Columbian Star Quilt Pattern

Columbian star quilt

Columbian star quilt

The Columbian Star quilt block is the centrepiece of this quilt pattern.  I have tried to use elements from this block in the surrounding blocks.  The nine blocks are all huge – 30″ square finished size – giving an enormous 94″ square quilt.  This should cover any size of bed comfortably.

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Completed Columbian star quilt block

Cutting requirements for the Columbian star quilt

6.1/2″ squares:  four white

12.1/2″ squares:  one purple

3.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty white, twenty purple

3.1/2″ squares:  four purple, eight white

15.7/8″ squares:  four purple, four white

15.1/2″ squares:  four purple

8″ squares:  sixteen white

8.3/8″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen white

For the border you will need to cut nine 2.1/2″ strips across the width of a contrasting fabric.




Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a purple and a white square 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 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the purple and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

You will also need to make half square triangle units from the 15.7/8″ and 8.3/8″ squares, but for these I have simply cut the squares along one diagonal and then sewn one white and one white purple triangle together along the diagonals.

Top section

Top section

Make the Columbian star quilt block top

I am showing you this layout in three sections for clarity.  Place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end with two half square triangles on two edges of each square.  Lay a 3.1/2″ purple square diagonally in from the corner of each white square.  Between these corner sections place a 12.1/2″ white rectangle at the top with a row of four half square triangles beneath it.  Underneath these place two 3.1/2″ white squares with a pair of half square triangles betwen them.  Check the photo carefully to be sure which way to place all the half square triangles.  In the middle they need to form a V shape pointing downwards.

Partially sewn section

Partially sewn section

Sew the squares together across the two rows between the white squares.  Then sew the two rows to each other.  Now add the large white square on each end.  Sew all the squares together across the third row and add this to the bottom of the section.

Central section

Central section

Middle section of block

Begin this section with the 12.1/2″ purple square.  For the column on either side of the square place four half square triangles.  Lay them so that the purple triangles start to form a V shape pointing towards the central square.  For the next column out you need two white squares with a half square triangle at each end of the column.  For the third column out place one 12.1/2″ white rectangle.  Sew the patchwork pieces together down each column, sew the columns to each other and then sew these sections to the central square.

Bottom third of the block

Bottom third of the block

Lower third of the block

The bottom section of the block is more or less the same as the top section, just the other way up.  The first row of this section contains four half square triangles in the middle with a purple square outside of these and then two more half square triangle units.

Make the second row with two white squares in the middle and a pair of half square triangles on either side of the squares.  Use the final 12.1/2″ white rectangle with a half square triangle at each end for the third row.  Add a 6.1/2″ white square at each end of these last two rows.  Once again sew the small squares together across each row, sew the bottom two rows to each other and then sew them to the white squares at the ends.  Sew this section to the first row.

Finally sew all three sections together to complete the Columbian star quilt block.  This measures 30.1/2″ square at this stage and you just need to make one.

Corner block layout

Corner block layout

Make the corner blocks

For the corner blocks I have used the rosebud shape that appears in the Columbian star quilt block – but made it a lot bigger.  Make half square triangles using the 15.7/8″ squares.  Cut the squares in half along one diagonal and then sew a purple triangle to a white triangle.

Place a white and a purple 15.1/2″ square diagonally opposite each other.  Lay two half square triangles diagonally opposite each other so that the purple triangles form a butterfly shape.

Sew the pieces together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  This block now measures 30.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Third block layout

Third block layout

Make the third block

In the third block I have taken the V shapes in the Columbian star quilt block and again supersized them.  Make half square triangles using the 8.3/8″ squares.  In the first row use four half square triangles placed so that the white triangles form a larger triangle pointing downwards and the purple triangles begin to form the stripes of the V shape.  In the second row place two half square triangles in the middle with an 8″ white square at each end.  Repeat these two rows to form the third and fourth rows.

Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block now measures 30.1/2″ square and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  In row one place a rosebud block at each end with a V block in the middle.  Place the rosebuds so that they point towards the corner, with the white square forming the corner of the quilt.

