Below is a special offer from Studio 180 Design for tools to add stars to One Block Wonders both hexagons and octagons. If you have not heard of the One Block Wonder Quilt Forum (OBWQF) you should visit and see all the fabulous One Block Wonders for created by the nearly 30,000 members. The OBWQF is a one stop destination for all your OBW questions. A special thanks to Kathy Gannon who works tirelessly to keep the group running smoothly.
“Exclusive 20% off Special!” You may have seen that my good friend and also a great friend of the One Block Wonder Quilt Forum, Jackie OBrien, is running a series of OBW classes, including some for putting stars into your designs. In the basic classes, Jackie will be presenting a variety of tools to cut your triangles, and one will be our Star 60 tool. In addition, it will be featured in her classes on stars. We have long felt our Star 60 (for hexagon’s) and Wedge Star (for octagons) are the perfect tools to help you make your OBW blocks and stars easily and beautifully. These are the first public classes we know of that will present our tools for use in OBWs, and it’s a very exciting moment for us. In honor of that, we are running an exclusive special for you from now through the end of January of 20% off the purchase price of the Star 60 and/or Wedge Star tools. You can purchase the tools on our webstore, here:
I have been on a journey this year to see how many stars and shapes I can place in a One Block Wonder.
I found this great fabric from Timeless Treasures called “Last Dance”. The Skeletons are about 6 1/2″ tall.
Last Dance made some great octagons. I wanted to add a bat in my design also.
My friend and fellow Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor Beth Sidley designs great patterns. I love Moonlight Flight and decided to use her bat for my quilt. You can purchase Moonlight Flight from her Etsy shop Park Bench Designs.
I’ve discovered a whole new way to jazz up my One Block Wonders (OBW)!
I pin my orphan blocks to the drop ceiling in my quilt studio. As I was looking up at them I realized that a Cyclone block could be added to a Octagon OBW! You only need the Cyclone Technique Sheet and a Tucker Trimmer I.
You can make this block in 9 sizes from 4″ to 12″. This block is fun and easy. You don’t have to match up seams!
I made my octagons 6″ finished, so I will follow the instructions for 6″ finished Cyclones. I chose 3 colors from my original fabric and cut my strip sizes according to the technique sheet.
Step 1 – Piece your strips together in the order shown on the technique sheet. Pressing the seams open gives you a flatter block in the end. Your strip set should measure the “Unfinished Strip Set Width” in the chart.
Step 2 – Sub-cut your strips sets into squares using the “Unfinished Set Width” from the chart. For 6″ finished block I cut my squares 4″.
Step 3 – Cut. Position your square so that Fabric 1 runs from north east to south west. Cut the square north to south. You will get two opposite triangles, separate them into two piles. Use extreme care when making these diagonal cuts. It will effect the spin of your block.
Step 4 – Trim. Working with one one group at a time, position the triangle as above with the longest strip at the top of the triangle. Line up the edge of your Tucker Trimmer with the right side of the triangle, the the lower point of your triangle positioned at the number corresponding to your sub-cut size, for a 6″ finished block it is 4″. The lower left edge of the triangle should align with the sizing diagonal.
Cut across the top of the tool.
Step 5 – Lay out 8 of the kite shaped pieces that you just trimmed. Make sure that all of your pieces have the same fabric in the outer position.
Step 6 – Stitch two kite pieces together so that you create quadrants. Press seams open.
Step 7 – Trim. True the 90 degree corner using your Tucker Trimmer. Align the common diagonal with the seam and trim. You will only be trimming the dog ears and probably a few “whiskers” of fabric, just enough to ensure a true 90 degree.
Step 8 – Stitch together four like quadrants to create an oversized octagon. Press all seams open.
The cyclones are now the same size as my octagons made from the Lotus Leaves fabric, and you have two different cyclones from the same strip set. This is where we stop following the Cyclone Technique Sheet instructions. We will trim the cyclones when we trim the octagons.
Start to create your design layout, then add the corners to the octagons & cyclones.
You trim the cyclone block the same as the octagons but ONLY trimming the edges that will have corner stitched to them as with the octagon blocks.
Click here for the supply list to make the wall hanging shown above.
