Apr 25, 2014

Cheery Mellow: Double Star, Take 2!

Another one, you say?  Yes!  All things deserve a second chance, and this Double Star made with flying geese units is no exception. The first Double Star for Cheery Mellow is not quite what I was expecting. I was wanting the outer stars to sort of blend with the background, but I am not sure of the final effect.

Just like I mentioned in that post, fabric makes a whole difference in this block; the two stars are supposed to be seen, not blend! (Duh!) (And that was for me and my blending ideas for a block that is really needs contrasting, not blending fabric - and I knew it!) Anyway, I generally move on, but not this time! So I decided to go ahead and make a second one, using the gray fabric for the outer points.

What do you think?  Both are nice, but the shapes in the second block definitely stand out!  If you decide to give this a try, just have this issue in mind - ultimately, it's your block, so if you like the blendy groove... go with it! :)

By the way, I learned how to do this from Craftsy's 2012 Block of the Month Class. This is one of their free classes that you can watch over an over because it never expires! How cool is that! And it's freeeee!!!  :)

So here is the fabric, ready to go!  You can find the size you need to cut in the class materials. By the way, these measurements don't leave much wiggle room, so a scant 1/4" seam came in handy...

Draw a diagonal line in all the squares.  This is completely optional, but it really helps me if I want to include accuracy in the equation...  :)

I know these are small units, but that little corner seems to always shift... I find that if I take the extra time to secure at least the corner where the seam ends, the final unit will always be more accurate... Ah! Accuracy and matching seams... like a dream come true! 

Now, let's tackle the geese!  Isn't that a funny picture? Tackling geese... ha! I guess I'm glad these have no feathers and cannot get mad!

By the way, these are perfect units for getting extra half square triangles, so I'll make sure that the optional steps for this technique are clearly set apart from the regular process:

Optional step: Double check my Cutting Corners post! Whenever you sew two 90-degree corners, just like for these flying geese, go back, sew a second seam and...

Now we have the corners ready to cut!

...cut in the middle of both seams. The "triangle" on the right in the next picture is generally discarded, but...

...with this trick, you will end with something that looks like this:

The first side of the flying geese units is done!  It is very important that you press the geese open before going on to the next step.

You are more than welcome to save the extra triangles for later; I just thought it would be a good idea to show how they come along with the main units for this block.

Once the first corner is pressed open, repeat the previous steps with the other side.

We now have something that looks like this:

(See why I like the extra HST tip?  Once this little "survivors" start to pile up, it's difficult to picture them as discarded pieces of fabric... I can already see all the different compositions we can get with these little ones!)

I could not resist playing with the extra HST a bit... We can even make an extra Double Star! If you see the mat, I guess it will make it to a 9" block once finished... A little extra effort could go a loooong way!  :)

But going to the 12" inch star...  I find it's always useful to double check the layout before sewing; let me assure you - headaches are less frequent this way!  Besides, that seam reaper needs a rest every now and then (not that I use it often... hehe).

We need to start putting it together from the inside out; otherwise, the pieces won't fit!

The first step is build up the inner star, in rows: 

Then, sew the rows together:

Tip:  For better results, pin before and after the seams and right at the end; this will keep the fabric from shifting and the final result will be more accurate.

Join two flying geese units to form the upper and lower part of the outside star, like so:

Now, go ahead and sew two more flying geese units and two white squares to form the outer "columns;" I hope I'm not confusing you with so many units, squares, rows and columns - maybe it's easier if you see the picture:

Here it is!  A pretty pointy star with matching seams... woohoo!!  I'm really pleased with the results.

And here are the two double stars I have so far:

I definitely think that the one with the gray outer points stands out more. And, I also used a scant 1/4" seam for the second double star and, although I'd love to ask you to ignore all the wrinkles in the first star, I should not ignore the fact that fabric selection and shape are better in the block to the left.  

What do you think?  Please share your opinion in the comments!  :) 

But, heey! That's the idea!  Learning and searching for ways to improve our craft.

Here you go!  A beautiful double star for the Cheery Mellow quilt... Who knows when it all be done!

I hope you enjoyed making the Double Star - and don't forget all the extra tiny HST!  Thank you for reading and stay blessed!  :)

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