Learn to Paper Piece Quilt Along: Block Two, Lobster Stew

Welcome back to the Learn to Paper Piece Quilt Along! I love Block Two! The actual name of the block is Lobster Claw, but when I designed the quilt for Learn to Paper Piece, I renamed the block Lobster Stew. And why, you might ask, would I do that? Because this quilt is super scrappy and is made of lots of little bits … like a stew!

Lobster Stew by Nancy Mahoney

Lobster Stew by Nancy Mahoney

As much as I love the scrappy goodness in “Lobster Stew”, I decided to tone down the scrappiness (is that a word?) when I made “Starburst” for the Quilt Along. For these blocks, I used 4 different red prints in each block. But, I mixed up the red prints so the same 4 reds are not used in every block.

Lobster Stew Block

Lobster Stew Block

Here’s a tip to make centering piece 1 (on the unmarked side of the foundation) easy peasy. Make a copy of the foundation pattern from Learn to Paper Piece and trim the extra paper about 1/4″ from the outer line.

Trimmed foundation pattern for Lobster Stew

Trimmed foundation pattern for Lobster Stew

Then flip the foundation over so the unmarked side is facing up. Using a pencil and looking through the paper, place a dot on each corner of piece 1. The dots indicate the finished size of piece 1. Then draw lines 1/4″ from the dots to indicate the seam allowances for piece 1.

Draw lines 1/4" from the marked dots.

Draw lines 1/4″ from the marked dots.

Using a water-soluble glue stick, place a dab of glue in the center of the marked square. Then center your fabric square, right side up, over the marked lines. As long as you can’t see any of the marked lines, you’ll have at least a 1/4″ seam allowance all around piece 1.

Center fabric square over marked lines.

Center fabric square over marked lines.

Here’s another fabric placement tip. When adding black pieces 14-17, center the long side of the triangle on top of the white piece, making sure you have a generous 1/4″ at the top as shown below. After stitching and pressing each piece, trim the block to measure 5-1/2″ square.

lobster stew outer pieces

If you missed the yardage requirements or Block One, visit my website for details. Look for Block Three on or before September 15. I look forward to seeing your blocks on Facebook, be sure to add the tag #learntopaperpiecequiltalong.

Happy Quilting~Nancy

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Learn to Paper Piece Quilt Along: Block One, Split Star

I’m super excited to introduce the first block of my Learn to Paper Piece Quilt Along! Block One is a Split Star. Blocks with sharp points are perfect candidates for paper-foundation piecing and this block is no exception. The block contains four identical units that can be rotated to create a new look.

Split star unit

Split Star unit

For the “Split Star” quilt in Learn to Paper Piece I joined four units to create eight-pointed star blocks. Then I assembled the blocks in four rows of four blocks each.

Split Star block

Split Star block

When designing “Starburst” in EQ7 for the Learn to Paper Piece Quilt Along, I decided to rotate the units so I would have one “star” in the center of the quilt. That way, the long star-points in the units around the center star created the illusion of curved lines. Yowsers!

EQ7 image of Starburst quilt center

EQ7 image of Starburst quilt center

Before cutting out the pieces to make the blocks, be sure to check out my tip “Handling Odd Shapes” on page 38 of Learn to Paper Piece . This tip will make it easier to position the first piece.

Here’s a fabric placement tip: When the units were joined, I wanted the square created by piece 8 to be four different red prints. And, in piece 10, I wanted the each red print to be across from itself. So, before deciding which red print to use for piece 10, I laid out the units on my ironing table. I started by placing four units with the same red print in piece 8 as the corners of the first border.

split star 2Then I laid out the remaining units so that four different red prints formed a square. Last, I positioned the red prints for piece 10 so the prints were in opposite corners.

split star 1By planning ahead I was able to control the fabric placement and create a dynamic center!

Starburst quilt center

Starburst quilt center

The yardage requirements for the “Starburst” quilt on listed on my website. Look for Block Two on or before August 15.

Happy Quilting! ~Nancy

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