Hi everyone, welcome to Block 10 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL). If you’re new here, you can join the QAL at any time. Sew at your own pace, the tutorials will be available indefinitely. See the main Beginner’s QAL page for more information and additional links.
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 UPDATED Sponsors and Prizes page to see all the goodies.
Block 10 – Ride the Roller Coaster
This week’s block is Ride the Roller Coaster, also known as Quartered Star. According to Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns it first appeared in 1978 and is referenced to James.
I happen to really like this block and think it would be great for a scrappy quilt. Below are some variations for this block. You’ll see that most have a different centre unit than our plain square.
A note about block colours: This block uses a minimum of three colours to create the design. However, the Quartered Star referenced in Jinny’s book actually uses four colours. I didn’t realize that the centre four HSTs are different than both sets of outer HST units. You decide how you want to represent this block.
For this week’s lesson, I’m showing another tool that I like for squaring up HST blocks, a ruler tutorial from my friend Melissa and another way to make HSTs.
The Bloc-Loc Ruler is quite unique as it has a groove cut out on the diagonal that’s the perfect size for the seam allowance of by your HST to fit into. It allows for quick, easy and accurate squaring up of your HST blocks. It also has easy-to-read measurements which I really appreciate… tired eyes!
Here’s a video showing you how the ruler works:
Melissa from Sew Bitter Sweet Designs recently did a review and tutorial for the 4.5″ Easy Angle Ruler (shown below). I don’t have this ruler myself, but it certainly looks like one to add to my list. Read Melissa’s review/tutorial here.
Another way to make HSTs, that’s been floating around the Internet for the past year or so, involves starting with two squares, sewing on all four outer edges and then cutting apart to yield four HSTs. Here’s a tutorial and a video showing this technique.
Personally, I don’t like this method, as I don’t want the bias edges to be on the outside of my unit. The bias edge has the most stretch. Some have suggested just to use starch (Best Press or other spray starch) and press well, then use extra care when piecing the unit and blocks together. I leave it up to you to try this method for yourself and form your own opinion.
One final point, while I’ve shown you several techniques and rulers for making HSTs during our QAL, I would strongly suggest sticking to one ruler/tool for each block, and perhaps even the entire quilt. The measurements on each ruler, whether it’s one you are using for squaring up your units/blocks or for cutting strips, will be slightly different than another. I try to stick to the same ruler, or same company’s rulers, to cut all of my pieces and units for the entire quilt top. Once you’ve built up a selection of various rulers, tools and experience, you’ll have favourites that you know work best for you and give you consistent results.
I haven’t forgotten to feature paper products that are used to create HSTs; two of these products will be featured in upcoming block tutorials.
Tutorial: Block 10 – Ride the Roller Coaster
(1) 4.5" square white
(4) 5" squares white
(1) 5" square light grey
(3) 5" squares black
In my photo, white is the yellow flowered print, light grey is the pink flowered print and black is the blue swirl. It’s difficult to see the pink flowered print, I should have chosen something else.
Piecing the block:
Create eight (8) 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 away from the centre block. For the middle row, press the seams toward the center unit.
Sew rows 1 and 2 together, pinning at the seams and ends to keep things aligned nicely. 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 10
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, August 15th at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
My first 10 blocks:
Prizes for this Week
We have three prizes to give-away this week.
The creators of the Bloc-Loc Ruler that I featured above have generously donated two of the 5.5″ square rulers.
Block 9 Winners
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions.