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Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas in July Block 14-MJ and Co

Welcome to the Christmas in July Block-A-Thon! For those of you who are new to my blog, my name is Jen and I am so happy to have you here! I’m also excited to share my block with you and I hope you’ll enjoy making it as much as I did. I don’t know about you, but lately I have been seeing triangles everywhere and I absolutely love them. So, it only seemed right to make a block filled with triangles. Fair warning, these are on the small side, but please don’t let that stop you. You can do this! (If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to ask!)

 finished block 1 FQs

What you’ll need:
4 FQs of fabric, preferably including two prints and two solids, like these beauties Westminster Lifestyle Fabrics provided.
Cutting mat
Quilting ruler
Quilting rotary cutter
A walking foot is recommended, but not necessary

After determining your fabric placement, set aside your border and cut your remaining three fabrics into 2.5” strips. I’ll refer to them as A (inner star), B (outer star), and C (background).
You’ll need about 2.5” x 12” for fabrics A and B and two strips about 2.5” x 16” each for fabric C.
Feel free to cut your strips a little longer if you like, this is just what it took for me to comfortably cut my
triangles.

 strip angle

Find the angled lines on your quilting ruler marked 30/60 degrees. Line one up on your strips (as seen above) to cut your triangles.

 cut triangle triangles

All in all you’ll need 6 triangles each of A and B and 16 triangles of C.

layout

Next, lay them out in their correct spots. Maybe some of you would prefer to sew them into rows, but I chose to sew them into later triangle clusters in order to better maintain the triangle shapes as well as match up corners, as is seen above.

individual cluster

Taking one cluster, further break down the set so that one triangle is alone and three triangles are in a row on bottom.

right sides

Take two of your bottom triangles and place them right sides together. Sew them together using a ¼” seam allowance. Since 2 out of three edges on each triangle are cut on the bias and therefore are prone to a little stretch, if you don’t have a walking foot take care to allow them to carefully feed through, holding the triangles together, but not stretching them. You may use pins if you’d like, but I personally did not since the triangle sides do not have much length to work with. After each triangle is sewn, press your seams open (if you like to press to the side…just trust me on this one).

triangle of 4

Once all three triangles are sewn into a row for the bottom, take the fourth triangle for the top point. There is no need to trim the dog ears yet, because as you sew the triangles together they are very helpful for matching up corners.

 cluster arrangement

Continue to sew the remaining clusters together and arrange them in two halves. For each halve, sew the clusters together first and save the individual corner triangles for last. Finally, sew both halves together.

 matchup

When sewing your clusters together, you may find it helpful to line up the seams by matching the center triangles together, as is shown above. Pin and sew accordingly.

quarter inch lineup

Now that all of your triangles are sewn together, it’s time to trim. Don’t worry about the measurements; we’ll take care of that in a minute. The important thing right now is to line up your ruler so that there is an allowance for a ¼” seam all the way around the points of your star.

inner star

Once your block is nicely trimmed, it’s time to measure it so you can add your solid border. Mine measured at 6 ¾” x 7 ¾”. At this point I chose to make my border a teensy bit on the large size so I could nicely trim it down to be a perfect 8 ½” square finish (you may prefer to just use the exact dimensions needed, which would be 7/8” x 6 ¾” and 1 3/8” x 8 ½”; please do whatever you feel more comfortable with). So, for my short sides, on top and bottom, I cut two strips from my remaining solid fat quarter (fabric D) measuring 1 ¼” x 6 ¾” and sewed them into place. Next, I cut two strips measuring 1 ¾” x 9 ¼” and sewed them onto the long sides, completing my border.

finished trim

Trim your block into an 8 ½” square, taking care to make sure your borders are even (if your measurements turn out like mine, the top and bottom borders were just a hair over 5/8” and the side borders were 1 1/8”).

finished block 2

And you’re done! One beautiful triangle star block for your Christmas in July quilt! Now sit back, enjoy a lemonade, and admire your handiwork. Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like your star block, but it would be helpful to know how you came up with it so I could adjust the size. Did you draw it on paper first? If I wanted to make a 10.5 or 12.5 inch square block, how would I go about it? Thanks
Rosemary
nellieduclos@yahoo.com

Marcia W. said...

This is a lovely block. Besides in a quilt, I can see this star block used in coasters or mug rugs for Christmas.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I cannot get the cuts with my marked ruler as you show. I think I will try to draw this out on paper to paper piece instead.

Lynne Tilley said...

I do love this one so much, and I'm going to print off your tutorial and give it a try. I have to dive in some time with this "hard" stuff :)

tilleybl@aol.com

Jen said...

Hello, Rosemary :)

I wanted my block to end up at 8.5", but realized that the border would be necessary because these equilateral triangles aren't cooperative for a square. :) Since the design itself calls for four horizontal rows of triangles, I estimated a finished 2" per row, which is where the 2.5" strips come in. Again, with triangles not behaving exactly like straight edges of squares or rectangles, the triangles finished at 6.75" x 7.75", so not even with the long edge being 8.5", but that was okay since the border was necessary anyhow. My suggestion is if you want a block finished at 10", cut your triangle strips at 3" and add the border to fit, and for a 12" finished block cut 3.5" strips, again adding a border (it would also look good to use the same fabric for your border as you use for the star background, so it all blends nicely).

Thank you for your question! Happy Quilting!

Jen said...

"Vroomans' Quilts: Lots of flipping may be required to get the hang of the correct angles and placement. I admit even as I was cutting my mind played tricks on me as I flipped. :) My best suggestion is just to play close attention to the 30/60 lines and don't cut until it's clear that the sides are equilateral and only line up those ruler lines on the horizontal cuts of your strips, not on the angled cuts. But if you choose to paper piece it I understand. Either way, have fun with it. :)

Rosa said...

This is a great star block.I`d love do it with paperpiecing.Thanks for the tutorial!!

Ramona said...

Love this. Can't wait to try it.