Scrappy Star Blocks {Tutorial}

These blocks were inspired when looking at some vintage block combinations. I was thinking about making a gift our of scraps, specifically pink & yellow fabrics with scrappy low volume backgrounds. My goal is to alternate the blocks and make a twin sized quilt (4 x 5 blocks)

Block 1 is made with a simple 9-patch center. Block 2 is made with an Ohio star center. They measure 18″ finished (18 1/2″ unfinished).

Notes:

HST = Half Square Triangle
RST = Right Side together
All seam allowances are 1/4″

Cutting Instructions for each block

Block 1 (9-patch center):

  • Five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ pink squares
  • Four (4) 2 1/2″ yellow squares

Block 2 (Ohio Star center):

  • Five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Two (2) 3 1/2″ low volume squares
  • Eight (8) 4 1/2″ yellow squares
  • Two (2) 3 1/2″ pink squares

Construction of the Center Blocks

Block 1 (9-patch center):

  1. Layout the 9 patch square by using the five (5) 2 1/2″ low volume squares and the four (4) 2 1/2″ squares. The low volume and yellow squares should alternate starting with a low volume square in the corners and center of the block.

  2. Stitch together each of the rows of three blocks. Press seams.
    Note: I press open as it lays flatter and I find it easier to match the seams.

  3. Once all three rows are stitched, sew them together matching seams and pinning in place while stitching. Press seams.

Block 2 (Ohio Star center):

  1. Start by making quarter triangle squares. Take the two (2) low volume and on the back side, draw a diagonal line between one set of corners.
  2. Place the low volume square and the pink 3 1/2″ squares RST.

  3. With the low volume back facing upwards, so you can see the line, stitch a seam on either side of the line.
    Note: I chain piece these, and do all one side first and then the other.

  4. Cut along your drawn line with a ruler and rotary cutter. You should now have two (2) HST from each set of 3 1/2″ squares. Press seams.

  5. Using a ruler and rotary cutter cut these squares in half along the opposite diagonal that is pieced. You should have 8 half pieces.

  6. Match up the halves from all the blocks so that the color triangles are diagonally lined up. Put triangles RST, match the seams in the middle (along the longest length) and pin. Stitch together to make 4 blocks. Press seams.

  7. Lastly, trim the blocks to 2 1/2″.
    Note: I use a square ruler with a 45 degree angle line (see image below in next section #5). I line up the 45 degree line with one of my seams and trim all 4 sides (2 at a time), making sure I don’t cut it smaller than 2 1/2″ (you should have at least 1/8 inch to trim for each side).
  8. Follow the steps above for Block 1 to now make a 9-patch (instead of yellow use the pink quarter square triangles). The layout, I use, is as follows.

Construction for HSTs

  1. Take the eight (8) 4 1/2″ low volume squares and on the back side, draw a diagonal line between one set of corners.
  2. Place the low volume square and the pink or yellow 4 1/2″ squares right side together.

  3. With the low volume back facing upwards, so you can see the line, stitch 1/4″ seam on either side of the line.
    Note: I chain piece these, and do all one side first and then the other.

  4. Cut along your drawn line with a ruler and rotary cutter. You should now have two HST from each set of 4 1/2″ squares. Press seams.

  5. Trim all HST to 3 1/2″.
    Note: I use a square ruler with a 45 degree angle line. I line up the 45 degree line (as shown below) with the seam and trim all 4 sides (2 at a time), making sure I don’t cut it smaller than 3 1/2″ (you should have at ~1/4 inch to trim for each side).

  6. You will now be making flying geese with the HST’s. Four will be with low volume in the middle and the colored print on the outside, and four with the color print in the middle and low volume on the outside.

  7. Once you have laid out your squares, put them right side together and stitch them together using a 1/4″ seam. Make sure you know which side to stitch. Press seams open.
  8. Final step, is to make four (4) 6 1/2″ squares using one of each of the flying geese (white and colored middle triangles). Place the flying geese RST, along the long side, match the middle seam, so that your colored squares are forming an arrow. Stitch together.

Construction for Final Blocks

  1. For the final construction you are essentially making another 9-patch square. Place the four (4) 6 1/2″ low volume prints at each corner, in the middle place the center block (smaller 9-patch or Ohio Star) and then in the space place the arrow block (the pink or yellow HST block).
  2. Stitch together each of the rows of three blocks. Press seams.
  3. Once all three rows are stitched, sew them together (with RST) matching the two seams and pinning in place while stitching. Press seams as you go.


Enjoy the tutorial and let me know if I need to clarify anything. I would love to see your blocks if you make any. Tag me on Instagram @ml_wilkie and use #scrappystarblocks when you post or share.

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