the bottom left of the pink rectangle. 

Stitch on the line, flip down the triangle, and press.  These should measure 2 by 3-1/2 inches.

That's it--your diamonds are done!

Alternate method:

Cut a 4-3/4 inch square from both the background and the pink fabric for each star, then use these squares to make 8 half-square triangles using the Magic 8 method.  Arrange the hsts to make a diamond shape, then stitch the center seam to join them.   These should measure 2 by 3-1/2 inches.


Take the 2 by 3-1/2 inch background rectangles and join them to the right sides of the diamond units you just made:

Press to the background.

Lay out these units as shown:

Join into rows and the rows into a block, making sure that the  pink points meet in the center.  And just like that, we have a star!

Give it a good press, stand back, and admire!

Make 4 stars, then let's put them together into our second-to-last quilt section.  Onward--

To complete this quilt section:

Gather the background pieces from the cutting step.  To start, choose two of the stars and stitch them together, matching the seams as necessary.

Take this two-star unit and add the 2-1/2 by 12-1/2 inch to the left side.  Press to the background strip.

Halfway there!  Take the remaining two stars and add the 4-1/2 by 6-1/2 inch rectangles to one side of each.  Press to the background pieces.

Stitch the two units you just made together at the center, putting the large background piece to the left on the top and the right on the bottom so that one star will be separated from the three others.  None of the seams will match, so don't stress over that.

Join the two sections and press well in either direction, then add the 2-1/2 by 18-1/4 inch strip to the bottom of the block.  Press to the background strip.  Finally, add the 2 by 14-1/2 inch strip to the right side of the section.  Press well, stand back, and admire!

This section should measure 14-1/2 by 19-1/2. Add this section to the orange section completed last month to add to the final row.

Wahoo!  We have just one more section to go before the quilt center is complete.  Here is how the center is looking so far:

This is going to be a great quilt!  I hope yours is coming along well.  Some people have expressed a desire to have the quilt completed for Christmas, but the first Tuesday in November isn't until the 7th.  To help with this, I'll post the final block on Wednesday, November 1, instead of the 7th.  Meet back here then for the last block and section!

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


Danice G said...

More pretty stars! This QAL is so so much fun. Looking forward to completing and quilting my Constellations quilt :)

Sandra Walker said...

This is so pretty Mari! Gotta love those pink fabrics.

Preeti said...

Oh no. This has been such a fun journey, I do not want it to be over. Love the contrast of the bright cheery pink against the deep dark blue.
Time to get together early November?

Kerry said...

Wow! Love the way it all shines! :D

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That is a pretty star, Mari! I really like the way you offset them for the quilt.

The Joyful Quilter said...

It's coming together beautifully with the addition of that PINK section!!

scraphappy said...

This is such a fun block. I spcould see an entire quilt with multi color stars.

scraphappy said...

This is such a fun block. I spcould see an entire quilt with multi color stars.

Magpie Sue said...

This is going to be a great constellation! I like the way these seem to twirl.

Cathy said...

Oh, gosh...this is looking so very heavenly.

I think the only reason I have pink scraps is because I have granddaughters who used to love pink.

PaulaB quilts said...

Those pinks against the blue are gorgeous. The whole thing is amazing and your tutes are so very well done.

Kate said...

This is such a fun quilt! Love your pink stars with the blue. They really do sparkle.

Vic in NH said...

Thank you for this wonderful tutorial on your constellations design.

Marly said...

Lovely star block: I'm a fan of stars ona dark blue background!