Thursday, May 26, 2016

String Star Tutorial

I have this picture pinned to my Pinterest board, and there's something so attractive about it, I must have looked at it dozens of times.

Photo from:

I have tried to find tutorials for the blocks, but all the pictures I have pinned take me to a site or blog that references a book called "String Quilt Revival".  I'm sure it's a wonderful book, but I really can't convince myself to buy it yet. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I can figure this out myself. I'll post the steps so (1) I have something to refer back to if it becomes a UFO (not that unlikely), and (2) so anyone else who wants to make their own won't have to figure it out for themselves.

I did find a Nancy Zieman tutorial where she cut kite shapes from her solid fabric and added strings to the sides, but I think it would be easier to cut solid squares and just mark where to start adding string strips. So, what size squares? I decided to cut them 8", mainly because I figured removing the selvedges from my solid fabric would leave me about 40" of usable fabric, and 8 goes into 40 exactly five times. Four of the 8" blocks sewn together to make the star pattern will give you a block that finishes at 15", so again, another easy measurement to work with.

Step 1 would be to cut 8" strips from whatever fabric you are using for the background. Mine is black:

Then remove the selvedges and subcut into 8" squares.

Using a white chalk pencil, I marked one corner of each square 1/4" from each side:

Turn the square to the opposite corner and mark the two sides 3-1/4" down from the corner. This is one of those times when a picture is worth a thousand words. Hopefully the white chalk marks show up in the pictures:

Once you have four marks connect them by using your ruler to make straight lines as shown in the next picture.
This is all a little time-consuming with the marking, but my reasoning is that once I take the time up front to get the squares made, I can sit down and just sew, sew, sew.

That's probably enough for now; check back in a few days, and I should have something posted on how to add the strings.

Update: I was asked how I chose the measurements for marking the blocks. The 1/4" in the first corner is so the strips will overlap, and you won't lose those nice, sharp points when joining the squares together. The 3-1/4" measurement was just a nice, middle-of-the-road choice that is entirely up the maker. If you want star points that are skinnier or fatter, you could decrease or increase that measurement. You may want to try a few variations to see what is most pleasing to you.

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