Once again I went to my OBW stash, I’ve had this beautiful large large print for at least 10 years. When I showed it to my friend Sue Tucker she immediately suggested Aqua stars be added.
I went to my Joen Wolfrom Color Wheel. To find a complimentary color look directly opposite. For Orange/Red it is Aqua/Blue. Groovy Seam Rippers are my favorite.
I could have chosen several values of aqua, but I decided to use two.
I was lucky to find Kona Cotton Paprika for my star side triangles. The Diamond Four Patch Wedge Technique Sheet gives you instructions for making this block in 22 sizes from 6″ to 48″ finished blocks. I decided that I wanted several size stars in my OBW. My octagons are 6″ finished blocks. Therefore, I would choose size variations in multiples of 6″. I made a 24″, 18″ 12″ and three 6″ finished blocks.
Step 1 – Make strip sets. I chose to make my Inner Diamond & Outer Diamonds the same color. See the Diamond Four Patch Technique Sheet for making strip sets A & B.
Step 2 – Layer the strips sets one on top of the other. Make sure both sets are right sides down. Use the Wedge Star tool to get the 45 degree angle.
Make the first cut.
From the first cut, cut angled sections the same width as the cut size of the diamond strip.
You’ll need 8 angles “A” & 8 angles “B” sections for each star.
Step 3 – Pair each “A” section with a “B” section. Make sure that the inner and outer points are oriented correctly. On the edges you will be stitching together, mark the 1/4″ seam allowance across the seams.
Position the pieces so that the intersections of the marked lines and the seams match. Pin and stitch.
Step 4 – Trim the outer points using the Wedge Star tool. Consult the chart for the line needed, and position the line on the seam of the outer point only, trim each side.
Step 5 – Add the small wedges to the out points that you just trimmed. See the Wedge Star tool instructions, page 3 for “Cutting the Small Wedges”.
Layout the small wedges and the Diamond Four Patches.
Stitch the right wedges first. For complete instruction on “Piecing the Diamond Wedges” see the Wedge Star tool instructions, page 4.
Step 6 – Trim the pieced wedges using the Wedge Star tool. For finished stars up to 24″, align the desired finished block size line with the outer point.
Step 7 – Assemble and trim the block according to steps 1.12 through 1.18 in the Wedge Star tool Instructions.
As before, I marked the 1/4″ seam allowance across the seams and pinned before stitching. Stitch 2 Diamond Four Patch Wedge together. Remove the dog ears and sliver trim the Wedge pair by placing on the mat Righties orient the pair so the 90 degree corner is in the upper right, lefties position it so the 90 degree corner is in the upper left. Align the common diagonal on your Tucker Trimmer with the seam to trim the dog ears and true up the 90 degree angle.
I just finished quilting “Lion Eyes” Octagonal One Block Wonder. I had 18 Sensational Squares sets left over.
Remember, Sensational Squares are the triangles that fill the space between the octagons.
I wanted to add the left over Sensational Squares to the borders of the quilt.
I made my Sensational Squares into Square/Squared units using my Studio 180 Design Square/Squared tool.
There are 3 parts to this tool.
TheCenter Square Section, which gives you a series of squares that are precisely drafted so that their diagonal measurement is exactly the finished size of the Square²™ unit.
The Trim Down Section gives you guide lines to align with the seams of the pieced Square²™ unit so you can trim each to a precise size with a proper ¼” seam allowance on all sides.
The Size Chart for Triangles gives the recommended size squares to cut that when cut in half diagonally will yield two slightly oversized triangles for constructing the unit.
Per my Wedge Star Instructions I had cut my Large Wedges from 4″ strips and my Corner Squares from 3″ strips (you must have at least 4 aligned repeats). Cut 3″ square sets.
Cut your square sets once diagonally.
Each stack of 4 half square triangles will give you one 4 Patch Posie.
Stitch 2 triangles together and press the seams the same way on both halves.
The seams will nest when stitching the halves together.
Swirl the seams and press.