Row two

Row two

For the second row place the Columbian star quilt block in the middle with a V block at each end.  Place these so that the V shapes are horizontal, pointing towards the middle.

Row three

Row three

In row three place a rosebud block at each end with a V block in the middle.  The V shapes point upwards towards the middle while the rosebuds point towards the corners.

Add the top border

Add the top border

Finishing the quilt

Normally now I would add the border, sew the blocks to each other and then sew the three rows to each other.  However this quilt is so large that I am going to sew it together using quilt as you go in rows.  I have added the border strip of a contrasting fabric to the top of the first row and the bottom of the third row.  Then I added wadding and backing fabric to each row, making sure that I left a good 3″ of these at either side.  Now I am going to quilt each row separately, sew the rows to each other using qayg and then add the side borders as a final step.  I haven’t had time to do these steps yet, but I will show you the photos when I have completed the quilt.

Here’s the video:

 

Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls

Last week I spent a few days in North Wales.  On the way back I stopped to see the Swallow Falls which I have always intended to visit.  The falls are just outside a small town called Betws-y-Coed.  They were absolutely stunning, but it was almost impossible to take a photo that did them justice.  They weren’t very wide but seemed to go on in stages for a great distance.  My photos looked terribly flat and didn’t show the force of the falls so I put together a short video which gives more of a feeling of the water thundering down.

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Sunflower Wall Hanging Pattern

Sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower wall hanging

I made the Sunflower Wall Hanging partly because it’s pretty and very appropriate for the time of year and partly to show you how easy it is to keep adding frames of triangles to a central square.  Below I have given details of two methods for calculating the size of the squares from which to cut the triangles.  I would also like to say a big thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes that I received last week. The wall hanging measures 31″ square and I have used 1/2 yard each of sunflower fabric and yellow background fabric together with 1/4 yard each of two other fabrics from the sunflower range.  

Central area

Central area

Cutting requirements for the sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower fabric: one 4.1/2″ square, three 4.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric for the border Yellow fabric:  two 3.3/4″ squares, two 6.1/2″ squares, two 12.1/4″ squares Turquoise fabric:  two 4.7/8″ squares Sunflower silhouette fabric:  two 8.7/8″ squares.

Fussy cut a sunflower

Fussy cut a sunflower

Cut the central square

Cut a 4.1/2″ strip of sunflower fabric and cut a square that gives a complete sunflower for the middle of the wall hanging.  You can do this with any suitable fabric and you can vary the size of this central square to suit the fabric.

One triangle on each edge

One triangle on each edge

Add the first triangles

Cut the 3.3/4″ squares along one diagonal to form triangles.  Place one triangle on each edge of the central square.

Sew two triangles in place and then press

Sew two triangles in place and then press

You need to sew these triangles to the square in pairs.  Sew the top and bottom triangles and press them open.  Press the seam allowances away from the square.  Then sew the remaining two triangles to the sides and press open. You’ll notice that each triangle is longer than the edge of the square.  Make sure that the triangles extend the same distance beyond the square on each side. Trim the middle of each edge where the triangle tips stick out and if necessary trim the square to 6.1/2″.

How to measure the triangles

How to measure the triangles

How to measure the triangles

Now what happens if you want to use a larger (or smaller) central square?  I use two different methods so that I can check up on myself.  The first method is a simple calculation.  Using a calculator, divide the size of the square edge (4.1/2) by 1.41.  Add 1/2″ to this measurement and cut the square to that size. For the second method I use a tape measure placed across the corner of my cutting mat.  I place the end of the measure on the top line and the 4.1/2″ mark on the right hand line of the mat.  Make sure that these two ends of the tape measure are both the same distance from the corner.  In this case they are both 3.1/4″ from the corner.  Add 1/2″ and you have the measurement of 3.3/4″ which I have used for the squares to make the first round of triangles. Personally I prefer the tape measure method because it gives the result in 1/8″ intervals whereas the calculator gives decimal figures.  Whichever way you use, I hope this will help you to make this design using any size of central square.

