Monday, February 25, 2013

Starburst super-nova revisited, revised directions (still due April 2013)

When I put up the first 6 months worth/3 swap blocks, I did not include a picture of this one & well, I am sorry.  Every year I have been trying to include a component block, that is one piece of a larger traditional block.  This year, this one is it.  Unfortunately the only picture was of the whole block & that has confused some people.  Then to add to the confusion something went awry with the link to the directions.  So let me start fresh.

The block we are making is called, by me anyhow, starburst super-nova, mostly because of this swap's color requirements, but whatever.  Our block is 5.5" unfinished/5" finished.  The directions can be found at Quilters Cache (that is where I found them: but let me be clear: when Quilters Cache says a scant 1/4" seem allowance they mean scant.  Really really scant.  So scant I thought it might be worthwhile to use slightly large pieces & cut them down as needed' turns out I didn't need to.  It is my measurements that are below, but they are the same pattern & ideally work up into the same block dimensions if you follow the more precise Quilters Cache directions.

To make one block you need two fabrics.  They do not need to be solid or read-as-solid HOWEVER the value within each fabric should be even.  Please do not choose fabric with a busy &/or high contrast pattern.  The two fabrics should be very different from each other, specifically colors you do not usually think of as "going together" if you can manage it.  The combination should say Ka-Boom!  & please please please avoid black or white; they are just too neutral.  There is also no specific background versus foreground; you can make blocks that are mirror images & that is perfectly OKay.

To make one block:

Fabric A:  please cut one square 4" x 4" (in QC these are 3.75") & one square 3" x 3" (this is unchanged from the QC directions).  In the photo Fabric A is the yellow & in a different kind of block might be referred to as the background, but again there should be nothing "background" about your color choice. 

Fabric B:  please cut one square 4" x 4" (this is the other side of the points & again the QC directions suggest 3.75") & one square 6" x 6" (for the bottom half of the block; QC suggests 5.75")

From the two equal squares of each color, you will cut four (4) triangles.  Then match two of the triangles together along the BIAS edge (so please pay attention, you will be stitching open bias edges together) to make the triangle pieces.  If you sew ALL of the triangles, you will have a total of four (4) 2-color points. 

Take two (2) mirror image triangles & lay them out with the smaller square from Fabric A as in the photo.  You should have a nice, straight line along the bottom edge.  If you do not have a nice straight line, chances are you sewed a bias edge to a straight edge while making those points.  Unfortunately bias edges rarely survive picking so put it aside & start again with new triangles.  In the event you do not have a perfect fit (that seam allowance thing again) line the corner of the square up EXACTLY with the corner where the two color come to a single point.  Once you have the this part assembled, you can make n even cut 1/4" from the square's bottom point but if you are like me it will turn out to already be 1/4". 

Cut the larger square from Fabric B corner to corner & match the long bias edge to the bottom of the pointy bit you just made.  Again, you are working with open bias on both sides, so pay attention.  I found that a pin at the center of the Fabric B edge & the point of the Fabric A on-point square was very helpful.

Once you are done there should be no exposed bias edges so you can go on to handle this block as you would any other & not worry about stretching.  You should also have a block that measures AT LEAST 5.5" by 5.5".  If it is exactly 5.5" congrats!  If it is a bit larger, but perfectly square you can count yourself among the elite group of true scant quarter inchers.  If it not perfectly square, you probably stretched the open bias a bit & that would be something to work on.  If is smaller...oh dear.  I would double check that you started with fabric pieces of the correct size & then measure your seams at their widest point  Chances are good of the fabric was cu to the right size, you are taking much lager bites than a quarter of an inch in the seam.

Like I said, in your next block Fabric A can be Fabric B & Fabric B can be Fabric A.  Because of the way things were cut, I found it easier to make two (2) the same, but if you decide to work with scraps & leftovers & it might not work that way for you.  Many crazy mixes & mash-ups are encouraged so long as you stick to the equal-value or read-as-solid guideline within each fabric.

Next is what to do with the blocks once you have swapped them.  Four (4) of these can be put together with a center sash & stone a la Quilters Cache to make a traditional block (another good reason for voiding black & white as this gives you something to use for the sashing & stone) OR you can bump the four of them right against each other & make a vibrant star block OR you can take however many you have & make rows of mini-bursts.

Lastly, I am trying to get in the habit...  Let me start again, sometimes I say where I got the idea for a block, sometimes I don't.  I am not trying to step on anyone's ideas. I swear.  When I don't say where an idea came from I either thought of it myself or it has been in the public domain for so long or has so many versions already at large there doesn't seem to be much point.  This block certainly falls under the public domain category, but the idea to take out the center stash & press the star-parts together was not mine.  I first saw I (I think) in a book I picked up at last year's Friends of the Library sale: Snuggle Up by Kovich & Warehime.  & initially I was much more interested in the pattern created when you put all the points towards the center, but those big gaudy stars looked fun, too.  If you go to this book, you will find they have a different way of making the start points.  It might work better for you (it actually works better for me).  my reason for choosing the method I did is that Quilters Cache can be viewed by anyone who views this blog whereas that method can only be viewed by someone looking at that book; I thought it just made more sense to go with the single version we could all see.

These blocks are due the last Saturday in April, which in 2013 is Saturday, April 27th.  We always swap in sets of five (5), you send five (5) blocks & get five (5) back.  If you can, think about including a 6th block-this one goes to whichever member of that swap has volunteered to make a quilt for her community.  If you would like more details, just ask to join our group on FaceBook (search Quilt Block Swap). 

1 comment:

  1. Great block parts. I'd love to see the whole thing. =)