Use your Square²™ ruler to precision cut your center squares from your 4 Patch Posie. I lined up the diagonal line on the tool with the diagonal seam centering the lines for a 4″ finished square making sure I had fabric to trim on all 4 sides. Trim up the side and across the top. Rotate the unit lining up the just trimmed sides with the size lines and the diagonal line with the diagonal seam and trim up the side and across the top. The Square²™ unit looks great with a fussy cut square in the center or simply cut chosen fabric as usual. Just remember that this square will be diagonal in the pieced unit.
The 4 Patch Posie is now trimmed and ready for oversized triangles.
Check the chart on the Square/Squared Tool for strip size to cut squares for side triangles. I’m making 4″ finished units so I cut my strips from a folded strip 3 1/4″ wide.
Cut once diagonally.
Position two triangles on opposite sides of the center square. No need to fuss with matching the middles as the triangles are larger than they need to be. Just basically center them and try to keep the raw edges aligned.
Press seams away from the center square.
Position remaining two triangles on the remaining two sides of the center square. Again, don’t fuss too much with aligning the centers, just get them close. Stitch and press the triangles away from the center square.
Ready for the trim.
Position the Trim Down Section of the Square²™ ruler over the pieced unit. Focus on aligning the “X’s” for your particular finished size unit over the sewn seams. If they do not line up exactly, simply center the ruler over the area by finding the middle ground of all four marks. Trim up the side and across the top. For the second cut, rotate the unit, position the ruler on top of unit again lining up the “X’s”, and also lining up the cleanup lines on the ruler with the edges previously trimmed.
This ensures that you end up with a square that has proper ¼” seams on all sides and is exactly the correct size to use in your quilt project. I added 1″ strips to two sides of the units to make the units measure 4 1/2″ by 6 1/2″. I did this so when I add the binding I won’t lose the points on my square/squared unit. Measuring the correct lengths I cut the 6 1/2″ strips to add to my border additions.
The Square/Squared tool makes finished diamond in square units in six sizes from 1″ to 6″. If you require mores sizes you can purchase the Large Square/Squared Tool which can make them in sizes from 1″ to 12″.
Something Fishy was made with fabric called Atlantis by Sentimental Studios for Moda. I have had this 6 yard piece in my One Block Wonder (OBW) stash for 12 o 13 years. Evidently I like to age my fabric before I cut it up.
This is my second octagon OBW. Like hexagon OBW’s, octagon OBW’s can be made in many sizes. I will show you how to use the Wedge Star Tool Instructions to choose different size octagons and add different octagon blocks to your quilt. The numbered steps in this post refer to steps outlined in the Wedge Star Tool Instructions. The basic octagon OBW is made with 45 degree wedges as sown below. The Wedge Star tool instructions refer to this as the Wedge Block. We use the Wedge Block instructions to make the basic octagon OBW.
The Mixed Block can be made up of any combination of Diamond Wedges and Large Wedges, plus four corner triangles.
Use the chart on page 2 of the Wedge Star instructions, find your desired finished block size (first column), then follow the row across to determine the strip and square sizes you need to cut.
I chose 6″ finished blocks. From the first column follow to right to the “Large Wedge Strip” and see to cut the wedge strips 4″ Width of Fabric (WOF) and “Corner Square” strips 3″ by WOF.
After I have aligned my 8 repeats and trimmed one long edge so all the repeats end in the same place, I re-measure my repeat to verify how many strips I can cut.
Note: For every 2 Large Wedge strips you will need to cut 1 Corner Square strip.
I ended up with 22″ trimmed repeats, so I was able to cut four 4″ Large Wedge WOF Strips and two 3″ WOF Corner Square strips for 6″ finished octagons.
Cutting the Large Wedges (Page 7, Step 2.01)
When making an octagonal OBW, we are cutting 8 layers of fabric at once. Our Large Wedge and Corner Square strips are from one fabric. Putting a new blade in your rotary cutter is important!
The cutting instructions on page 2 show you how to cut your wedges with the strip placed horizontally on the mat. I prefer to cut the wedges by placing my strips vertically on the mat. Try both and see what works best for you.
Once your Corner Squares are cut, cut them once diagonally. Each set of corner triangles contains 8 identical corner triangles. When cutting the squares diagonally, consider what design elements will be in both halves.
