Inspired by "Star Power" from designers Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday of The Buggy Barn
Quiltmaker: Laura Boehnke
- 4--12" squares assorted fuchsia tone-on-tones
- 9--12" squares assorted black/white/fuchsia prints and florals: five with white background and four with black background (blocks)
- 1/4 yard solid black (inner border)
- 1/4 yard solid fuchsia (middle border)
- 7/8 yard black paisley (outer border, binding)
- 1-1/2 yards backing fabric
- 53x44" batting
- Freezer paper
Finished quilt: 46-1/2x37-1/2"
Finished block: 9" square
Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Cut pieces in the order that follows in each section.
From solid black, cut:
- 2--1x36-1/2" inner border strips
- 2--1x28-1/2" inner border strips
From solid fuchsia, cut:
- 2--1x37-1/2" middle border strips
- 2--1x29-1/2" middle border strips
From black paisley, cut:
- 5--2 1/2x42" binding strips
- 2--4 1/2x38-1/2" outer border strips
- 2--4 1/2x37-1/2" outer border strips
Cut and Prepare Block Pieces
Click on "Download this Project" to download the Cutting Template. To make a full-size Cutting Template, overlap shaded areas and tape together.
1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over full-size Cutting Template. Use a pencil to trace template, tracing all lines, letters, numbers, and dots. Trim freezer-paper Cutting Template roughly 1/2" beyond outside drawn square (Photo 1).
2. Stack the 13 assorted floral, print, and tone-on-tone 12" squares, right sides up, aligning edges. There should be contrast between adjacent squares because in the completed project each print will be in a block with the prints above and below it. There also must be contrast between the first and last fabrics in the stack. Note: Twelve squares will make twelve blocks, but quiltmaker Laura Boehnke added an extra fabric square to ensure variety and contrast in her finished blocks.
3. Position freezer-paper Cutting Template, shiny side down, on stacked squares. Using a hot, dry iron, press template onto top square (Photo 2); let cool.
4. Using a large, sharp rotary cutter with cutting mat and acrylic ruler, press firmly on stack and cut through freezer-paper template and all squares on outside drawn square.
5. Beginning with section C and working backward, cut template and stacked squares apart on lines separating sections A, B, and C. Then cut on remaining lines to separate each section into three stacks each (Photo 3).
6. Remove freezer-paper from stacked fabric pieces. Shuffle top fabric piece from A2, B2, B3, C2, and C3 to bottom of their respective stacks (Photo 4).
About the Method
Designers Pam Soliday and Janet Nesbitt created this star block with their improvisational "crazy" method. You'll sew together pieces in sections A, B, and C; join sections into blocks; then square up blocks.
As you join pieces, try to keep inside seams straight, putting extra fabric toward outside edge. Dots on the Cutting Template indicate where it is helpful to maintain a 1/4" seam allowance (Photo 5). When joining two pieces, match them at the dot end of the 1/4" seam line; don't worry if the other end isn't even after stitching. If there aren't any dots, center one piece on the other to stitch.
1. For one star block, use top piece from each stack. In each section (A, B, and C), join pieces 1 and 2, matching ends of seams that have dots (Photo 6). Press seams toward each piece 1.
2. Add piece 3 to each section and press seams toward each piece 3 (Photo 7).
3. Before sewing together sections A and B, trim edges to straighten seam line (Photo 8). Join sections, matching seams at bases of star points A1 and B1. Press seam in one direction.
4. Before adding section C to AB unit, trim edges to straighten seam line. Sew together, centering star point C1 over A3 center so star legs look continuous (Photo 9). Press seam in one direction.
5. Centering star, trim joined sections to 9-1/2" square including seam allowances (Photo 10) to make a star block (Photo 11).
6. Repeat steps 1–5 to make 12 star blocks total. Once familiar with "crazy" piecing, save time by chain-piecing all A1 and A2 pieces, then all B1 and B2 pieces, etc. Press, clip apart, and re-stack units before adding the next piece in the sequence.
Assemble Quilt Center
1. Referring to photo, lay out blocks in three rows. When pleased with the arrangement, sew together blocks in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row.
2. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 36-1/2x27-1/2" including seam allowances.
1. Sew long solid black inner border strips to long edges of quilt center. Add short solid black inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward border.
2. Sew long solid fuchsia middle border strips to long edges of quilt center. Add short solid fuchsia middle border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward middle border.
3. Sew long black paisley outer border strips to long edges of quilt center. Add short black paisley outer border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward outer border.
1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste. Quilt as desired.
2. Bind with black paisley binding strips.