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WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH STAR BLOCKS AND QUILT AS YOU GO?

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

FREE QAYG-ALONG PART 4 - THE QUILT AS YOU GO FRIENDLY STAR BLOCK.

So why do I call this a QAYG-friendly star block?

Most patchwork star blocks have the same thing in common, they have points that finish a ¼” away from the edge. This means that they are not suitable for my Easy Cover Strip method because when the cover strip is sewn between the blocks, it will cover the points; even if the cover strip is sewn on the back, the points won’t be pointy because I like to take a 3/8” seam allowance to make the seam press nice and flat before the strip covers it.

If I wanted to join regular star blocks with the easy cover strip method, I would sew a border around the outer edge of the block before I quilted it and joined it with the ECM just like I did with the Paradisio quilt pictured below. It's difficult to see the border seam, but it's just to the right of the striped cover strip.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t quilt as you go with regular star blocks or any block for that matter that has points that finish a ¼” away from the edge, I used the joining strip method to join these blocks together for the joining strip video. This technique uses a ¼” seam allowance. The video is below, just in case you missed it.



I also used the same star block to demonstrate my 1 to 3 quilt as you go joining technique. This technique also uses a ¼” seam allowance, although my accuracy wasn’t so good on the day because my points did get cut off slightly (Woops).

Once again, the video tutorial is below if you missed it.




In my QAYG without sashing video, I refer to joining applique blocks together and I take a 3/8” seam allowance. Sometimes I do this just for ease because it means that I can cut all edges of the quilt sandwich level and the 3/8” seam gives me enough fabric to fold over on the back for a nice secure join. If I was to use the no sashing technique for regular star blocks, I would cut my batting and backing bigger (about 1” all around the edge) and after quilting the block, making sure that I don’t quilt all the way to the outer edges, because that’s the rule for this method, I would trim the batting and backing so that it extends ¼” past the edge of the star block. I would then join them together in the same way that I show in the video, only taking a ¼” seam allowance to sew the tops together, leaving me extra backing fabric to fold over and hand sew on the back. If you’re feeling a little confused, watch the video below.




Here’s another idea, for any patchwork block, rather than quilting each star block separately, you could join them in rows or sections that you find comfortable to quilt. Leave about 2” free of quilting away from the edges to be joined and then join your sections together with either the no sashing technique as discussed above or the 1 to 3 method, then frame you quilt with the Easy Border technique. (The video tutorial is below)


Wow, so what started out as a quick blog post has turned into a full on, quilt as you go lecture! I hope that you found it informative!

I've been designing quilt as you go quilts and patterns for over 20 years, if you'd like some inspiration, check out my website. We now offer instant PDF patterns worldwide.



Below is the cutting instructions to make 1 block but If you’re joining in our FREE QAYG-ALONG then you’ll need to make 2.



Watch the video below to see how to make the star block. (It will be premiering at the usual time).

If you would like to know more about why I call this a QAYG friendly star block, then keep on reading below.



Cheers!

Monica xo