Friday, January 18, 2013

Des Moines Star Tutorial

A while back when I posted about the Des Moines Star quilt that I had made to copy an antique quilt, someone asked for the pattern.  Since that quilt was made using the antique one as an example, the blocks were not a size that could be easily rotary cut.  In order to rotary cut the blocks, I needed to draft the pattern in a different size.  It took a while and then there were Thanksgiving and Christmas and so I am finally getting a chance to post the results.

This is the block re sized to a 10-1/2" block.  The antique and the clone were 10" blocks which could not be easily rotary cut.
For the center portion of the block, you will cut 1 rectangle 2-1/4 x 5-3/4 from the dark blue.  Also cut 2 squares 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 from the dark blue and 4 squares from a light  fabric 2-1/4 x 2-1/4. 
Stitch the squares together and add to the rectangle to form a center unit that looks like this:
Cut 2 dark blue squares 4-5/8" x 4-5/8" and cut each diagonally.
Add to the 4 sizes of the center cross unit.
Cut 2 light squares 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" cut twice diagonally to form 8 quarter square triangles for the flying geese units in the block.
Cut 8 dark blue squares 2-3/8" x 2-3/8" and cut diagonally.  I know this looks like there are only 4, but I cut them double. You will end up with 16 half square triangles.
 Stitch the half-square triangles to the quarter-square triangles to form the flying geese units.  Each flying geese unit should measure 2" x 3-1/2" when constructed.
Cut 8 squares from light fabric 2" x 2".
Sew two of the flying geese units to each side of 4 of the squares.  Stitch two of these strips to opposite sides of the center unit. (I did not take photos of that step.)
Add the last 4 squares to the ends of each of the other two flying geese/square/flying geese units to form the final sides of the block.. Stitch to complete the block.
To duplicate the entire quilt, you will also need to cut sashes corner stones.  In the antique, these were cut at 4-1/2"  The final border was also cut 4-1/2".  Using this size block cut the sashes 4-1/2 x 11 and the cornerstones 4-1/2" square.  After stitching all of the blocks, sashes and cornerstones in rows, cut the border 4-1/2" by the width of the quilt.  Add those bordersto the top and bottom of the quilt top and then cut the side borders 4-1/2" x the length of the center of the quilt plus the added top and bottom borders to make sure that borders fit correctly.  I am not giving the number of sashes to cut as you may wish to make a smaller quilt.  The original quilt had 30 blocks which would make a quilt 84-1/2 x 99 using this size block.  That is a very large quilt!
Hope you enjoy making a Des Moines Star quilt.  the block is also called Lily, if that name is more to your liking.  Happy quilting!

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