Once the pieces are cut using the Trace’n Create Lone Star templates it’s important to know how to sew the lone star quilt block for the tree skirt to ensure success every time. This is going to be so easy because there are no inset seams. I’m doing the happy dance in my studio about this great reason to use these templates.
There’s one thing we do need to be aware of when sewing the pieces together – bias edges. A bias edge is cut on an angle.
Each piece of the lone star has at least one bias edge which means that it can stretch easily and distort causing problems with the finished size of the block.
To prevent distortion or stretch, the bias edge should be sprayed with starch and pressed before sewing the pieces together. This gives the bias edge a nice firmness and makes for accurate piecing every time!
I also recommend pinning the pieces together when sewing as this will also help prevent any stretching and distortion. The flower head pins are ideal for this as they are long making it easy to remove them as you sew along.
Sewing the pieces together
Before sewing, lay out all of the pieces to create a square block which is one quarter of the total block. I stacked all the pieces on top of each other for the 4 blocks. The block is a mirror image of pieces.
By laying out all the pieces in order on the table beside my sewing machine, I hope not to get any mixed up when sewing the pieces together.
Sew piece A & B together first. This is the small triangle and diamond. The small triangle will align with the point of the diamond and hang over a ¼″ beyond the seam allowance.
I suggest chain piecing to speed up the sewing process. Chain piecing is when you keep feeding in pieces under the foot and sewing them together without stopping to remove the pieces prior to the next. This method also has less thread wastage.
Then sew piece C, the large triangle to the above unit to create half a block. Piece C is aligned with the top edge of the A-B unit and hangs over a ¼″ below the seam allowance. The 2 units are mirror image of each other.
Sewing the blocks together
Sew the mirror image pieces together to create 4 blocks. I do suggest pinning these pieces together for accuracy especially where seams meet. My favorite pins for pinning seams together are the Clover Fork pins. I find that they hold the seams together and I have perfectly matched seams 9 out of 10 times.
Be very careful to never sew over a pin as it can do a lot of unwanted damage to your sewing machine. Sew up to the pin, remove the pin and continue on sewing.
Each corner of the lone star is made with two mirror image units to create an 18″ block.
The finished quilt center looks like this and is 36″ square – a perfect lone star and not a single inset seam to be found.
I chose to have my lone star symmetrical and used only the one main fabric with the accent of the grey stripe. It could have been 2 different fabrics or many fabrics for a scrappy star. There are many options that can be used for this lone star block.
We can learn sew much from sewing the Lone Star quilt block! Onward and forward to the border. Yes, it still needs to be bigger – remember it’s a big tree. With the sewing of the lone star center of the tree skirt complete I can think about designing the border using half square triangles and another cool gadget I picked up at my LQS. See you tomorrow.