Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to avoid being a Pointless Person

This technique for preserving points on the Friendship Star and other Pinwheel and Star blocks comes from reader Diane Williams (edited by Marje Rhine, American Quilter magazine pattern editor). It works ONLY when you are making blocks using half-square triangles that you have cut slightly oversized.

For this project, I was working on a 9” finished Friendship Star. The star center and corner patches are cut 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”. For the star points, cut 2 squares 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” from each of the background and star fabrics. These are slightly larger than required. On the lighter fabric, draw a diagonal. Place on the darker fabric, rights sides together. Stitch on each side of the diagonal, 1/4” from the line. Cut apart on the line and press.
Lay the block out before trimming (fig. 1).

Fig. 1

One at a time, square up the half-square triangle units as follows. Position the unit so the star point is at the top right. Position a ruler over the unit so that the ruler’s 45° line is on the lower left seam line but the 45° line is slightly to the right up the upper right seam line and in the background triangle of the unit (fig. 2). Make sure that, with this adjustment, you will still be able to cut a 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” square. Trim the right and top along the ruler edges.

Fig. 2

Rotate the unit 180° and trim the other 2 sides for a 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” square (fig. 3).

Fig. 3

Replace each star point on the block as you work. Make sure the points are in the correct orientation. Assemble the block as you normally would. Since the tips of the star are about 3/8” from the raw edge of the block you will end up with a perfect points even if you don’t sew an exact 1/4 “ seam.
Thank you for your tip, Diane!

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