Monday, December 31, 2018

Vintage Block Along Block One - Grandma's Star Quilt Block Tutorial...with Farm Girl Vintage Fabric!!

Today I'm going to show you 
how to make this vintage quilt block 
that I am calling 
"Grandma's Star"
But first...
stick with me while I tell you
 a little about this block 
and why it's so near and dear
 to my quilty heart!!

The pattern for this block
 was in the November 1950 
edition of 
The Workbasket Magazine 
and several years ago my 
grandma gave me her copy.

You know that I grew up in a 
quilting family and spent many hours
 first "under the quilt frames" 
and then joining my mom...
my grandma and her sisters...
(my great aunts)
 "around the quilt frames"
 putting in a good share of stitches!

The quilting was always accompanied
 by good company...
good stories...
good food...
 and lots of laughter.

It was our way of life 
and it was a good one:)

I love reading vintage patterns...
they are sew fun! 
Grandma and her sisters made this quilt
 and many others in a variety of colors
 using fabric leftover from dress yardage
 (grandma always bought 4 yards for one dress)
and used scraps of feed sack prints.

 The block was originally called 
Star of Bethlehem and if you are
 a vintage quilt lover...
you know how popular 
this block was back then.

There have been many variations 
since over the years...
all with an additional 
variety of names given.

I am choosing to call mine
 "Grandma's Star" 
in honor of my Grandma Mildred Crane... 
affectionally known to all as Milly:)

She looks so serious in this photo 
which doesn't surprise me at all
 because she did not like having
 her photo taken..
but she had a beautiful wide smile
 and a contagious laugh!

She is my Mom's mother and 
lived just down the road from me
 and in the small town of 
Herriman, Utah where I grew up
 and was a big part of our everyday lives.

She has been gone for 7 years now 
and I still miss her every day.
to read my post about her and our relationship.
Grandma's are sew important!

so now onto more about the 
Grandma's Star quilt block.
Of course a quilt pattern 
in the year 1950 meant templates 
and not rotary cutting like today ...
so of course I drafted it up
 for you modern style!

I've saved this block tutorial
(and many others) 
for a very long time...
waiting for the perfect fabric collection
 that would go perfectly side by side 
with my Grandma's Star Block
And here it is!!!
 that has just been released this month.

I designed this collection with 
visions of all scrappy happy blocks
 and of my blocks from my 
 and also with visions of many many more
 Farm Girl blocks to come!

To say the least...
I am beyond thrilled with 
each and every print
(it's my largest collection so far)
and I have SEW many plans...
 that will be happening with this collection:)
Todays tutorial is just the start.
If you choose to follow along...
all of the vintage block tutorials will eventually be a quilt!

As you know I like to make my 
Farm Girl blocks in both 6" and 12" size.
I made the 6" Grandma's Star first.
Here is the 6" cutting:
Cut 8 - 1 1/4" x 2"
Cut 24 - 1 1/4" x 1 1/4"
Fabric One (mine is aqua)
Cut 8 - 2" x 2"
Cut 8 - 1 1/4" x 1 1/4"
Fabric Two (mine is red)
Cut 24 - 1 1/4" x 1 1/4"
If you want to add 4 corners 
like piece "E"
 in the magazine photo...
cut 4 - 2"squares.

6" Grandma's Star Block
made with 3 of the prints from 
Farm Girl Vintage

P.S. This block has a lot of pieces 
(which makes it sew fabulous!) 
and I always press my seams open 
when that's the case.

6" Farm Girl Blocks 
are so tiny and cute...
but if you are the 
12" Farm Girl Block type...

Here you go!!

Isn't it amazing how different 
 blocks look in these 2 sizes...
and of course different prints too:)

I will be using the 12" size
 for the quilt that I'll be making 
and use the 6" size for something else:)

I've chosen the 12" size for the 
step by step tutorial...
 but keep in mind that I sew 
the 6" size exactly 
the same way as the 12"

I chose 3 more prints from 
Farm Girl Vintage to make the 12" block.

I also cut squares for the
 "E" corners just in case I wanted them...
from the fourth print 
that you see (the text) 
it's one of my new widleback prints ...
it's 108" wide and is called 
"Farm Life" and is perfect for all your 
Farm Girl quilt backing 
and of course I use it for 
piecing blocks as well!
It comes in 3 colors:)

I used just a little bit 
larger scaled prints 
for the 12" as opposed to the 6"
 and the fun "tiny floral" print 
from the collection for the background.

