1) it's time to start cutting fabrics. Cutting for this quilt is very simple.
The above diagram represents how the stretched star is made. Two small squares are placed diagonally from one another in the corners of one large square. The small squares are stitched to the large square, the block is trimmed, pressed and done! It's that simple, but it is important to cut the squares to the proper sizes.
The above chart indicates what sizes the center and corner squares need to be in order to make a finished stretched star block.
Cut out the center and corner blocks. I'm making 8" finished blocks for my quilt and the center squares will all be cut from the same fabric. Although rotary cutting is the fastest way to make these, I'm marking and cutting the old fashioned way. I'm tracing around an 8-1/2" square cardboard template with a pencil and cutting out the shapes with a pair of scissors. Sometimes I find this to be a bit more relaxing than rotary cutting.
My quilt will be five blocks by seven blocks for a total of 35 blocks. Two corner squares are needed for each block. That a totals 70 squares. I have 35 different fabrics for the corner squares so I need to cut 2 of each. For an 8" finished block, the corner squares need to be cut to 4 1/2''. I happen to have a 4 1/2" square template to use for this.
Tip: If you don't have the proper sized acrylic template, use mat board to make templates. Draw the desired template shape onto the mat board and cut along the lines with a rotary cutter. It is best to reserve a dedicated rotary cutter for this with as the blade will dull quickly and will no longer be suitable for cutting fabric.
Tip: Use either a pencil, a proper fabric marking tool or a permanent marker to mark fabrics as ink pens and water soluble markers can bleed with steam from the iron.
Mark each of the small squares diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner to identify the sewing line. Pin the small squares onto the corners of the large squares ensuring that the marked sewing lines are properly positioned. Since I am using many different fabrics for my corner squares, I don't need to be too concerned about which corner fabrics I am using. If however I were making a quilt with a more organized distribution of corner fabrics, I'd need to pay a little more attention.
Tip: Pin in two different directions to keep the fabric from shifting in either direction when sewing.
It's time for you to cut, pin and get prepared to start sewing. The next post in this series will address sewing and pressing!
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