Welcome back to my 2021 Block of the Week. We are already at block #6! If you are new to this series, you can find the posts for the previous blocks here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5. Like the other weeks, there will be a drawing from the blog post commenters for one of my patterns. Your name will also be entered into the grand prize drawing at the end of the series (grand prize information in the week 1 post).
Block 6 – Rolling Star
I like the block for this week because of the way the light tan background illuminates the star portion of the block. You can also improvise and change the tan to a black print and change the colors for the star pieces to bright colors. There are many fun options.
Click here for block assembly instructions: 2021 BOW Block 6.
Here are some of the ways to make this block look different. First, change the tan fabric to black:
Next, add in another color instead of the tan print on the outside, then shift colors around. If you alternate the two block color combos below, that would make a striking quilt!
The key is to have fun! Now onto the quilting tip of the week. Achieving crisp points which will be very helpful for this block with lots of points.
We have all done this. You’re piecing a quilt with a lot of stars or flying geese units. When you’re all done, your points are cut off!
Notice the point on the left is cut off compared to the point on the right. This is one of the things that dogs a lot of quilters. I find that many times this is due to impatience (rushing through chain piecing) and not being being aware of where your points are in relation to the seam you are stitching. So, here I will share some tips to avoid blocks with cut off points. I am using flying geese units in my example, but the concept will apply to any unit with points.
When you flip over a flying geese unit like shown below and you will see a point created by the seams of the unit.
Paying attention to where this point is while you are stitching is an important key for getting crisp points.
Notice, in the photo below, I have pinned the pieces so they won’t shift. As I am stitching I keep an eye on the point. I want to keep my stitching above it. Hopefully, if I made my geese unit correctly, the top of the point is 1/4″ from the edge of the unit.
I am using a pin to show you where the point is as I am stitching.
In the photo below you can see my needle is going to pass the stitching above the point but still be an accurate 1/4″ seam (see where I am pointing with the pin). You want the stitching to stay above but not too far. If your stitching touches the very tippy top of the point, that is still OK. The photo on the far right shows my seam done, passing right over the point.
When I turn the piece over to the right side, you can see that the point is nice and crisp!
Like I said earlier, the key to getting these crisp points is to make sure when you piece your units that have points, the unit has the correct seam allowance. 1/4″ from point tip to edge of the unit:
In some blocks, you may need to join two units with points. Here’s a few tips on doing that and keeping the points crisp. Once again, I will use flying geese units in the example.
When pinning the units together, you want to start by lining up the points of each unit and pinning there. Here is how I line up the points. I lay the units right sides together and then pull the top unit down to get the point lined up with the point of the unit below. I slowly inch the top piece back, eyeing the point the whole time.
Pin the center first to keep the points from shifting and then pin the rest of the unit before stitching.
Follow the stitching instructions I shared above, stitch the unit keeping your seam above the point. Since you took such care in aligning the points, the stitching should be above the point on the back unit to.
You can see in the photos of each side below where the stitching line passes above the point:
And after pressing the unit open once stitched, flip it over to the right side and see that the points are matched!
So those are my tips on how to achieve crisp points. It may take some practice, but you will get there! Hopefully you will not have to use your seam ripper too much.
That’s it for this week. Leave your comments or questions below and you will be entered into a drawing for my pattern, Twilight Desert. This pattern will give you a lot of practice on achieving crisp points!
The drawing for this pattern will be on Monday, May 24th. Good luck and see you next week! **We have a winner… Congrats, Carla!**