Cutting for 12" Grandma's Star:
Cut 8 - 2" x 3 1/2"
Cut 24 - 2" x 2"
Fabric One (mine is coral)
Cut 8 - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Cut 8 - 2" x 2"
Fabric Two (mine is green)
Cut 24 - 2" x 2"
If you are making the "E" corners 
cut 4 - 3 1/2" squares.

First we are going to make a pinwheel
 for the center out of 4 
half square triangles.
Take 4 each of the 2" squares
 and pair them up with right sides together.

Sew a straight line from corner to corner.
You can mark a line on the squares
 but I like to spend my time sewing
 and not marking so I use my 

And simply follow the center line 
as it's being fed through the
 machine like this.
to see how and why to use it 
with your machine:)

I also like to save time and thread 
by chain stitching as much as I can:)

Trim an approximate 1/4" seam allowance
 off of one side like this...

And press open!

Sew the 4 half square triangles together 
and sew a cute pinwheel...
making sure to place each triangle 
going the right direction 
as needed for the block.

Open seams and set aside until later.

Now we are going to make the 
remaining 8 half square triangles
 in the block using 8 each of 
these two 2" x 2" squares.
Sew them the same way as the others...

Trim and press open as well.
Set them aside for later.

Now grab these prints...
4 of the rectangles and 
4 each of the squares.

We are going to make 4 flying geese 
using the easy corner triangle method. 
Sew the coral squares onto 
one side like this...
marking a line or using the 
Seams Sew Easy
 to sew from corner to corner.

Take note that you will need to 
trim and press
 the coral triangles BEFORE 
you can add the green triangles
 to the other side. 

Set these 4 aside for later.

Now grab 4 of the 3 1/2" squares
 and 8 of the 2" background squares.

Sew an easy corner triangle 
on each top corner of 
the squares like this...
remembering that you have to complete
 one side before adding the other.
Set these 4 segments aside.

Grab the 4 remaining 3 1/2" squares...
 use 8 green squares and 
4 background squares 
for the next segments.

Sew a green easy corner triangle 
onto each side of the 
coral squares like this.

Now add a background easy corner triangle 
 onto the top of each one.
Set aside.
You are doing great!
We are getting closer to 
having each block segment completed:)

Grab the 8 half square triangles 
that you already made and 
lay them like this
 with the remaining 4 background
 rectangles and 4 background squares.
Sew them together...

to look like this!
You should have 4 segments each.

Great job.
Sewing this block takes time...
but is easy when you break it down
 into smaller sections...
and now we can start sewing
 those smaller sections together!

Sew these 2 sections together
 like this for a total of 4...

Like this.

And these 2 sections  
for a total of 4...

Like this.

Now add this section to the top...

like this.
You will have 4.

Now you can lay the block out 
into what is basically a nine patch:)

Sew into 3 rows like this.

And then sew the rows together
 to complete your block.
Whew and Yeehaw!
Sewing this block is like 
making one cute little quilt 
all within it's self and I love it:)

 Grandma's Star
12" x 12" finished.

Of course your block will measure 
12 1/2" square at this point 
which is unfinished size.

I haven't added the 4 - "E" corners yet 
because I haven't quite decided yet 
if I am going to.
(sew many possibilities!)
It may become a pillow...
or if it goes into a quilt 
I will definitely add the corners 
because when all of the rows are sewn together 
it will make each star 
look very circular and I love that:)
All you need to do when adding them is sew them diagonally across each corner of the block and trim.
They are just another Easy Corner Triangle that is optional!

Your 6" Grandma's Star 
will measure 6 1/2" unfinished.

P.S. I made my pincushion 
several years ago using a 
cute little vintage toy tractor:)
Those are my vintagey sewing style 

I super love this block. 
I hope you have fun with this 
very long but very fun tutorial...
and maybe you will try your hand 
at making both sizes.

The 6" size is fiddly but fun
 and is totally do-able.
And as you can see...
it's totally worth it!!

Thanks sew much for joining me
 for my very first 
"Vintage Block Along" 
tutorial with my 
favorite Farm Girl Vintage 
fabric collection!!
There are plenty more 
vintage block tutorials to come:)

Until next time...
Have a Quilty Kind of Day!!

We are now finished making all of the blocks...
If you are just joining us...
click on each block 
 to go to the tutorial:

8. Humble
15. Memory
19. Picnic
20. Sparklers
26. Parade
30. Leftovers
36. Wash Day

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