Learn how to sew a Star Cross Quilt Block during week 9 of our Spring Block of the Week! This block expands on a technique learned in Week 8!
This week learn how to make a “Square in a Square” quilt block!! The Square in a Square blocks will be used to form the design of the Star Cross Quilt Block.
Week 9 – Star Cross Quilt Block
This Star Cross Quilt Block uses cut fabric squares and sewn Square in a Square blocks. Square in a Square blocks are created by sewing corners onto a square of fabric. This way the original square is surrounded by other fabrics, and the result is a “Square in a Square”!
The finished block will measure 12 ½” x 12 ½” square.
Cut the fabric for the block…
You’ll cut four 4 ½” squares of light- or medium-colored fabric that will be used in the outside corners. Also cut four 4 ½” squares of a contrasting light- or medium-colored fabric. I used pink for the outside corners and gold as the contrasting fabric.
Cut one 4 ½” square of dark fabric.
Also cut eight 2 ½” squares of the same dark-colored fabric and eight 2 ½” squares of the same light- to medium-colored fabric planned to be used for the outside corners of the block. For mine it was the pink.
You can also flipflop these colors for a different contrast than mine!!
Making the “Square in a Square” blocks…
In Week 8 we made ½ of a Square in a Square block when we created the squares for the X-quisite Quilt Block. This week we’ll finish it off so we have a full square inside of a square which will be used to create the Star Cross Quilt Block!!
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2 ½” square.
Place a light- to medium-colored 2 ½” square and a dark 2 ½” square on two opposite corners of a contrasting 4 ½” square. My contrasting square is colored in gold. Make sure the diagonal line is opposite the corner of the 4 ½” square and not lined up with the corner. Pin in place.
Sew along the diagonal lines of each to connect the 2 ½” squares to the 4 ½” squares.
Trim ¼” from the sewn seams. Press seams toward the outside corners.
Repeat this step to sew the two more 2 ½” squares to the other two corners of the 4 ½” square.
Trim, if necessary, so the Square in a Square block measures 4 ½” squared.
Plan the block layout for the Star Cross Quilt Block…
Follow this diagram to plan the layout of the squares.
It might sound very simplistic, but sometimes I actually take a picture of the planned-out blocks so I don’t mess up when I start sewing them together. Then I can refer to the picture to help me get all the blocks in the right order!!
Chain piece the squares of each row…
Begin sewing the squares together row by row. I like to pin the first two blocks in each row before I start sewing them. This way I can easily “chain piece” them together.
Starting with row one, place the first two squares right sides together. Place a pin in the middle and on the end.
Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the two squares together. Don’t sew over the pins, remove them as you come up to them.
Rather than cutting the thread when you get to the end, you can continue to sew the first two squares in row two together. This is called chain piecing, and it saves a little time and thread.
Place the first two squares of row to right sides together, pin, and stitch. Don’t snip the thread, and repeat to add the first two squares of row three on the “chain”.
When you have the first two blocks of all three rows sewn together, then snip them apart from each other.
Line them up in their correct row placement again. Place the last block right sides together to each of the middle squares and pin. Stitch the last block onto row one. Again, rather than snip when you get to the end, you can chain piece the last square of each row onto the middle square of that row.
Snip them apart when you have all the rows sewn.
I like to use this chain piecing technique to sew quilt squares together. As an alternative you can also sew each of the squares individually if you prefer!!
Pressing the seams…
Press the seams of row one to the right. Press the seams of row two to the left. And press the seams of row three to the right again. This way the seams will “nest” together nicely when you sew the rows to each other!
Sewing the rows together…
With rows one and two right sides together, “nest” the seams together and place a pin in these lined up seams. I also like to place a pin at the end of the rows, and a couple in the middle. The carefully pinned and sewn rows create nicely aligned points and corners that all match up!!!
Sew the rows to each other, removing the pins as you come up to them. Be careful not to let the seam from the bottom row fold over the wrong way as you come up to it! This happens sometimes.
Press the seams of each row all in the same direction, either toward the top or toward the bottom. This way your block will lay nice and flat.
Nicely pressed seams look so pretty!!! And they help to create smooth quilting patterns later!
Finishing the block…
Using the measurements for the individuals squares that make up this block, the final quilt block should end up measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”. Once you’ve pressed it, lay it out on your cutting mat and square the block to make sure it’s 12 ½” square. Your square will probably be very close to being 12 ½” square, you might just need to trim a few threads!
I have a 12 ½” square Omnigrip plastic “ruler” that works great for squaring up large quilt blocks!
The blocks created during Weeks 1-9 now form a pretty nine-patch!!!
Have fun making this Star Cross Quilt Block, and have a great week!!