The second round

The second round

Add the second frame

In order to make the second round of triangles I have used another sunflower fabric.  Overall I have alternated sunflower fabrics with plain yellow so that you can see what I’ve done more easily.  This time the triangles are cut from 4.7/8″ squares.  Add them two at a time as before and trim the edges.  Your square should now measure 8.1/2″ on each edge.

Sew with the square on top

Sew with the square on top

One thing that I do find useful is to sew the triangles on with the triangle underneath and the square on top.  This means that you can see the stitch lines of the previous frame in the middle of each edge.  You can then make sure that the seam you are now sewing passes just across the corner of the previous seam.  This means that your diamonds keep their points as you build up the rounds.

Add yellow triangles

Add yellow triangles

Another yellow frame

For the next frame cut the triangles from 6.1/2″ yellow squares.  Place one on each edge of the square and sew them on two at a time as before. Trim the edges of the square, which should now measure 11.1/2″.

Third round

Third round

Add the black frame

I have used 8.7/8″ squares to make the triangles for the next round.  Sew the triangles to the yellow square.  Your square should now measure 16.1/2″ on each edge.

Add a final yellow frame

Add a final yellow frame

One final round of triangles

I had intended to finish the wall hanging with the black frame shown above, but I realised that the central square is upright at this stage.  I want it to finish on point, in a diamond shape, so I need one more round of triangles. Use triangles cut from 12.1/4″ yellow squares.  Trim your square to 23″ along each edge.

Sunflower border

Sunflower border

Add the border

I have used 4.1/2″ strips of the same sunflower fabric as that used in the middle for the border. You’ll need two lengths of 23″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 31″ for the sides. That completes the sunflower wall hanging top.  It can now be layered, quilted and bound as for any quilt.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section. Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/TFg7qW2HHGo

Telford

Telford

Thanks for all the comments on my new privacy policy.  I mentioned last week that I had been to a workshop to check that I am doing it correctly.  The workshop took place in Telford in one of the museums of the Ironbridge Gorge.  It’s a beautiful area and it was a lovely day.  This park area combined the new and the old beautifully.

Telford's Iron Bridge

Telford’s Iron Bridge

I would have loved to bring you a photo of Thomas Telford’s original Iron Bridge but it was shrouded in scaffolding while they do some major work on it.  However I managed to find an old photo of it that I took many years ago.  

Vote or no vote

Vote or no vote

This area really took my fancy.  It celebrates the fact that in February 1918 women were first given the vote in Parliamentary elections.  However not all women were allowed the vote – of approximately 160 women working in that area of Ironbridge Gorge at the time only 37 were given the vote.

Wonderful imagery

Wonderful imagery

Each one of those 37 women is remembered with an individual silhouette showing their name.  Wonderful imagery!

Pillar of friendship

Pillar of friendship

The Pillar of Friendship was created when a conference of Master Blacksmiths took place there.  Each panel represents one blacksmith’s idea of friendship.  That was really interesting.  

Butterfly Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Butterfly star quilt

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Himley Hall – Dudley – Photos

Himley Hall

I visited Himley Hall by accident - I was on my way somewhere else and noticed the signs so I dropped in and had a wonderful morning looking around.  The magnolia trees surrounding the hall were absolutely magnificent.  They were in full bloom and … [Continue reading]

Fabric Yoyo Lion Toy Pattern

Fabric yoyo lion

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Pieced Sashing Star Quilt Pattern

Pieced sashing star quilt

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Railfence Lined Zipped Tote Bag Pattern

Lined zipped tote bag

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Haden Hill House Museum – Birmingham

Haden Hill House Museum

Haden Hill House Museum is another delightful museum that is a hidden treasure very close to where I live.  As with the Oak House, it is free to visit, but this one sits in a magnificent park of 55 acres.  I didn't see much of the parkland as it was … [Continue reading]

Anvil Steps Quilt – Free Pattern

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Coughton Court – Alcester – Photos

Coughton Court

For my visit to Coughton Court I managed to choose a day that was dry and not too cold.  It's a National Trust property not far from here.  The Throckmorton family have owned it for hundreds of years - since 1409 in fact.  They were a very powerful … [Continue reading]