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How to make precise points on your shoo fly and star quilt blocks

by Sarah Vanderburgh

 

Welcome! Today we’re going to do some more piecing using the PFAFF Performance 5.2. In yesterday’s post we talked about 5 time saving sewing features on the PFAFF Performance 5.2 and we made the utensil handle blocks and the churn dash platter block for the middle of the quilted table runner.

Today we make the tops of the fork and spoon!

 

Performance 5.2

Performance 5.2

 

The star fork

 

fork block pieced star block

Fork block

 

The fabric requirements listed will make the two sections needed for the runner.

from the background fabric you’ll need
2 strips – 1½” x 6½”
2 – 3″ square

from the utensil fabric you’ll need
2 – 3″ squares
8 – 2″ squares
8 – 1½” squares

from star fabric
2 – 2½” squares
8 – 2″ squares

1. Make top of fork units

The top of the fork is made up of HST units using the 3″ squares.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 3″ background squares.
Pair with the 3″ utensil squares right sides together and sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.

Using the ¼” quilting foot included with the Performance 5.2 lets me quickly and accurately sew these pieces together.

 

¼" quilting foot Performance 5.2 sewing hst units

¼”quilting foot

 

Cut on the line and press the seam in opposite directions – to the utensil fabric on one square and to the background fabric on the other.
Trim the squares to 2½”.

Sew two of the squares with seams pressed in opposite directions together along a background fabric edge to create the top piece of the fork. See the photo for correct orientation. Press the seam open.

Repeat to make a second fork top.

 

seams open alternate seam directions precise piecing

Two top of fork units with seams pressed open.

 

2. Make the star points

The star points are made with HST units too, this time using the 2″ squares.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2″ star fabric squares.
Pair with the 2″ utensil squares right sides together and sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.

Cut on the line and press the seam in opposite directions – to the utensil fabric on one square and to the star fabric on the other.

Trim the squares to 1½”.

 

alternate pressed seams precise piecing tip

Seams pressed in alternate directions

 

Sew two of the squares with seams pressed in opposite directions together along an utensil fabric edge to create the star points. See the photo for correct orientation. Press the seam open. You’ll have a total of 8 pairs of star points.

 

star block layout patchwork star

Star block layout

 

The straight stitch needle plate included with the Performance 5.2 makes it easy to sew small pieces under the needle without getting caught and pulled out of shape. Working with the IDT System I know I’ll have secure, even stitches on these small seams which is important so my project can be washed and I won’t have to worry about it coming undone.

 

straight stitch needle plate PFAFF sewing machine Performance 5.2

Straight stitch needle plate

 

3. Assemble the star

star in rows piecing in rows patchwork star

Star sewn into rows.

 

Use the photo for layout guidance.
Sew the star together in rows. Press the seams to the squares each time.
Sew the rows together, pressing the seams to the middle.

 

sewing star rows together pinless piecing

Sewing star rows together

 

I like to use the needle down function when sewing similar units. The needle can act like a third hand to help me keep pieces lined up and humming through the machine. Combined with the LED lights it makes sewing small pieces more enjoyable at the machine at night.

Repeat to make two star blocks.
The stars should each measure 4½” square.

4. Assemble the fork sections

 

fork sections two sections to piece patchwork star

Top fork section and star section

 

Precise piecing with the Performance 5.2 means I didn’t lose my star points! Let’s celebrate this a bit before we move on because I was surprised and really happy when I pressed my star open and saw all the points! I know I shouldn’t haven’t been surprised, but I was 🙂 It made me so happy to see that all of my work to this point resulted in such a pretty star.

Okay. Let’s continue!

Sew one star block to the bottom edge of the fork top section. Press the seam to the fork top.
Sew a background strip to the left side of the fork to complete the section. Press the seam to the background strip.
Repeat to make a second fork section.
Each fork section should measure 5½” wide by 6½” tall.

