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8-Pointed Star - Pieced Block of the Month posted: 7/13/2004
by Ila McCallum Printable Page
Category: Pieced Level: Intermediate Series: 9 Patch Sampler
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The 8-pointed star is a 9-patch block with three rows of three squares each. The basic design of the block uses three fabrics of contrasting color or pattern, with the corner blocks and area between the star points being the same, the points are made of a contrasting fabric and the center square a second contrasting fabric.

Finished Size: 12" x 12"

Fabric Requirements For Block:

If you are making the entire Block of the Month series, just cut the patches as shown below from the fabrics for the series. The fabric requirements for the series is in the Introduction to the Block of the Month.

If you are making a sample block or just one block, use these fabric measurements and then cut the patches as shown below. The measurements are generous.

NOTE: If you are using a one way fabric, such as the background fabric in the block with the light blue and mottled orange patches below, you may need a little more fabric.

TIP: Mark which fabrics you are planning to use for each portion of the quilt. For example, it is easy to forget that a certain fabric is planned for the sashing. However, be open to changing your mind. You may find that a different fabric makes an outstanding sashing and the one you had planned to use just does not work.

Template Method:

Click here to download Templates

There are many ways to make templates and Making Templates For Appliqué explains several methods. An additional method is placing clear adhesive laminate (Con-Tact® is one brand) on both sides of the sheet with the template patterns and then cutting the templates out.

Trace around your templates on the right side of the fabric. You can layer your fabric and cut on the markings with a ruler and rotary cutter. When cutting templates C and D, which are reverse images, layer your fabric with all right sides up rather than right sides or wrong sides together.

  • Template A, Piece 1 (4 patches) 6" X 20" Background fabric
    NOTE: For this quilt, the background fabric is shown as the mottled green and yellow in the picture of the finished quilt above. This fabric will be used in every block in the Block of the Month series and the wide border.
  • Template A, Piece 2 (1 patch) 6” X 6” Contrast Fabric No. 1
  • Template B, Piece 3 (4 patches) 6” X 20” Background fabric
  • Template C, Piece 4 (4 patches) 6” X 12” Contrast Fabric No. 2
  • Template D, Piece 4 (4 patches) 6” X 12” Contrast Fabric No. 2

Rotary Cutting Method:

Cut the pieces B, C, & D using the angles on your ruler for cutting

From a 4 ¾” wide strip cut 4 triangles with two 63° angles and 4 ¾" wide along the bottom edge as shown above. (This is a little tricky & it may be easier to cut trianlge with a template and your rotary cutter. See above.)

Cut one triangle by cutting a 2 5/8” x 5 ¼” rectangle and then cutting diagonally across. Repeat this for 4 triangles.

Cut one triangle by cutting a 2 5/8" x 5 ¼" rectangle and then cutting diagonally across. Repeat this for 4 triangles. Note: this is a mirror image of the C triangles.
Cutting Instructions
Piece Shape # Fabric Instructions  
A (Piece 1)  4  Background Cut four 4 ½" x 4 ½" squares

NOTE: You can cut the Template A pieces with a rotary cutter: 4 ½" X 4 ½"
A (Piece 2)  1 Contrast Fabric 1 Cut one 4 ½" x 4 ½" square

B  4 Background See Above
C  4 Contrast 2 See Above

D  4 Contrast 2 See Above

Assembly (1/4" seam allowance throughout):
Instruction Diagram
Step 1: Cut all pieces and lay them out in the same positions as in the finished block. Use the diagram template above to help you lay out the pieces.  
Step 2: Sew the triangles together to create the four patches with star points. Be careful not to stretch the seams. Press seams toward the center triangle.

TIP: To ensure that your triangles match, mark ¼” seam allowances at the corners on the wrong side of the fabrics. Then carefully place a pin through the corner point of the crossing point of the seam allowances on both pieces of fabric, holding the pin at right angles to the fabric. Using a second pin, pin the fabric together.
Step 3: Lay the patches out in rows.
Step 4: Sew the three patches in Row 1 together.

Place the two patches you are sewing with right sides together and edges matching. Pin at right angles to the seam line. Do not sew over the pins but pull them out before the needle reaches them.

TIP: Start sewing on a small scrap. Sew from the small scrap directly onto the patches you are sewing together, leaving one or two stitches between. When you have finished sewing the seam, sew back onto a scrap. Clip the threads between the patches and the scraps. The ends of your seams will be more even. This is called chain stitching and can be used between patches that you are seaming.
Step 5:Sew the three patches in Row 2 together.
Step 6: Sew the three patches in Row 3 together.

Step 7: Press the seams between the patches toward the background fabric. Press the seams in the direction of the arrows in the drawing.

NOTE: The seams between the patches are generally pressed toward the darker fabric so that the seam shows less from the right side. If your background fabric (Patches A) is lighter than the contrasting fabric (Patches B), press your seams toward the contrasting fabric. The reason for pressing the seams in the directions shown is so that they "nest" against each other and match correctly to sew the rows together.
Step 8: Sew Row 1 to Row 2. Match the seams very carefully and pin on both sides of the matched seam. This will hold the seamlines from shifting and keep the fabric in the seam allowances from folding. Remember not to sew over the pins but rather remove them as you come to them.
Step 9: Sew Row 3 to Row 2.
Step 10: Press the seams. The direction you press them is not as important here. I would suggest pressing them toward the row that has the two darker fabric patches.
NOTE: Your block will measure 12 ½" x 12 ½". When all of the seams are sewn around the block in the finished quilt, the block will measure 12" x 12".

It is important that your block measures 12 ½" x 12 ½" so that all of the blocks will fit correctly, when you put the entire quilt together. If your block does not measure the correct size, you can "block" it just as you would block a sweater. Draw the correct size on a piece of paper and pin the edges of the block so that it is on the line. Spray the fabric with water or a light spray starch and press it dry. Be very careful not to stretch the fabric by moving the iron back and forth. Instead, press the fabric by pressing and lifting the iron.
Color Options

Fabrics for this colorway
courtesy of Classic Cottons.
Fabric line: Moonlit Florals, Navy.

If you have any questions or problems while making your quilt, please post your question in the forums, I will be happy to help you.

©2004 Ila McCallum

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Category: Pieced

Author: Ila McCallum
Level: Intermediate

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