Hello! I’m Jill (also known as @crafty_giraffe on instagram) and I’m the guest presenter for this month’s block lottery! I chose the block Foldstar because I thought it would be a great opportunity for our guild to try out paper piecing, as well as taking a chance to play with scale.
This block was designed by Ula Lenz and is available on her blog: http://www.lenzula.de/en/pattern/free-pattern/stars.html
Ula Lenz originally designed this block as a 6” star and does not include a tutorial or post on her website. The Foldstar is one of the beautiful stars available on her website, and if you enjoy making this one, give one of the others a try!
The pdfs of the foundation papers to print are here:
- Remember to print 4 of the 9-inch and 12-inch patterns and 2 of the 6-inch pattern.
- Choose the option that prints at original size or 100%.
- Measure the 1" box in the upper left corner to be sure that it measures 1" on your printed document.
My tutorial below will be using her beautiful block, and expanding on the method of paper piecing itself. In using this block, I did resize her original block to a 9” and 12” option. I have not changed the design of the block at all, but just expanded her original design to make it easier to print. This can also be accomplished by printing her original pattern at 150% and 200%.
NOTE: Piece by Numbers has a blog post on resizing pdf patterns while printing which is available here: http://piecebynumber.com/enlarge-or-reduce-block-pattern/ . This is always a useful tool to keep in mind when printing pdf quilt patterns!
If you post pictures of this block on Facebook or Instagram while working with it, please tag the block with #foldstar & #ecmqg so we can all follow your progress! I’m so excited to see the stars y’all make.
The final block turned in at November’s meeting should be a 12” (12.5” unfinished) block. If you choose to make the 9” block, you should add additional background fabric to finish at 12.5”. If you decide to use the 6” block, you can make up to 4 stars to use in your final 12.5” block. This block is a really fun opportunity to play with scale and high contrast colors.
If you have never paper pieced before - do not be afraid! It is a really great introduction to paper piecing and we have a Paper Piecing 101 tutorial below. I can’t wait to see what you all make!
For this block we are using autumn colors! The color palettes that inspired me for the star points are below - think leafs changing colors. For the background fabric, please use a solid or low volume in a light tan or off white color.
Paper Piecing 101
General Paper Piecing Tips:
- Use the most lightweight, inexpensive paper you have. This is not the time to pull out your 60lb cardstock! The lighter the paper, the easier your needle will go through the paper and (the best!) the easier it will be to pull off the paper when you have finished!
- Decrease your stitch length. I generally decrease it as low as 1.4 or 1.6. The decreased stitch length helps with pulling off the paper at the end.
- Don’t be afraid to try!
- Sections 1 & 4 will be background fabric, sections 2 & 3 will be your happy autumn colors!
Print your pattern and trim your paper to the size of the pattern block. For this particular pattern, you will need 4 quadrants to make the complete star.
Cut your first two pieces of fabric (for section #1 & #2 on the pattern.) You want them to be approximately ¼” larger on all sides than the size shown on the pattern. Pin the fabric to the unprinted side of the paper, wrong side against the paper, right side facing out. (I like to hold the paper up to the light and make sure the fabric is placed against the paper correctly - the fabric should extend well beyond the printed lines of the foundation paper.)
Place your second piece of fabric against the first piece of fabric, right sides together, so that the fabric extends at least ¼” past the seam line printed on the foundation paper. I like to hold the fabric up to the light (again) to make sure that I have enough fabric overlapping the line and that the fabric will cover the entire section once sewn.
Sew along the seam line between section #1 & #2.
You did your first seam! Way to go, you awesome quilter!
Now, trim your fabric to a ¼” seam allowance.
Press your fabric away from the seam.
Now you need to cut your fabric for section #3 and sew your next seam. Just as before, you want to make sure your fabric covers the entire section, as well as keeping at least ¼” seam allowances on all sides.
Place your fabric right side together against your other fabric in a way that overlaps the seam line. Again, when placing my fabric for sewing the seam, I like to hold up my fabric to a light source to make sure that the fabric overlaps the printed foundation seam by at least ¼”.
Trim your seam to ¼”. Press the fabric away from the seam.
Cut your piece of fabric for section #4 & sew the seam. Just as before, you want to make sure that your piece is at least ¼” larger than the printed section shown. You can generally see the printed lines of the foundation paper through the fabric, so it helps to hold the fabric wrong side up and trim to the size needed - just keep in mind that bigger is always better! Make sure that you place your section #4 fabric right side together against the other fabrics. Sew the seam between section 3 & 4 with the printed side up.
Press fabric away from the seam. You have finished sewing all the seams for your first block! (Pro Tip: Chain piece and sew all 4 quadrants at the same time.)
Now is the time to trim off the excess fabric and square up your quadrant. Hold your ruler as shown below - you want the edge of the ruler to be against the edge of the seam allowance. I like to do this by lining up the inner printed line of the foundation paper with the line ¼” away from the edge of the ruler.
Once you have four completed quadrants, sew them together for your finished foldstar block!
I can’t wait to see the blocks everyone makes for November! :)
Additional Tutorials & Resources for Paper Piecing:
This is a great tutorial with lots of photos, as well as including
a fun free pattern! She has additional free patterns available on her blog.
(I might not have ever tried paper piecing if it wasn’t for this blog
post convincing me that I could.)
This is a really simple and easy to follow tutorial.
This tutorial has a video, so if you learn better with videos over photos, this is worth a watch.