Constructing the Wedge Block (Step 2.03)
From each stack of 8 wedges, stitch 2 together making 4 pair, press seams open.
Remove the Dog Ears(Step 2.06)
Remove the dog ears and sliver trim the wedge pair. Position the Wedge Pair on the cutting mat. Righties as shown above position it so the 90 degree corner is in the upper right (see tool instructions for left handed cutting). Align the common diagonal line on your Tucker Trimmer with the seam and slide it forward just until it meets with either edge or the point of the wedge, trim up the side and across the top. There may only be a few whiskers trimmed here. Trim all the wedge pairs.
Match up the points, stitch into halves, press seams open (Step 2.08).
Tip: Find the center of one wedge half by placing a pin where seams meet and go through the second wedge half in the same place. Align the two halves, pin on both sides of the center pin.
Remove the center pin and stitch the halves together. Press seams open.
It helps to place your octagon blocks on a design wall as you finish them.
The next step (Step 2.09), is to trim the octagon wedges that will have a corner triangle stitched to them. But before that I want to make some Wedge Star & Mixed Blocks to enhance my octagons and strengthen certain colors .
Wedge Star Block (Page 3)
Cutting the Diamonds (Step 1.01)
All my octagons will be 6″ finished blocks. Go to the chart on page 2, find the first column “Finished Block Size” move down to 6″, move across the row to “Diamond Strip”. Cut the Diamonds strips 1 3/4″ by WOF. Trim one short edge at 45 degree angle by placing the 1/4″ line of your Wedge Star tool on the top edge of the strip. Using a regular 6″by 12″ ruler, bump it up to the Wedge Star tool placing the 45 degree line of the ruler on the bottom edge of the strip.
Remove the Wedge Star tool and cut using the regular ruler.
The rule here is to cut your diamonds the same width as the diamond strip. Continue cutting Diamonds every 1 3/4″ using the ruler. See tool instructions for left handed cutting.
I wanted two color Diamonds so I chose two fabrics.
Cutting the Small Wedges (Step 1.02)
Following the chart for 6″ finished blocks, move across to the “Small Wedge Strip”. Cut the Small Wedge strips 2 3/4″ wide, WOF.
Align the small mark near the top of the tool with the top of the strip, and the line on the tool that corresponds with the width of the strip (2 3/4″).
Step 1.04 – Rotate the Wedge Star tool 180 degrees so the sharp point is closest to you. Align the same guidelines as before and continue cutting the wedges. (I prefer to place my strips vertically when cutting the wedges. Find what works best for you.)
Note: We are skipping from Step 1.04 to Step 1.06 because we are making a OBW and will address the corners later.
Piecing the Diamond Wedges
Step 1.06 – Lay out the Diamonds and Small Wedges as shown. I am making two color diamonds first I laid out the Yellow diamonds with the blue small wedges.
Step 1.07 – Take a small wedge from the right hand side and position it it on top.
Note: My interpretation is to place a diamond right sides together with a small wedge as show above.
Stitch small wedges to the diamonds right sides together as show above. Press toward the Diamonds.
Note: Remember that “whatever you are pressing toward goes on top”! So, you would place all your units with the diamond on top.
Step 1.08 – With the Diamond on top, stitch along the matched edges with a ¼” seam. Press the seam toward the Diamond and trim off the “dog ear”. Repeat with the rest of the diamonds.
Step 1.09 & 1.10
Step 1.09 – Using the other pile of Small Wedges, take one and position it on the other side of the Diamond point. Align the raw edges and center the shapes right sides together as shown above.
Step 1.10 – With the Diamond on top, stitch with a ¼” seam. Press the seam toward the Small Wedge. Repeat with the rest of the Diamonds.
Step 1.11 – Use the Wedge Star™ tool to trim each Diamond Wedge unit to an exact size.
Step 1.12 – Position the unit right side up on the cutting mat. Righties point the Diamond toward the 2 o’clock position, lefties point the Diamond toward the 10 o’clock position. Align the desired finished block size lines with the sewn seams. Trim along both sides of the ruler. See tool instructions for left handed cutting.
Layout wedges. Stitch wedges together into pairs.
