Today is my stop on Peta’s (She Quilts Alot) Sweet Stars Sewalong – thank you for dropping by! My name’s Kirsty and this is my blog here at Bonjour Quilts.
You can find Peta’s lovely Sweet Stars quilt pattern over here, if you haven’t got yourself a copy yet.
Today I’m looking at a new technique (to me) to make HSTs 8 at a time, which is exactly the number of HSTs you need for the weathervane block in Peta’s pattern.
There are lots of tutorials all over the web about this method, but most create HSTs at the exact measurement needed for the pattern. My method of operating when it comes to HSTs has always been to make oversized units which I then trim back to ensure super accurate and square blocks. Then, if your quarter inch seam is correct, you will get perfect points every time, no thought required. Yippee!
So let’s get started.
This method requires you to take two fabric squares, sew 4 seams and then make 4 cuts to make 8 HSTs. That’s a good work to output ratio in my books.
First of all, grab your pattern and check out Step 2c – there you will see the measurement that your trimmed HSTs need to be.
Take that number (in inches) and multiply it by 2, then add 1. Bingo, that’s the size your two fabric squares need to be.
Take one of the squares and draw lines between both sets of diagonal points with a pencil or hera marker.
Place the two squares right sides together. If you’re a pinner, you can pin along the sides of the square.
Sew a seam a quarter inch either side of both of the diagonal lines. Press the square to set your seams and settle down any waves in the fabric.
Line the square up with your cutting board lines and cut the square exactly in half on both axes to form 4 squares.
Then cut along all of the drawn diagonal lines to give 8 triangles. Open up the triangles to give 8 HSTs!
Press and trim your HST units as Peta shows you in the pattern.
Now, here is my top tip for spot-on HSTs. It really comes down to two things – 1. correct block size, and 2. perfectly bisected corners.
Going deeper: 1. Block size is really important in that if it’s not correct you end up pushing and pulling and repositioning while sewing your blocks together. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever sewn a 3-7/8″ HST to a 4″ block (because your HST didn’t turn out so well) and you’ve had to fiddle to get that missing 1/8″ absorbed by the seam allowance. Quite often it leads to a wonky or chopped off triangle point. Good news: it’s easy to produce correct sized blocks when you oversize and trim back.
2. Bisected corners. By that I mean the two corners where the two fabrics meet – they need to meet at a 45 degree angle that ends smack-bang on the middle of that corner:
If your corner is lop-sided as an unfinished block, it will stay lop-sided in the finished piece unless you mess around with your seam widths to account for it. It can be done, but it’s a pain and slow work. It’s much easier to pay attention to your points when trimming your HSTs so that you get them straight down the middle of the corners. Then when you sew them together with even 1/4″ seams, you’ll have perfect points.
(And I’m using perfect pretty loosely here – because I believe in that old adage “Done is better than perfect”.)
For this blog hop, I decided to make a foursquare mini quilt from the weathervane block in Peta’s pattern. Once I had my 4 lots of 8 HSTs prepped, I went ahead and made four weathervane blocks, with one little fabric change – I swapped out the central fabric for the background fabric.
I dipped into my Carolyn Friedlander stash (mainly Carkai) for the weathervanes and used some left over Carolyn Friedlander cross-hatch wideback for the background fabric.
I sewed the four blocks together (to give an 18.5″ x 18.5″ mini) and then made my quilt sandwich. To quilt, I went with a slightly wavy cross hatch pattern, to echo the background fabric, as you can see below:
I couldn’t decide which colour to use for binding so I went for a no-binding look. Problem solved 🙂 I used 2″ binding strips here, as I always do with mini quilts.
If you’d like to make your Sweet Stars quilt in the fabrics Peta uses on the cover of her pattern (below), you can find the quilt kit, featuring Sweet Orchard Fabrics by Sedef Imer for Riley Blake Designs over here: http://www.fatquartershop.com/sweet-stars-kit
(And you can get the backing set at the Fat Quarter Shop, too: http://www.fatquartershop.com/backing-set-for-sweet-stars-kit)
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the Sewalong:
29 August: Peta from She Quilts A Lot gets the party started.
1 Sept: Amy from Diary of a Quilter selects fabrics to make a beautiful quilt
5 Sept: Christine from Stitching Revival teaches the easiest (and most proven) trick to help with accuracy
8 Sept: Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts helps with HSTs <—- you are here!
12 Sept: Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop showcases the Sawtooth Star block
15 Sept: Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane teaches easy corner triangles
19 Sept: Nadra from Ellis and Higgs explains quarter square triangles & the Ohio Star block
22 Sept: Cindy from Hyacinth Quilt Designs shows how to sew perfect, wobble-free borders
26 Sept: Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon gives machine & free motion quilting tips
29 Sept: Debbie from Happy Little Cottage teaches fast and accurate machine binding to get your project finished
30 Sept: Peta from She Quilts A Lot wraps up and hosts a Giveaway!
Thanks for dropping by and happy sewing!