This is a continuation of Monday’s post, where I began showing you how I put together these scrappy star blocks. Head to yesterday to download a PDF file of my paper piecing template. But if you hate paper piecing, even though this one is an easy block to paper piece, consider making strips of fabrics (one selvage-to-selvage width should be fine) to match the widths on listed on the template, then merely use the diamond as a pattern to cut out your blocks. I’d still do the stay-stitching on the outside edge.
As with anything, the first time you make a new pattern, you’re in the process of figuring it out. I first thought I’d sew them all together with the paper on. So I did, but the ripping off the paper was horrid. So don’t do that. First rip off the paper, then piece it together.
I used “fatty thigh method” as taught to me by Katie Pasquini-Masopust in a class I took from her at Houston. Yep. Set it on that little thigh of yours, poke and rip that paper off.
Actually, it comes off a lot easier if you crease it with your thumbnail and you use that vellum paper. First rip off the outside 1/4″ edges, then go for the interior. Be careful not rip out your stitching; I sometimes rip from the side, like tearing off a piece of paper from a pad.
Set it up on the ironing board, give it spritz of spray starch, press it flat. Now lay it out to decide:
Funny, I how never get tired of playing this game.
Piece two diamonds together.
Don’t stitch right off the edge on either end of the seam — stay within the stay-stitching on that outer edge. Tighten up your stitch length as you approach the place where you are going to end. At the outer edge, the Y-seaming, that you’ll later have to do when you inset the outer pieces, is made easier with a little bit of wiggle room. And at the top, you’ll need room for all those points to meet together.
After you seam two together, then add one more to make three.
Then line up the edges, and stitch the two halves together, again, being careful to not sew across the point, but instead staying within the stay-stitching lines, breaking your stitching as you travel across that center point area.
You might freak out at this point because it has that “training bra” look in the middle, but be patient. Press each seam open, bit by bit, using a little bit a steam as you go. It will lay down flat.
Then take your thumb and place it in the center. Press hard and give it a twisty-twirl to get those seam allowances to lay down.
Back after twirling and pressing.
Front, after twirling and pressing. Remember that you left a little hole in the center because you stayed within the stay-stitching line.
Here are my first four. The first star took forever. The second one I finished in about an hour, from start to finish. The first two stars were scrappy, and the third I went into the stash so that’s why it looks more blended. There’s no rules. Because they are so big (about 20 inches across from point to point) they make a great impact. I’ve laid them out with points touching, so you can see that the diamond pattern will also serve as the template for that missing filler piece, if that’s the direction I head.
As soon as I get my other blocks made, I’ll start thinking about settings. I am wondering if I have enough guts to do a rich visual background, a la Material Obsession in Australia. I’m also thinking about some kind of borders that will punch up the stars somehow. I have no clue where I’m going with this, but I hope to enjoy the journey of creation.
Check back for tomorrow’s thread Leap Day Superior Thread Giveaway. There are ten of us participating; you can hop around and enter to have lots of chances for some great thread!