I’ve made the California oakleaf star quilt using the block of the same name with a simple alternate block which causes a star to form when the blocks are sewn together. It’s a nice easy quilt to make – I’m sure that you are all as busy as I am in the runup to Christmas.
The quilt measures 52″ square and I used 1.3/4 yards each of purple and gold, together with 3/4 yard of white fabric. You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer. Incidentally, this quilt also looks good made up in red, white and blue. The blocks are all 14″ square finished size and you need to make five California oakleaf blocks and four alternate blocks.
I’d love to hear from anyone who lives in California – do your oakleaves look any different from those elsewhere?
Cutting requirements for the California oakleaf star quilt
2.1/2″ squares: eighty purple, twenty gold, forty five white
2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ rectangles: one hundred each in purple and white – but read the pattern before you cut these as they are simple to make using strip piecing
7.7/8″ squares: eight purple, eight gold
For the borders you will need ten 2.1/2″ strips of gold cut across the width of fabric and five 1.1/2″ strips of purple cut across the width of fabric.
Make the California oakleaf corners
Make the strip pieced squares first. The simplest way to make these is to sew together 1.1/2″ strips of white and purple. Press the seam allowance towards the purple and cut at 2.1/2″ intervals. This will give you 2.1/2″ squares made of a purple and a white rectangle. It’s much quicker and less fiddly to make them this way.
The corners of this block are made with a simple nine patch block. There’s a purple square in each corner, a gold square in the middle and one of the purple/white squares on each edge of the central square. These are placed so that the purple rectangle is on the inside, lying against the gold square, and the white is on the outside.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. You need to make four of these for each California oakleaf block, which means making twenty of them altogether.
Full layout of the block
Now you can assemble the entire block. Between each pair of corners there are two white squares and one purple/white square. There’s a white square in the middle: the purple/white squares are all placed so that the purple rectangles surround the central square.
Sew together the three squares that make each spur of the central cross. You can then sew the pieces together to make three rows and finally sew the three rows to each other to complete the California oakleaf quilt block. Make five of these.
Making the alternate quilt block
For this block you need to make half square triangles with the 7.7/8″ squares. Place a purple and a gold square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 7.1/2″ squares.
Lay these out as a four patch unit. Place them so that the two gold triangles together form larger gold triangles, and so do the purple squares. Sew the pairs together and then sew the pairs to each other to complete the alternate block. Make four of these.
Assembling the California oakleaf star quilt
Sew the blocks together in three rows of three. Rows one and three are made with a California oakleaf block at each end and an alternate block in the middle. Place the alternate block so that the purple is top and bottom with the gold on the sides.
Make row two with an alternate block at each end and a California oakleaf block in the middle. This time place the alternate blocks so that the purple is on the sides and the gold is top and bottom.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Add the borders
For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of gold. You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.
Make the second border using 1.1/2″ strips of purple. Piece two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.
Finally for the third border you’ll need 2.1/2″ strips of gold again. Two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom.
That completes the California oakleaf star quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
The suburb nearest to where I live is called Harborne and it is dominated by a building which seems incredibly tall for what it is – a clock tower. The building used to be a school till the 1960’s but is now mainly restaurants. I’m guessing that the playground used to be where the car park is now.
Apparently the name Harborne is thought to come from the Old English horu burna, meaning dirty stream, although Harborne was considered a health resort at one time. It was fascinating reading about Harborne’s history – I’m rather ashamed that I haven’t yet done the same for Quinton itself!