Star of Hope

31 07 2008

I started working on the sampler blocks for my “Winter Wonderland” quilt last night.  I decided I might as well make a tutorial out of the process.  There were directions with the pattern, but I tend to ignore the directions for pieced blocks.  I think that may be because I’ve drawn so many that I dissect them in my head and just “see” how to put them together.  So first I’m going to show how to draw the block.

The block starts with a simple nine patch.– nine equal squares in this case.

Next a line is drawn in four of the patches to create half square triangles.  That line needs to rotate around the center patch so a star is created.

The final step in the drawing is to divide the outside half square triangle with another diagonal line.  Creating two quarter square triangles in each of the four patches.

It seems to me if a person can see how a block was drafted whether it be a nine patch, a four patch, etc. it becomes easier to decide how to piece that block.

On to the piecing.  I needed three different sized finished blocks — 12″, 9″ and 6″.  The first thing to do is figure out the finished size of each patch in the nine patch.  So for a 12″ block each patch would be 4″ finished, 9″ block each patch would be 3″ finished and for the 6″ block each patch would be 2″ finished.  So for each patch that is a solid square I cut the finished size plus 1/2″ for seam allowance.  The pictures I’m showing are of the 6″ block so I’ll use those measurements from now on.

I cut four 2-1/2″ squares of background fabric and one 2-1/2″ square of a colored fabric.  The rest of the pieces are triangles and I chose to use the Omnigrid Triangle rules.  Number 96 for the half square triangles and number 98 for quarter square triangles.

To cut half square triangles using the omnigrid ruler, cut a strip the width of the finished patch plus 1/2″.  In other words exactly the same width as the solid patches.  For the 6″ block that is 2-1/2″.

The markings on the Omnigrid triangle rulers refer to the finished size of the block or patch.  So using the number 96 ruler I lined up the 2 line with the edge of the strip.  The top of the triangle will hang over the top of the strip, but the strip should line up with the very top line.  For the first triangle  I cut on both sides.

After the first triangle I lined the ruler up with the edge of the previous cut and the 2 line.  Cut the remaining three right triangles.

Next I cut the quarter square triangles.  The strip width for these triangles is half the finished width of the patch or block plus 1/2″.  Remember my finished patch was 2″ so the strip for these triangles is 1″ + 1/2″ for a total of 1-1/2″.

Now I switched to the number 98 triangle which is for cutting 1/4 square triangles.  Again the markings are for the finished size of the block or patch.  So I lined up the 2 mark with the edge of the strip.  This time the tip of the triangle just barely overhung the strip.  Again for the first triangle cut on both sides of the ruler.

After the first triangle just lined up the ruler with the last cut and the 2 line.  I cut three more of the dark fabric and also four triangles from the background fabric following the same process.

All the pieces for this block are now cut and ready to stitch.

The first step in stitching was to sew the quarter square print and background triangles together.  IMPORTANT — Sew four sets together exactly the same way or the points of the star will not be correct.  If you place the dark piece on top and stitch the right edge for the first pair, do it exactly the same  for the remaining pairs. — The stitching should be on the short side of the triangle.  The two short sides are bias so be careful not to stretch as you stitch.

I carefully pressed the seam toward the dark triangle.  Avoid stretching the remaining bias edge.  I now had a half square triangle unit made up of two quarter square triangles.

Next I stitched a half square triangle to each of the units just pressed.  This picture shows what the unit looks like from both sides after it is stitched.

Next I pressed the seam toward the half square triangle.  There are no longer any bias edges, but still avoid stretching the unit.

At this point I find it helpful to lay out the units for the block.  That way I make sure the points are turned in the correct direction.

Next I chain stitched pairs from each row of the block.  (You could press at this point, but I usually wait until the whole row is stitched.)

Now I press each row.  My preference is to press toward the solid squares.  Which means the seams on the top and bottom row are pressed toward the outside of the block and the seams on the middle row are pressed toward the center.  In this picture you can see what I’m describing.

Now I just stitched the rows together.  Because the seams are pressed in opposite directions they will nest and make it easier to line up the intersections.  Press the seams.  It really doesn’t matter at this point which direction, but I pressed them away from the center.

These are the finished blocks.

If you are reading this and actually care about the tutorial, this quiz is for you.

1.  What width strip is needed for half square trianges for this block when the finished size of the block is 12″?

2. What width strip is needed for half square trianges for this block when the finished size of the block is 9″?

3.  What width strip is needed for quarter square trianges for this block when the finished size of the block is 12″?

4.  What width strip is needed for quarter square trianges for this block when the finished size of the block is 9″?

Do you have your answers?  Scroll down to see if you were correct.



1.  4-1/2″

2. 3-1/2″

3. 2-1/2″

4. 2″




One response

15 03 2012
Ann Sheehan

Hi, I have the Omnigrid 96 and 98 rulers and wasn’t sure how to use them. I have tried googling recently to get a tutorial or something to show me how they worked properly. I happened on your blog this week and was absolutely thrilled with the advice you have given. Now I can start on my Bonnie Hunter ORCA Bay mystery quilt with confidence. Thanks for the great info.

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