Thursday, January 13, 2011

Massachusetts Star in June 2011

As I have said in a previous posts, I am trying to progress through the three block swaps for this corner from beginner, a bit more advanced, & then truly advanced.  For the third, most advanced block we will be making the Massachusetts Star, which was actually requested last year, but I could not get the directions photographed etc. in time. This block will be 12" finished/12." unfinished. 

Below are the directions with photos for making the block, including the 1/2-square & 1/4-square triangles that make up much of the 9-patch.  You could also follow the directions from the link above.  They are slightly different but will give you a block of the same dimensions.

To make your block you will need two fabrics:

Fabric A can be red or red&white or red&white&blue or blue or blue&white.  In my photos it is pale blue with white polka-dots.

Fabric B should be either reads-as-solid blue or reads-as-solid white or reads as solid black.  I choose black with a black ribbon pattern.

For each block, from each fabric, please cut:

1 - 4.5" square
2 - 5" squares (these will make the 1/2-square triangles)
2 - 5.5" squares (these will make the 1/4-square triangles)

With a pen or pencil, mark a straight line from one corner to the opposite corner on two of the 5" squares (inevitably, it will be easier to see this mark on one fabric than the other; you only need mark the easier/lighter fabric).  Do the same with the 5.5" squares & then, with the 5.5" squares only, draw a second line connecting the other two corners.  Do NOT mark the 4.5" square, just set both of them aside.  

To make the 1/2-square triangles take one 5" square of each fabric, put the right side together, stitch 1/4" from the center line on either side of the line.  This is the same technique used in the April 2010 block & explained here.  Cut right along the line in the center, press open, trim to 4.5" & set aside with the other 4.5" squares.  Do the same with the second square from each of the two colors.  You will need three (3) 1/2-square triangles to make the complete block.

To make the 1/4-square triangles you will begin the same way.  Take one 5.5" square from each fabric.  Put them right sides together, sew down either side of one of the center lines you have marked connecting the opposite corners, cut them apart, press & then trim to 5" square.  A clear how-to is online here.

On the back of each of these, there will be a line from one corner to the center of the block.  Connect this line with the opposite corner.  Then take another one of the newly-made 5" 1/2-square triangle blocks & put it up against the first, right sides together.  The center seams of both should lock together, holding the part that is fabric A in one block to the part that is fabric B in the other.  Stitch down either side of the center line, cut them apart & press.  You should have four (4) 1/4-square triangle blocks that are 4.5" square.  You will need all four of them. 

Once all the smaller pieces are made, the Massachusetts Star is really just a 9-patch.  Layout the three 1/2-square triangles, 4 1/4-square triangles & 2 4.5" squares as below.  Stitch each row together, being sure to press every row in opposite directions so you can lock your seams (otherwise you will have great mounds in the seam allowance) & then assemble the rows.

Four blocks could make a center star, that can be bordered as you like OR twelve blocks will make an ornate border around a 24" medallion that could be appliqued.  The fabrics were chosen with the upcoming holiday in mind or perhaps a Quilt of Valor, if you felt so inclined.

Blocks are due Saturday June 25th, they will be swapped June 26th & will go back in the mail that Monday, June 27, 2011.  As always, we swap in sets of five, so you would make six blocks (keep one for yourself) send five & get five back in the self-addressed, stamped envelope you included with your five swap blocks.

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