To celebrate my birthday in July, I wanted a red, white and blue quilt that was quick and easy to make. Because I can't decide which I love more--piecing or applique--it had to have both. And I also enjoy experimenting with blocks that aren't square. Shooting Stars meets all my quilting requirements!
For more detailed instructions on each step of the quiltmaking process, see our Basic Lessons.
Deep red and blue with tan and cheddar gold give the sewn quilt the antique look of patriotic memorabilia. For a more contemporary look, substitute bright red, royal blue, white and yellow.
Making the Foundation-Pieced Blocks
Before beginning, you may want to review the basic "Do's and Don'ts" of foundation-piecing, as appeared in the July/August '01 (#80) issue of Quiltmaker magazine. You can also check out our online suggestions in the Tips and Techniques area of this site.
Make 72 copies of the foundation pattern for block Y and 28 reversed copies for the reversed Y blocks (Yr).
Click here to download the foundation pattern.
Sew the patches in numerical order to the paper foundations to make the Y and Yr blocks. Leave the paper in place until the quilt top is assembled.
Appliqueing the X and Z Blocks
Prepare the B, Br and C patches for applique using your favorite method.
See the tip . Using the , position the stars on patches A and D and applique in place. Measuring out from the center, trim X blocks to 4 1/2" x 8" and Z blocks to 8" x 8".
Assembling the Quilt Top
Join X and Y blocks as shown for row 1. Join upside-down X and Y blocks to make row 2. Make 4 rows of each type and press the seam allowances as shown. Alternating rows 1 and 2, join the rows.
Matching centers, sew the inner side strips to the quilt first. Press the seam allowances toward the border. Likewise add the top and bottom inner strips.
Referring to the pieced border diagrams, join Y and Yr blocks to make 2 side border strips. Join Y, Yr and Z blocks to make the top and bottom strips. Press the seam allowances between blocks as shown for each.
For squared borders, sew the side pieced borders to the quilt. Press the seam allowances toward the inner border. Add the top and bottom pieced borders; press. Tear away the foundation papers.
Quilting and Binding
By making templates from adhesive shelf-liner paper such as Con-Tact®, you can quilt without marking the fabrics. Trace B and Br several times and the C at least 4 times on adhesive paper. Cut out the shapes.
Working one vertical row of blocks at a time, place adhesive-paper C's on the Y blocks. Traveling down the left side of the stars and back up on the right in a continuous line, outline quilt the stars and quilt the Y blocks in the ditch as shown. Move the paper C's to the next vertical row of blocks and repeat until the quilting in the center of the quilt is complete.
Quilt the border patches in the ditch in a continuous line all around the quilt. Place adhesive-paper stars randomly around the quilt edges and 2 in each Z block. Quilt around the stars in the border individually.
Join the binding strips and bind the edges of the quilt to finish.
Cut Out for Stardom
Marking the applique placement on dark fabric can be tricky. When the design is simple and the shapes are few, as in blocks X and Z, the following method works well.
For the X block, fold a 5" x 8 1/2" piece of paper in half both ways. Open up and, aligning with the center mark for the X block, trace the 3 stars. Cut and remove the star shapes.
Lay the paper on top of an A patch. Pin the fabric star patches in place on each A through the openings in the paper. Remove the paper. Repeat to pin stars on all the A's.
In the same way, pin a large star on each D to make the Z blocks, using a sheet of paper 8 1/2"x 8 1/2" and aligning with the center of the Z block.