Tuesday, January 27, 2015

mini tutorial for paper pieced stars

Yesterday I was working on some four inch stars as a part of an extra to the pillow for my Pillow Swap Four Seasons (PS4S) Partner. In the original pillow, I used straight piecing, but learned I should have printed my kaleidoscopes on paper and sewn that way. But, as you can see, my motif wasn't really the kaleidoscope at all, but these cute little stars! I tried finding a name for them, but am not quite sure what they are called. Do you? What I love about them with PP is that they are PERFECT! Enlarge the pic to see what I mean. =)

I made my templates in EQ7 for a four inch star. It is great when they print out exactly centered four segments on a page! Because that is exactly what I wanted to do. (Here is just a snapshot of the template. Templates are discontinued, but you can also draw your own templates.)

I separated the first star from the second star and trimmed all the way around the seam allowance line. DO NOT SEPARATE THE FOUR SEGMENTS! Then I folded the star in half both horizontally and vertically in the center. The exact center is marked with a "cross" in the center by me.(None of my fabrics are allowed to go over this point.)

Then I made a plastic template of the colored star section. This helps with fussing cutting as well as ensuring that the fabric does not go over the seam allowance line. You will see what I mean later. Cut out the four colored stars (A-1) using the plastic template and cut (4) - 3.5" x 2.75" rectangles for the outer segments (A-2, A-3).

Now the the tricky part begins. Dab a little bit of glue on the backside of the paper template on each star segment (A-1). Glue those fabrics in place. Use a good light source to see the lines through the paper. Do you see how none of the fabrics touch the cross in the middle?


Now take one of your outer segments (A-2) and align to the colored fabric star face down on the backside of the paper template. I DID THIS WRONG IN MY FIRST DEMO!! PLEASE sew according to the second picture correctly. =) I just wanted to show you the first step, but it was on the wrong side.

 This is the right way on the backside of the paper template! =)

Flip over and pin at the beginning and ending of the sewing line. Sew 1/4" from the start and stop of those sewing lines using a small stitch - about 1.5 on a Pfaff. Be warned, if you don't pin, it could shift. I hate to pick out mini-stitches.

Flip fold over as you would in normal pp. Now, fold your paper template along the fold line where the fabric overlaps. Trim with your scissors making sure you don't cut the paper. Do you see that the paper template is now correct?? The printed lines should really be on the backside!!

Continue sewing the outer segments until all are finished. NOTE: There is no need to trim off the outer edges of the block until the entire block is finished.

Now the magic starts!! Fold the paper template in half and sew along the sewing line.

Cut along the seam allowance line or through the middle. Whichever is easiest for you.


 Unfold. Press seam open. Repeat for the other half of the template! Voila!!

Press seam open.

Trim along outer seam allowance. Press. Admire!


And if you want to get really creative, you can make a really cute mug rug! Just look at those perfect points! Everything lines up perfectly! Can life get any better than this? I don't think so! Take a break and sip a cup of coffee or tea. Look at your beautiful creation and enjoy the view outside. It is snowing here in Germany. I wish we had more snow, but you can't have everything, now can you?

And everyone who downloads a template, I would really like to see your creation!!! I want to see all of your beautiful designs! Thanks for dropping by!


  1. This is a really smart idea, thank you for showing.

  2. I've never started pping with a plastic template before. What an ingenious idea! PPing makes such nice clean lines! I love your mug rug!

  3. I can see these stars as a quilt border. Your idea for sewing sections together is brilliant!

  4. Das ist eine super Idee! Toll! Dein Mug Rug sieht fantastisch aus - perfekt!

  5. Deine Idee ist genial liebe Karen! Der "Mug Rug" ist wunderschön!

  6. Das ist ja ein toller Trick! Damit sollten die Nähte 100 % passen. Der Mug Rug sieht super aus-

  7. Mit gefällt dass Du das Papier nicht trennst und so dann auf dem gefalteten Papier die letzten beiden Nähte machst.

  8. What a clever idea! I'm hanging on to this one for future reference!

  9. What a stinkin' clever way to construct this block, I love the idea of folding and seaming rather than matching up the edges. Brilliant!

  10. Hi! You have many lovely quilts! This is good idea!

  11. Hi, hopefully I understood correctly *lol* - can I glue with usual pritt or uhu stick? I only have a spray fabric glue. xox, Eva

  12. These little star blocks are so cute! What a clever tutorial! Thanks for sharing!


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