Star Catcher Quilt Block Tutorial

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Block Size: 16″ finished (16.5″ unfinished)

The fabrics used in this tutorial are from Libs Elliott’s three collections for Andover: True Love, Tattooed, and Wild Side.  I’m using them for my Honey Pot Bee quilt, so I used them for the tutorial as well.


Cutting Instructions

For Corner HSTs:
       Two background squares: 4 7/8″ (I use 5″ squares and cut them down)
       Two Corner Color squares (purple in the photo above): 4 7/8″
For Blue Corner Bars:
       Four rectangles: 4.5″ x 2.5″
       Four rectangles: 6.5″ x 2.5″
For Triangle in Rectangle units:
       Center Star Color 1 (green in the photo): 8 rectangles : 3.5″ x 4.5″
       Background fabric: Eight 3.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles
       Center Star Color 2 (red in photo): Eight 3.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles
For center square unit:
       One center square (green in photo): 4.5″
       Four center corner squares (red in photo): 2.5″


Piecing Instructions

Use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance for nearly all steps, except the final construction of the block.  Look for further instructions near the end of the tutorial.

Step 1: Construct the Corner HSTs
Using the “two at a time” method, make four HST’s for the corners of your block. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the two background squares.
Place two 4 7/8″ squares right sides together – one background fabric square and one outside corner color square –  and sew a quarter inch line on both sides of the diagonal line. Cut on the diagonal line, creating two HSTs.
Repeat with the remaining 4 7/8″ squares, creating four HSTs total. Press and trim to 4.5″.
Step 2: Sew Corner Bars to HSTs
Lay out your HSTs and the four 4.5″ x 2.5″ Corner Bar rectangles to match the photo below.  (Ignore the red and green center square for now.  I took the photos a little out of order.) Lay the two pieces right sides together and stitch using a quarter inch seam.  Press.
Lay out the units you just created to match the photo below, on the left.  Add the 6.5″ x 2.5″ corner bar pieces as illustrated.  Sew with right sides together.  Press.
You should now have four complete HST/Corner Bar units. Set these aside for use in the final construction of the block.
Step 3: Create the Center Square in a Square unit
Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of the four 2.5″ corner squares.
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Place two squares over opposite corners of the 4.5″ square.  Align the corners and edges of the smaller square with those of the larger square, right sides together.  The diagonal line on the wrong side of the smaller square should not intersect with the corner. Stitch on the line, right sides together.  Trim the excess, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance.  Your center unit should match the photo on the left after you’ve sewn two of the four corner squares. Press open. Sew the remaining two corner squares in the same fashion as the first two.  Press and trim.  Set aside for use in the final construction of your block.
Step 4: Create the Triangle in a Rectangle Units
For each triangle in a rectangle unit, you’ll need one Center Star Color 1 rectangle (3.5″x4.5″) and two smaller rectangles (3.5″x2.5″).  You’ll make four units with Background rectangles and four units with Center Star Color 2 rectangles. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of your background rectangles in one direction, then draw a diagonal line in the opposite direction on the remaining four background rectangles.  Do the same with your Center Star Color 2 rectangles.
Start with one 3.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle and one 3.5″ x 2.5″ rectangle. Your instinct may be to line them up as you would for a flying geese block.  Don’t!  You will end up with a wonky looking thing like this polka dot and green block below.
Instead, take your large rectangle and make three small marks across the top at 2″, 2.25″, and 2.5″.  Then, arrange the small rectangle over the big one as I have it in the photo below, with right sides together. The top corner is aligned with the 2″ mark, and the bottom corners are aligned.  Pin or hold in place, and sew on the diagonal line marked on the small rectangle.

Trim and press open. Your second background rectangle will have a diagonal line going in the opposite direction as the one you just used.  Mark the 2.5″ line (as illustrated below) on your background fabric to help with aligning the second rectangle.  Stitch on the diagonal line, trim, and press open.

Repeat until you have four Triangle in Rectangle units made with background fabric and four with Center Star Color 2 fabric.  Lay out one of each as illustrated below.

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Stitch the two units right sides together with a 1/4″ seam to create one diamond unit.  Repeat with the remaining Triangle in Rectangle units to create four matching diamond units.

Step 5: Final Block Construction
Lay out all 9 parts of your block.
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For the final construction, you will use a seam that is just under a quarter inch (about 1/16th of an inch under).  The geometry of the Triangle in Rectangle units is tricky, similar to Half Rectangle Triangles.  There are a few ways to deal with this in the construction of the block, but my personal preference is to reduce the seam allowance. In order to keep our diamond points, we need to use a super scant seam allowance.  In the photo below, you can see where I have aligned my block with my presser foot to achieve this.

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Sew the block together in three rows, using the super scant seam allowance.

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Lay the top and middle row right sides together.  Align the seams and pin or clip in place. Stitch together using the same super scant seam allowance.  Repeat for the bottom row. Press.  Trim evenly on all sides to 16.5″.

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Enjoy your finished Star Catcher quilt block!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.  Please be sure to share your finished blocks on social media using #starcatcherblock.  Be sure to leave questions or feedback in the comments.  I’d love to hear what you think.

 

2 thoughts on “Star Catcher Quilt Block Tutorial

  1. meermaid says:

    Nice block! But I think your ‘triangle in a rectangle’ blocks would have been easier paper-pieced as a ‘diamond in a rectangle’ block. I think I’ll go work on that…

    Like

    • bellasews says:

      I totally agree! I was trying to avoid paper piecing, but that would be a really simple way to piece that part, and get the 1/4 seam allowance. Thanks for sharing that. I will definitely make a template and add it here.

      Like

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