Patriotic Paper Pieces
English paper-piece a star-studded table topper for the Fourth of July. Fabrics are from the Classic 1800s Shirting collection by Sara Morgan for Washington Street Studio.
Inspired by: Flea Market Find from quilt collector Jody Sanders
Quilt tester: Martha Gamm
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.
- 3⁄8 yard each blue print and red print (jewel pieces, diamond pieces)
- 1--9×22" piece (fat eighth) of white print (hexagon pieces, triangle pieces)
- 15-1⁄2"-square red wool (backing)
- Cardstock or sturdy paper
Finished quilt: 13-1⁄2×15-1⁄2"
Carefully and accurately cut out paper templates on traced lines. You will need a paper template for each jewel, hexagon, diamond, and triangle piece in the quilt.
Find the patterns by clicking on "Download this Project" above. Trace patterns onto cardstock or sturdy paper as follows: 42 jewels, seven hexagons, six triangles, and 30 diamonds. Carefully and accurately cut out paper templates on traced lines.
Cut pieces in the following order. When cutting fabrics, add a 3⁄8" seam allowance to each edge of jewel, triangle, hexagon, and diamond pieces.
From blue print, cut:
- 42 of Jewel Pattern
From white print, cut:
- 7 of Hexagon Pattern
- 6 of Triangle Pattern
From red print, cut:
- 30 of Diamond Pattern
Make Basted Pieces
1. Pin a jewel template to wrong side of a blue print jewel piece (Diagram 1).
2. Fold seam allowance over two template edges. Take a stitch or two to tack corner in place (Diagram 2).
3. Fold next seam allowance over template. Hand-baste fold with a stitch through fabric but not through paper (Diagram 3). Finger-press basted edge. As you approach the next corner, take a stitch or two to tack corner in place. Repeat folding and basting with remaining edges to make a basted jewel. Remove pin; do not remove paper.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 with remaining blue print jewel pieces to make 42 basted jewels total.
5. Using hexagon templates and white print hexagon pieces, repeat steps 1-3 to make seven basted hexagons (Diagram 4).
6. Using diamond templates and red print diamond pieces, repeat steps 1-3 to make 30 basted diamonds (Diagram 5).
7. Pin a triangle template to wrong side of a white print triangle piece. Fold and baste only two edges (Diagram 6) to make a basted triangle. Repeat with remaining white print triangle pieces to make six basted triangles.
Assemble Star Subunits
1. Gather six basted jewels and a basted hexagon.
2. With right sides together, layer basted hexagon atop a basted jewel, aligning edges to be stitched. Hold edges together with your fingers or a clip.
3. Beginning at one corner, hand-sew aligned edges together using tiny whipstitches that catch a few threads of each fabric fold (Diagram 7). Backstitch to secure beginning of seam before stitching to opposite corner. You'll feel the templates with your needle, but do not stitch through them.
4. At opposite corner, backstitch and knot thread. Finger-press joined pieces open. Check seam from right side. If your stitches show, redo seam with smaller whipstitches.
5. Continue in the same manner to join remaining jewels to hexagon (Diagram 8), setting in seams as needed, to make a star subunit. Press as before.
To set in a piece, pin and sew a seam on one side. Reposition stitched pieces so next seam is aligned and continue sewing.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 to make seven star subunits total.
1. Referring to Diagram 9, set six basted diamonds into a star subunit to make Unit 1.
2. Referring to Diagram 10, set one basted diamond into a star subunit to make Unit 2. Repeat to make six total of Unit 2.
3. Referring to Diagram 11, sew together two basted diamonds and a basted triangle to make Unit 3. Repeat to make six total of Unit 3.
Assemble Quilt Top
In English paper piecing, you can decide the order of construction because the paper stabilizes the fabric, making it possible to work in any direction.
1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, join units and remaining basted diamonds to make quilt top.
2. Remove paper templates. Along outer edges, open seam allowances and press flat.
1. Layer quilt top and red wool backing square. Cut wool backing to the same shape and size as the quilt top.
2. Using red thread, whipstitch edges of quilt top and wool backing together.
3. If desired, hand-quilt table topper. This quilt has straight stitches through each diamond shape.