Tuesday, July 15, 2014

QCQAL Block #10 -- Martha Washington's Star!!

Again -- I just shared my log cabin version of Martha Washington's Star last week!!  And here it is again as Block #10 for Little Bunny Quilts QCQAL!?!    Alison uses a neat technique for piecing the "flying geese" units that become the star points.
But I'm going to use Marti Michell's rotary templates for the cutting process.  The block is a 4 by 4 grid -- can you see that?  4 divided into 12" (the target size of all the blocks in this QAL) equals 3" -- that means I need to use template Set A!
For the companion 6" block, I'm going to use Set B!
This is the end of this piece of fabric -- I'll be able to get the 8 star points using template A2 from it for the 12" block with just a scrap left over.
I'll be able to use the same strip (3 1/2" by the width of the fabric) to cut all the background pieces I need -- the corner squares with A1 and then I'll use A2 to cut the "flying geese" triangles for the star points. 
Start by trimming one end of the strip using the diagonal edge of the template.
Then rotate the template ninety degrees until a trimmed corner aligns with the top edge of the strips as show in the photo below.  The placement is correct as it eliminates the unnecessary seam allowance.
Now cut along the diagonal edge of the triangle.  Marti refers to this piece as a 2+2 -- template 2 used twice for the same shape.  She explains this in the instructional leaflet that is included with the template sets -- you just have to read it!! 
Now I just have to rotate the template again and line it up for the next diagonal cut!
This photo helps clarify why this cutting process works -- you can see that the star point triangle is positioned perfectly on the "goose" triangle.
The center background fabric triangles will be cut with the diagonal edge of the triangle on the straight grain because of the way they will be placed in the block.  This prevents stretching on an outer edge of a unit or block.  The straight line you see on the lower edge of this template reminds us of that -- once again, we just have to read.
I'm ready to lay the block out for sewing which is always a good idea -- remember the debacle during the construction of Block #9?  Every piece is present and accounted for -- I am ready to sew!!
Alison over at Little Bunny Quilts always organizes a Pinterest board with variations of the blocks to inspire the QAL followers.  When I looked at it, I was surprised to see several variations of the central unit.  I'd only seen this one.
But rotating all the center units gives several more options.  I like this one. 
I don't care for this one -- makes the center feel clunky to me. 
And this one's okay. 
I discovered through trial and error that the bulk of the seams in the central unit were easier to manage if I pressed the center diagonal seams as shown -- two toward the big triangles and the other two towards the pair of triangles.  That made the intersections at the outer corners match easier accurately!  I didn't lose the tips of those pieces.
In the end, I used the layout with which I'm most familiar -- guess I just wasn't feeling "edgy" today.
As I was finishing up the 6" version, I thought it would be fun to use a 6" star as the central unit of the 12" star -- easy enough to audition -- just lay the small one on top of the big one?
Except for the fact that I made an 8" small block . . . . . . Mary, Mary, Mary!?!
There is a calculator right next to the cutting mat for a reason!  Yes, it's simple math, but some days the brain cells malfunction -- measure twice, cut once?
Don't you love it when a "pro" messes up?  I guess I'll be making that block over.
I think I'll head out into the garden to clear my head -- nothing like weeding therapy!

Mary Huey


  1. What a cute block! Very nice!

    I have used the Marti Michell templates too, and it helped me to make a template of the 2 + 2 so that I didn't mess up and cut just the single side.

    Nice work!

    1. And of course, there is always her Flying Geese Ruler, too -- but I would have to look for that?!?! Thanks for visiting!!

  2. I LOVE, I LOVE when people show the back of their blocks...There should be a linky party for that...:)
    For the flying geese units, I use the fast and furious method, I just love to do it that way.
    I like a good star...and yours is beautiful! (the one you are most familiar with...:)

    1. A linky party for the back-side? Interesting idea. I like the "fast and furious" method when I'm just using the flying geese with themselves. Thanks for stopping by!!