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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gradient Star: Week 1

Edit: Sharon shared a FREE Lone Star pattern, and it is small/ easy to do. Not nearly as large as other patterns, for those of you that don't have the book this would be a great starter design! I think I am going to make one as well. The pattern calls for 3.5 strips--but Sharon suggest using 2.5 leftover strips. Perfect I have some! Here's the link:

This uses strip piecing techniques, which we won't be getting into until project 2 but you all are familiar with strip piecing and it's much faster.

For those of you that are new...we are just beginning to work our way through this book:

I chose this book as it takes us step by step through the learning process. Each project builds upon the last, so that by the time we are finished, we will have some great quilts, but even more valuable....we will no longer fear these stars!

Today as we begin project 1--The Gradient Star--please keep in mind that you need to "Make it your own!"

For instance, the gradient star is fussy cut using batik type gradient fabric. Due to the nature of the quilt, and the fussy cutting involved 3 1/2 yds is needed for the blocks. Since I am working from my stash I needed to choose a different option. 

Also, Linda shared with me that she hates using templates. You don't have to! Let's see how...

Remember last week when I taught you how to cut on the 60 degree diagonal? Well, this is just as easy. You can make all the diamonds by cutting the strips the same widths as mentioned in the book for the template (which I won't state here because then the copyrighted pattern would be shared. Through out our studies I will omit sizes when I am teaching you so that people will have to purchase the book to do the project.) Anyway, cut the strips ____________ width. Then using the technique I shared last week, cut your angle on the 45 degree line. And then flip that strip over and measure every _______inches (same as width) and cut. 

To help you with fabric calculations, I cut some just from one strip, selvage to selvage. I got 4 diamonds--width of fabric. 

There are 32 diamonds total so I could have cut an entire quilt with just 1 1/2 yds (instead of 3 1/2 yds according to the fussy cut pattern.)

Of course, then there is me. I still couldn't see using that much fabric for a 'learning project' for me. So I cut the size in half. I took the size the block would have finished at, divided by two then added a half inch for seam allowances. Then I made a fussy cut template:

 I am kind of into the fussy cut thing lately :)
Now which fabric will I choose?
I'll show you next week!

You now get to decide:
 Fussy cut or not?
Full size or not?
Fabric selection.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I was just looking at the star patterns. Decided I want to go with the strip piecing - this is how we teach it, so I am familiar with this technique. And I am going with the 2.5" strip to use up some jelly roll strips.

Anonymous said...


Linda said...

I love the Gradient Star but I have zero patience for fussy cutting for a whole quilt. lol I had the same thought to cut the fabric like it says to make the template. What's also funny to me is that I found my templates from my hand piecing days, and yes, you guessed it, there is a diamond shape in there called the Peony. I actually made a small star block back then. I'll send you pictures. lol

Snoodles said...

This is intriguing! Looking forward to seeing how it goes.... :)