Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Starry Night tips and tricks

I've just finished making the Starry Night pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in an English Village and it was a bit tricky due to the Y seams, so I thought I'd record what I did.  

1. Always check for pattern corrections before you start.  There is a pattern correction for Starry Nights because Template A diagram is too long in the book. The short parallel side should measure 2 3/4" and the long parallel side should measure 8 3/4". So make that change in your book before you start.  

2.  I recommend making the templates either by photocopying the book (always check the measurements against your ruler because photocopiers can shrink images slightly), or from template plastic.  I don't use these templates for cutting, but I check my cut pieces against these templates for cutting accuracy.

3.  I make one test block first to check everything is correct before cutting lots of sashing pieces.  The test block sometimes the first block of my quilt, or sometimes I make it with scrap fabrics. It depends on how confident I'm feeling. 

4.  Precise cutting is very important for this quilt or the points on the stars will not meet accurately.  Check your cut pieces against the templates before your start piecing.

5. On the back of the A trapezoid pieces make a 1/4" mark with a pencil on the top and bottom of each outside edge.  This will allow you to accurately pin and sew the sashings.  Sew an accurate 1/4" seam with the A trapezoid pieces on top. Don't worry if you don't hit the pencil marks, you will have positioned the B diamonds correctly and your sashing should have straight edges. 

6. Once you have sewn B diamond pieces to both sides of A trapezoid pieces, gently press the sashing with one trapezoid colour seams always facing in, and the other colour always facing out. Green out for me, and purple in.  Then the seams throughout the whole quilt will go together nicely. 

7. It is very important to cut the sashing and plan this whole quilt before you start piecing. It's easy to accidentally mix up the layout during the piecing.  I carefully pieced once block at a time, and kept checking that it still fitted the layout.  Trust me, I had to unpick a few seams. 

8. Once you have all four sides of sashing pieced for a block, attach two opposite sides to the feature square. Fold the square in half and mark the half way mark with a pin. Fold the sashing in half, and mark the half way mark between the seams with a pin.  Place the feature square face down on top, and match the half way pins.  The sashing should be the same length as the block.  Pin out from the centre, and sew with the feature square on top. NOTE: start sewing 3/8" in from the top, and end 3/8" before the bottom.  Do a small backstitch at each end to hold the stitching. Do NOT press these seams.

9. Repeat the process with the other two side sashings, matching the half way points, starting and finishing 3/8" from the edges, and taking care not to catch the first two sashings in your seams.  Do NOT press the seams.  

10. Y seams.  Bring the opposite corners of the block together to form a triangle. The seams on the sashing should nest together nicely, and the outside edges of the B diamond pieces should match accurately.  Pin the pieces together, and sew out from the feature square to the edge of the block using 1/4" seam allowance, and using a small backstitch at the start of the seam if necessary. 

11. You may have a little gap at the start of the Y seam.  I hand sewed those gaps closed.

12. Now it's time to press the block carefully.  I pressed opposite sides in, and the other opposite sides out.  I pressed all diagonal corner seams anticlockwise.  This meant that my blocks joined together nicely.

13. I joined the blocks in to rows, again folding the block and marking the half way mark between the seams on the sashing with a pin. I made sure that the seams in the sashing were meeting nicely when I pinned the blocks. 

14. I pressed the joining seams in one row one way, and the joining seams in the next row the opposite way. 

In case you're wondering - I used Tula Pink pastel solids for my sashings. 

The full reveal is coming soon, but I do hope this helps other quilters because this is a great pattern. 



Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Loving how this is looking Wendy, so pretty.

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your quilt looks lovely and you did a great job with the Y seams. Thanks for the tutorial, happy stitching!

PaintedThread said...

So very pretty! It's a neat pattern.

Kathy S. said...

You did a great job with those Y seams. Your quilts looking lovely.

Unknown said...

So appreciative of you taking the time to make this tutorial. So many people think that this block can only be make by hand but you have shown otherwise.