I’ve had another Dreami (drop everything and make it) experience this week. It’s my Dear Mum’s birthday this Sunday and she hasn’t come up with any gift ideas. A bit late in the day I decided to make her something… So I took a look through my Pinterest boards and then had a rummage in my stash before drawing up a quick guide using EQ7.
I decided to make a 16″ Carpenters Star block that could serve as a table topper. The colours of the three fabrics fit fairly well with the curtains in my parents dining room and wouldn’t look out of place in their conservatory either so here’s hoping it is a successful gift.
As well as the EQ7 picture I did a bit of drawing and calculating on graph paper – figuring out just how many half square triangles it takes to make this block (quite a lot as it happens!). Most of my fabric pieces were in strips but I did have a couple large enough to use the eight-half-square-triangles-at-a-time method. I love doing this, not so much because it saves time, but more that it is just a little bit magical 🙂 Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts has a great tutorial and cutting chart – Eight at a time half square triangles
If you’d like to make a 16″ Carpenter’s Star here is the method I used:
Fabric requirements: background (cream) and two others – I’ll call them ‘A’ (green) and ‘Z’ (pink). I had a little more than the equivalent of a fat eighth in each fabric.
CUTTING (this assumes making HSTs using the two-at-a-time method BUT if you use the eight-at-a-time method then cut 6″ squares)
- Background – Twelve 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
- Fabric A – Four 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
- Fabric Z – sixteen 3″ squares
- Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ A squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
- Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
- Pair up eight A 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
I decided to create my Carpenter’s Star by piecing a quarter of the block at a time. I laid out the pieces next to my machine like this:
Piece the units together row by row being careful to match the points. Once all four quarters are completed the pattern emerges:
Time to sew them all together before stepping back to admire this very appealing block.
I’ve pinned together a quilt sandwich using a piece of unbleached calico as the backing and Hobbs cotton wadding. I think I’ll quilt in the ditch and maybe do a bit of meandering in the background.
I tried to find out the history of the Carpenter’s Star but couldn’t find much information: It may have been inspired by the trades and skills needed by early settlers and could reference ‘the master carpenter’, Jesus. There are a range of layouts and methods for making this block – see Janet Wickell’s tutorial for a striking alternative.
I’m looking forward to celebrating International Quilting Day on Saturday. I wonder how you might be marking the day?
PS. The finished Carpenter’s Star. Linking with Sandra for the March Dreami: