Making a 16" Carpenters Star

I’ve had another Dreami (drop everything and make it) experience this week. It’s my Dear Mum’s birthday this Sunday and she hasn’t come up with any gift ideas. A bit late in the day I decided to make her something… So I took a look through my Pinterest boards and then had a rummage in my stash before drawing up a quick guide using EQ7.
Carpenters Star by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
I decided to make a 16″ Carpenters Star block that could serve as a table topper. The colours of the three fabrics fit fairly well with the curtains in my parents dining room and wouldn’t look out of place in  their conservatory either so here’s hoping it is a successful gift.
As well as the EQ7 picture I did a bit of drawing and calculating on graph paper – figuring  out just how many half square triangles it takes to make this block (quite a lot as it happens!). Most of my fabric pieces were in strips but I did have a couple large enough to use the eight-half-square-triangles-at-a-time method. I love doing this, not so much because it saves time, but more that it is just a little bit magical 🙂 Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts has a great tutorial and cutting chart – Eight at a time half square triangles

Making HSTs by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Making HSTs – eight at a time and two at a time.

If you’d like to make a 16″ Carpenter’s Star here is the method I used:
Fabric requirements: background (cream) and two others – I’ll call them ‘A’ (green) and ‘Z’ (pink). I had a little more than the equivalent of a fat eighth in each fabric.
CUTTING (this assumes making HSTs using the two-at-a-time method BUT if you use the eight-at-a-time method then cut 6″ squares)

  • Background – Twelve 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
  • Fabric A – Four 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
  • Fabric Z – sixteen 3″ squares

PIECING

  • Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ A squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
  • Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
  • Pair up eight A 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.

Squares and HSTs by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Squares and HSTs ready to make the Carpenter’s Star

I decided to create my Carpenter’s Star by piecing a quarter of the block at a time. I laid out the pieces next to my machine like this:
Piecing a Carpenter's Star by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Piece the units together row by row being careful to match the points. Once all four quarters are completed the pattern emerges:
Carpenter's Star quarters by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Time to sew them all together before stepping back to admire this very appealing block.
Carpenter's Star pieced by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
I’ve pinned together a quilt sandwich using a piece of unbleached calico as the backing and Hobbs cotton wadding. I think I’ll quilt in the ditch and maybe do a bit of meandering in the background.
I tried to find out the history of the Carpenter’s Star but couldn’t find much information: It may have been inspired by the trades and skills needed by early settlers and could reference ‘the master carpenter’, Jesus. There are a range of layouts and methods for making this block – see Janet Wickell’s tutorial for a striking alternative.
I’m looking forward to celebrating International Quilting Day on Saturday. I wonder how you might be marking the day?
Linking with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle & Thread Thursday and with Myra for Finished or Not Friday.
Allison
PS. The finished Carpenter’s Star. Linking with Sandra for the March Dreami:
Carpenter's Star by New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting
16″ Carpenter’s Star table topper

 

6 thoughts on “Making a 16" Carpenters Star

  1. Smart to build a quarter of the block at a time. One big benefit of it is all the pieces are arranged in the right order that way. It’s easy to get confused when there are so many. This will be a terrific present for your mum. Happy birthday to her!

  2. It turned out beautifully Allison! I bet your mum loved it. I love that 8 HSTs in one go (ha) method too; have used it a lot on the Sewcial Bee Sampler I’m doing with a couple of friends. Hobbs batting or wadding 😉 is just great isn’t it? Funny how in Canada (where I live) we have lots of English ways and quite a few American ones as well. And then there’s our French mixed in, lol. Thanks for linking up!

  3. Thanks Sandra! Mum has put the ‘table topper’ on the back rest of her sofa! It is funny how different our English speaking cultures are and how our use of a common language can differ too.Glad there’s more that pulls us together – like patchwork quilting 🙂

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