Friday, January 30, 2015

8 Stars

I finished eight Stars in a Time Warp blocks so am caught up according to the "make two each week" schedule.  This is a sew along hosted by Barbara Brackman, who is providing informational background on Civil War era fabric on her blog each week. 

The idea is to make two sawtooth star blocks each week, then turn them into something quilty at the end of the year.  Barbara Brackman's instructions for making the sawtooth star block are here.   I've departed from these instructions because I want my stars to float in the background; that is, have a narrow border of the background fabric surrounding the star when the blocks are sewn together.  So I'm using a slightly different method.  In case you like this approach, here are my cutting directions.

From the background fabric, cut four pieces 2.5" square (will be the corners of the block) and four pieces 2.5" by 3.5" (will be the background of the flying geese.  From the star fabric, cut one piece 3.5" square to form the center and eight pieces 2" square to form the star points.  See photo below.

Make the star points using the corner flip method.  Place a 2" square in the corner of one of the background rectangles, sew the square diagonally corner to corner, flip, press, then trim away the background fabric under the star point.  Do the same on the opposite corner and repeat for all four background rectangles.  You will have four flying geese units to form the star points. Placement is shown in the photo below.

Sew all nine pieces together (like making a 9-patch), and voila!  Your star is complete.

When finished and sewn together, your stars will "float" with a half inch border of background fabric on all sides.  When you sew the star blocks together, you don't have to worry about nipping the points of the stars off.  You can still add sashing if you want your stars further apart. 

The corner flip method is not my favorite for making flying geese.  I prefer the Open Gate method which involves making the units over-sized then trimming down with a special ruler.  I get the best results with this method. But for the floating effect when making small blocks, the corner flip method works best for me.  

I'm going to cut more pieces from my French General scraps and try to stick with the two per week schedule.  Are you going to join in?


  1. I really like your idea of having the stars "float". And I too, much much prefer Monique's Flying Geese method for accuracy. I am using mostly charm squares, so I am stuck doing them old fashioned way due to fabric constraints. Things have been going ok until yesterday. I must have been concentrating too hard on Downton Abbey, because my last star is kind of a mess!

  2. Your timing is literally perfect for me! I decided not to make these block because although I loved these blocks, I didn't like the uniform look that this project was taking, but your idea is exactly what I want and plus, I got that ruler in the mail last week! Guess where I am going after lunch? To my sewing room. Thanks!!! Have a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for the mini-lesson. I've made one star (Brackman's way), and I've not yet decided if I want to commit to this project. I bet I break down and do it. ;)

  4. Beautiful--I am sold on HST and using Thangles--helps me to be much more accurate

  5. Thank you for sharing your star and giving another method! Why didn't I think of that? I have plenty of civil war fabrics and I think I can use up scraps if we ever need to wonder how we'll use left-overs.> Do any of you suffer the same type feelings of----I can't use this fabric, then I won't have any more???

  6. I love your colors! The BOM I am doing this year used a similar star with flying geese. I love using the ruler method to square them up. My BOM is only 1 block per month. I thought that was a good timeframe for me.

  7. I started making these but really prefer your method! Unfortunately, I've got several cut out already. I might make a small quilt with those and continue making them your way. Thanks for posting this---although I've made these floating stars before, I didn't think about it for this qal!


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