In case you are catching this blog series for the first time, we're spending a year making gorgeous quilt blocks using the classic patterns and fresh modern fabrics from Anna Griffin and Blend Fabrics! So far we've made the Sailboat Block, the Dutchman's Puzzle Block, the Churn Dash Block, the Friendship Star, and the Snowball and Nine Patch blocks together!
Each month, Blend Fabrics sends me a collection of fabrics to work with and I get to giveaway a sweet 10 fat quarter bundle of it too! If you want to play, just make one or more of the current month's block within two weeks that the tutorial is posted, and share a picture of your block(s) in our facebook group entry album or in our flickr pool. As we go along you can search for 'classic' in the search box above to access all of the posts.
This time I'm using the gorgeous and modern Treelicious by Maude Asbury. I LOVE it. The colors are bright and fun, and oh, so Christmassy!
So, what goes better with Christmas fabrics than a classic star, right?
The Variable Star is a classic quilt block that has been around for over 100 years. It has also been called the Sawtooth Star and the Evening Star. This fun block lends itself to so many versions. Since the center is a square, you can fill that square with patchwork, fussy cut fabric, or more stars (like I did)!
In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to make a simple Variable Star block. Then I'll show you how to add to it if you want for the stars-in-a-star mini quilt top that I made.
When planning your Variable Star, keep in mind that the finished size of the center square is 1/2 of the finished size of the main block. Like before, I used the iPhone quilt block app BlockFab to find all my cutting dimensions and fabric requirements.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, I totally recommend it. If you don't, ask the fine ladies in our facebook group to help you out. We'll use our devices to look up the cutting dimensions for you if you need it. :)
This is the 4 1/2'' (when finished) Variable Star block that I made first. Isn't it cute??? I wanted a finished 36'' mini quilt, so (starting with the largest) I planned my stars to be 36'', 18'', 9'', and 4 1/2''. Remember, the center square is half the size of the block (using finished block measurements). You could also do 48'', 24'', 12'', and 6''. Or 60'', 30'', 15'', and 7 1/2''. Got it? Of course, you can make as many stars-in-a-star as you want too. I'm just getting you started.
Tutorial for the first Variable Star block:
After planning from the largest to the smallest, we will sew the stars from the smallest to the largest. For my 4 1/2'' Variable Star, I cut:
- one 3 1/2'' square and four 2'' squares to use for flying geese units
- one fussy-cut 2 3/4'' square for the center
- four 1 5/8'' squares for the corners
You can use the BlockFab app to find measurements for any size block.
Arrange your flying geese units and cut squares in this 9-patch formation and sew them together. Squares into rows and then rows into a block. Easy peasy!
Tutorial for the Star-In-A-Star Block:
If you want to keep going with the star-in-a-star theme, make another Variable Star block using your first block as the center square. Since my first block would be 4 1/2'' finished, I used the BlockFab app to find cutting instructions for a 9'' block next. I cut:
- one 5 3/4'' square and four 3 1/8'' squares to use for flying geese units
- four 2 3/4'' squares for the corners
Make your flying geese units and then arrange the next star with the first star in the center. Sew it together. Repeat as many times as you want. You could make a really big quilt this way.
So... random.org will pick the winner of a Treelicious fat quarter bundle on the evening of August 18th. You only have to make 1 Variable Star block (in any fabric combination) to enter, but I know you'll want to make more! Links to the photo albums to put your picture in are above. Please just put a picture in one album so I won't get confused. :).