Hi everyone, welcome to Block 5 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL). Can I just say how thrilled I am with all of your progress. You guys are doing amazing. I see your skills improving and your confidence. Keep it up … our next few blocks will be a breeze, just half square triangle designs.
If you’re new here, you can join the QAL at any time. Complete the blocks one at a time each week, or you can set your own pace. No stress! Most of all, have some fun and hopefully learn a few tips and tricks along the way. See the main Beginner’s QAL page for more information and additional links.
Pat Sloan is quilting along with us too. She’s making three sets of blocks using her gorgeous Eat Your Fruits and Veggies fabrics. Pat’s Block 5 interpretations will be available over the weekend on her blog.
Don’t forget to upload your completed block to the Flickr group each week for a chance to win prizes. Winners are chosen randomly from the completed blocks submitted by 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Check the Sponsors and Prizes page to see all the goodies.
This week’s prizes and last week’s winners are at the end of this post.
Block 5 – Count the Stars
Our fifth block is a Count the Stars. This block has many different and conflicting names but it is most commonly known as the Friendship Star. It’s a great block for scrap quilting.
Here’s a Mosaic of photos from Flickr featuring the this week’s block. You can click the links underneath to see the full image on Flickr.
A note about block colours: I chose to represent this block in two colours; however, you can use a different colour for the centre block and for the half square triangles. The design choice is yours to make.
Over in the Flickr group we’ve been having great discussions. I hope you’ll join in. When I asked what others are struggling with, a few mentioned cutting and ruler slipping. I went searching for a few cutting videos for you.
Here’s an excellent video that Aimee Griffen has done:
I don’t remove my blade from the fabric, but instead keep the blade in place while I move my hand up the length of the ruler. I can see why she’s recommending it and would suggest giving it a try.
I found another video that Pat Sloan did a few years ago that shows how I move my hand up the ruler as I cut:
Here’s another video I feel is worth sharing. I prefer Aimee’s lesson above in the first video on how to do that first cut straight, and in this one I really like how the instructor shows you how to move your hands up the ruler and what happens when you don’t do that. Been there done that!
My recommended ruler sizes for beginner’s are: 6.5″ x 24.5″, 6.5″ square (Easy Square Jr. I showed in Block 3), and a 12.5″ square. A couple of other sizes I really like are 4.5″ x 8.5″ and 20″ square. There are many different ruler manufacturers. My suggestion is to get rulers with thin, easy to read lines. Some rulers are also easier to see on light or dark fabrics, so if possible, lay the ruler on top of different fabrics to see how well it is to use.
I found a video from Leah Day on how to use InvisiGrip too:
Another option is thin sandpaper dots. They work well, but I like InvisiGrip better.
Tutorial: Block 5 – Count the Stars
Please read all of the instructions before cutting your fabrics.
(1) 4.5″ square white
(4) 4.5″ squares black
(2) 5″ squares black
(2) 5″ squares white
In my photo, black is represented by the purple flower and white by the pink swirl.
Piecing the block:
Create four (4) half square triangles (HSTs) using the 5″ squares. Be sure to trim your units accurately to 4.5″ square. See Block 3 for the HST tutorial.
Lay out your units in order following the block diagram.
Stitch your units together in three rows. For rows 1 and 3, press the seams toward the outside of the block, i.e. away from the centre triangle units. For the middle row, press the seams towards the center unit.
Sew rows 1 and 2 together, pinning at the seams and ends to keep things aligned nicely. See the beginner resources in previous posts for more information. Press towards row 1. Then stitch row 3 and press towards row 3.
Your completed block should be 12.5″:
Download this week’s tutorial here: Beginner’s Quilt-Along – Block 5
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. Don’t forget to share your completed block in the Flickr group by next Wednesday, July 11 at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
My first five blocks:
Prizes for this Week
Second, we have a lovely charm pack from Moda to give-away (10 Little Things, Oh My and California Girl still available):
Block 4 Winners
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions.