Bee-ing busy (and a block tutorial)

I signed up for my second round in the Modern 4×5 bee on Flickr, and then I needed a block to make. This blocks started out as something else but it seemed a bit fussy for making 5, so I simplified it and came up with this design. If you know what it’s called, please let me know, for now I am calling it Circle Star.

4x5 bee blocks February 2015

I wanted to play with different values in the block, and hence making the 5 for my bee mates (in their selected colour schemes) was a great experience. The purple star (with red centre) didn’t have as much contrast as I expected, and my stash is rather limited for light greys right now, so the purple/grey block is a little lower contrast than I would like as well.

    Circle Star Block Tutorial

You will need 3 colours plus a background.
A – inside square plus outside star points
B – circle pieces
C – inside star or use your background
D – background

There are different techniques for some of the sub-units. My preference is to use the no-waste flying geese method, and to make half-square triangles using 2 triangles, but I will try to give some of the other measurements as well down at the bottom of the post.

First, from the background cut two 2-1/2″ strips width-of-fabric, you will have some leftover (if you’re using fat quarters, cut 3 strips 21″ long).
From C or your background, cut a 3″ strip 26″ long. From this cut 4 3″ triangles using a triangle ruler (I use a flying geese ruler to cut them, go here to see how to use an Easy Angle ruler). From the remainder cut 4 2-7/8″ squares.
From B cut a 5-1/4″ square and a 2-1/2″ strip about 8″ long.
From A cut a 3-3/8″ square and a 2-1/2″ strip about 16″ long.

Layer the background and A strips right sides together and cut 8 pairs of triangles using your triangle ruler.
Layer the background and B strips right sides together and cut 4 pairs of triangles using the triangle ruler.
From the remaining background cut:
4 2-1/2″ squares
4 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles

Now to the sewing machine!

Use a scant 1/4″ seam to sew together the A-background and B-background triangles, press seams open. Arrange the A and B HST you have created with the 2-1/2″ background squares and make the corner 4-patches.

circle star 4 patch

Sew two 3″ C triangles to either side of the 3-3/8″ A square, pressing towards the triangles. Repeat for the other two sides.

circle star square in square

Sew the flying geese. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2-7/8″ C squares and place 2 on top of the 5-1/4″ B square. Sew 1/4″ on either side of the marked line and cut apart, press toward the small triangles. Now place another 2-7/8″ square on top of each and again sew on each side of the marked line and cut apart. Sew the flying geese to the rectangles as shown.

circle star flying geese

Woohoo! Lay out your block and assemble, pressing the seams open or as desired.

Alternate measurements–For 2 HSTs from squares, cut 3″ squares and mark the diagonal, sew either side of the marked line then trim to 2.5″. For super accurate flying geese, start with a 4.5″ rectangle and 2 2.5″ squares, mark each square with a diagonal and sew on the line with right sides together.

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and Sew Cute Tuesday with Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts.

One comment

  1. Great looking block, I like how different all of the blocks look with just a change of fabric.

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