Press seams open.
Step 1.13 – Remove the “dog ears”.
Remove the dog ears and sliver trim the wedge pair. Position the Wedge Pair on the cutting mat. Righties as shown above position it so the 90 degree corner is in the upper right (see tool instructions for left handed cutting). Align the common diagonal line on your Tucker Trimmer with the seam and slide it forward just until it meets with eight the edge or the point of the wedge, trim up the side and across the top. There may only be just a few whiskers trimmed her. Trim all the wedge pairs.
Step 1.15 – Stitch quarters in halves, then stitch halves together, pressing seams open.
Step 1.16 – To turn your octagon into a square you will need to add triangles to the corners. Determine which wedge sections will be located in the corners of your finished block. Align the Outside Edge Trim Line on the Wedge Star™ tool with the seams of the Diamond on one corner wedge. Trim along the edge of the tool. Repeat this for the other three corners, making sure you are only trimming every other edge. The remaining edges will be trimmed after the corners are added.
Mixed Blocks – See page 10
Mixed blocks are made by simply combining Wedge Stars with Large Wedges as shown above. Once I made several Wedge Star Blocks and Mixed Blocks I added them to my other octagons. The fabric choices for my Wedge Stars and Mixed blocks was to strengthen my orange/golds and turquoises.
Prepping Wedge Blocks for adding the Corners: If there is a way to square up a difficult unit/block Deb Tucker will find it!
Step 2.09 (Pg. 8) – Determine which Large Wedges are going to have Corner Triangles attached. Step 2.10 – Make a halfway registration mark on these four wedges. Wedges can be folded in half matching the seams and then lightly pressed to give a centerfold line. Or the centerline of the tool can be placed on the sewn seam with the point of the tool at the center. Mark with a removable marking tool.
Note: Add a flower pin to the top wedge unit for each block to aid in orientation. This will help you throughout the trimming process.
Step 2.11 – Place your Wedge Star® tool upside down, with the Invisigrip™ facing up. Find the Block Center dimension for your project on the chart.
Step 2.12 – Measure down that distance from the flat edge of the tool and make a mark on the back of the tool, across the centerline as illustrated. Use a fine point Sharpie® marker. For our example, make a mark 3¼” from the tool edge.
Step 2.13 – Working on your cutting mat, place the intersection of the centerline of the tool and the Sharpie® marked line on the center of the sewn block. At the same time, align the centerline of the tool with the halfway registration mark on the fabric block.
Step 2.14 – Cut along the flat edge of the tool. You should only be trimming off a small amount of fabric. If you are trimming more than ¼”, recheck your tool mark!
Step 2.15 – Repeat for the other three Corner Wedges.
For prepping Wedge Star & Mixed Blocks for adding corners see tool instructions page 5, Step 1.16.
Choose corner triangles that will help blend the octagons and create flow.
When four octagons are put together, there is a diamond spaced shape between them. You fill this space with 4 identical triangles cut from the 3″ Corner Strip.
Keep adding corners to the octagons and place back on the design wall.
I add corners to all the inner octagons first, then continue adding them to the outer edges.
Squaring up the Octagon Blocks
Step 2.18 – For blocks that finish to 12” or less, we prefer to use our Tucker Trimmer®. Consult the Block Cut Size in the chart and align the common diagonal and sizing diagonal with the marks made for the previous trimming. Make sure that the intersection of the tool lines is over the center. Trim two sides. Rotate the block 180° and line up the diagonal lines as well as the clean up lines with the trimmed edges. Trim the final two sides.
My octagon blocks will be 6″ finished. Therefore, I can use my Tucker Trimmer I and square up my blocks to 6 1/2″. Make sure the intersecting lines for 6 1/2″ are over the center of the block and trim as shown above.
All my octagons are now trimmed to 6 1/2″ and are ready to be sewn into rows.
Tip: To line up your blocks, pin where the seams intersect on both blocks. Pin on both sides, then pull out the pin in the seams and stitch.
See how nicely the points line up when the blocks are trimmed and squared.
As you can see, this project was closely supervised by Tucker!
Included in your Wedge Star Tool Instructions is a free project “Freelancer”.