The Shoo Fly Spoons

 

shoofly spoon pieced spoon patchwork

Shoofly spoon section

 

You’ll need the following pieces to make two spoon sections.

from the background
2 strips – 2½” x 6½”
2 strips – 1½” x 6½”
2 strips – 1½” x 3½”
4 – 2″ squares

from the utensil fabric
8 – 2″ squares
6 – 1½” squares

from the shoo fly fabric
4 – 2″ squares
2 – 1½” squares

1. Make HST units

There are two different sets of half square triangle units – one set for the shoo fly and utensil fabrics, and one for the utensil and background fabrics.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 4 – 2″ background squares and the 4 – 2″ shoo fly squares.

Make four sets of background and utensil fabric squares right sides together and four sets of the shoo fly and utensil fabric squares with right sides together.

Sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn lines on all 8 sets.

Cut on the lines and press the seams to the darker fabric.

Trim each set to 1½” square.

2. Assemble the Shoo Fly spoon

 

spoon piecing guide

Layout of spoon pieces

 

Using the photo as a guide, layout the 5 rows of squares needed to make one spoon section.

Repeat the layout a second time to sew the second spoon section at the same time.

 

two spoon sections piecing layout patchwork piecing

Two spoon sections laid out

 

It was at this point that I realized I could use the built in Patchwork program to sew this block together. I’ve used it before when piecing squares of the same size but not for sewing together different types of pieces (HSTs and squares.)

I have to admit the piecing did go quicker, and smoother, as I could focus on the pieces going through and leave the moving of the needle to the machine.

 

patchwork program built in program PFAFF Performance 5.2

Patchwork program engaged

 

Sew the pieces into rows, pressing the seams of each row in alternate directions: press the first row to the left, the second to the right, and so on.

 

spoon rows pieced rows

Spoon rows

 

Sew the rows together pressing the seams away from the rows with HSTs (top seam up, next down, next up, last down). The spoon section should measure 3½” wide x 5½” tall at this point.

3. Add the background

 

piecing guide of spoon and background pieces

Spoon with background pieces

 

To complete the section, sew the 1½” x 3½” background strip to the top of the spoon. Press the seam to the strip.
Sew the 1½” x 6½” background strip to the right side of the spoon and press the seam to the strip.
Sew the 2½” x 6½” background strip to the left side of the spoon and press the seam to the strip.

The spoon section should measure 6½” square.

Add the background strips to the second spoon to complete the second spoon section.

 

Spoon block

Spoon block

 

fork block, Performance 5.2 spoon block pieced blocks sewing machine

Fork block, Performance 5.2, and spoon block

 

Today’s pieced fork and spoon blocks have precise points thanks to the features on the Performance 5.2. I’m delighted with the progress of the quilted table runner so far.

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2:  5 time saving sewing features on the PFAFF Performance 5.2

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11 comments

Jane Tegeler November 6, 2016 - 7:25 am

I really appreciate that you included the measurements of each individual section. Armed with that info, I know exactly how much to “sliver” trim for accurate results. Thanks for a clear and concise tut.

Reply
Mary November 5, 2016 - 9:39 am

I’m excited to try this, need practice getting nice points.

Reply
Susan Paddock October 31, 2016 - 7:39 pm

Excellent tutorial! clear, concise instructions and great visuals.

Reply
Quilting Jeannie October 31, 2016 - 6:26 am

Good refresher info here. I admit I am a little envious of your machine. LOL. Thanks for the good info and perfect pictures.

Reply
Beth B October 30, 2016 - 7:54 pm

Very helpful information! Thanks for the step-by step pictures.

Reply
Cathie Scanlon October 28, 2016 - 11:21 pm

Lots of good tips!

Reply
Janet T October 27, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Another helpful hint! Thank you. Keep up the postings.

Reply
Quilting Tangent October 27, 2016 - 11:23 am

Thank you for the tutorials.

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh October 27, 2016 - 11:54 am

Thanks for commenting – enjoy!

Reply
Ariane October 26, 2016 - 9:15 am

Thanks for the great tutorial.

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh October 26, 2016 - 9:50 am

Thanks, Ariane! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

Reply

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