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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Welcome 100 Blocks, Vol. 13 Blog Tourist!

I’m so delighted to once again kick off the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks blog tour! And, I’m super excited to share my Pinwheel Star block with all of you!

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney

I love foundation paper piecing and this block is super easy using this tried-and-true method. However, when I first designed Pinwheel Star using EQ7, I drew the lines for the orange pieces so the end of the line was in the corner of the block.

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney, first attempt

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney, first attempt

Not a wise decision! Because when the blocks are set side-by-side there would be 16 fabrics coming together in one spot … Yikes!

Four-block quilt design by Nancy Mahoney

Four-block quilt design by Nancy Mahoney

So, I modified the block and changed the angle of the one line … easy-peasy with EQ7. The quilt is so much easier to assemble and your eye doesn’t even notice that the orange piece stops short of the corner. That is unless I point it out!

Quilt design with revised block by Nancy Mahoney

Quilt design with revised block by Nancy Mahoney

If  you like a more traditional look, change the fabrics to a classic red and tan color scheme to create a striking design. Yummy!

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney using traditional fabrics.

Pinwheel Star by Nancy Mahoney using traditional fabrics.

The possibilities are almost endless! I hope you have fun playing with my Pinwheel Star block, as well as the other 99 blocks in this issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. Pick up a copy wherever magazines are sold or order a digital copy from Quiltmaker.

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The 100 Blocks Blog Tour continues through May 6. Stop by all the blogs for inspiration, ideas and giveaways galore!

Be sure to leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 13.

Visit my website to see more of my quilts, my complete teaching schedule, information about my webinars and online classes, and to download free patterns.

Happy Quilting! ~Nancy

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