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 pulled this 2004 Alexander Henry fabric called Misty Jungle from my stash to play with adding Capped 60 cubes to my OBW.
Although the fabric has a 24″ repeat the design elements were about 3 to 4 inches, so I decided to cut my strips 3 1/4″ to make 5″ finished hexagons. Using my Star 60 tool, I cut my equilateral triangles.
Once I designed my hexies to get an almost final design, It’s time to decide about cubes. I am using Deb Tucker’s Capped 60 Techniques Sheet. The Capped 60 Technique Sheet offers cutting instruction for 17 sizes in whole & half inch increments.
Above is a Capped 60 Unit. The cutting instructions are based on finished units. I cut my triangles for a 5″ finished hexagon, which would mean my individual triangles would measure 3″ unfinished and 2 1/2″ finished.
We begin by choosing 3 fabrics, light, medium and dark values. Where you place the light fabric gives the illusion of light shinning on it. The strips for both the trapezoids and triangles are the same width.
CuttingTrapezoids. I am making 2 1/2″ finished units so I cut 2″ strips and placed the 3 1/2″ Bottom Horizontal Line on the bottom of my strip to cut my trapezoids. Then rotate the Star 60 tool and place the 3 1/2″ line on the top of the strip and continue cutting trapezoids.
Cutting Triangles. Align the mark near the tip of the tool with the top of the strip and the Horizontal Guideline that corresponds to the width of the strip and cut. Rotate the Star 60 tool and continue cutting your triangles.
For each cubed hexagon you will need 2 light, 2 medium and 2 dark trapezoids, and 2 light, 2 medium and 2 dark triangles.
To make this cube begin by laying out your trapezoids and triangles shown above.
Align one edge of the triangle with the top of the trapezoid, matching the flat edge of the triangle to the top of the trapezoid as shown above.
Once you have laid out your trapezoids and triangles and know what triangles are to be stitched to what trapezoids you can chain stitch and make the process go fast.
Stitch and press seams open. Your unit consists of the Point, Left Side, Right Side and Base.
Trimming the Base. Position the unit so that the base is on the right if right handed or left if left handed. Align the Diamond Point Guideline that corresponds to the finished size of the unit on the seam between the triangle and trapezoid as shown. Trim the base along the side of the ruler.
Trimming the Right and/or Left Side. Locate the Triangle Point Trim Line in the chart for your size. Position the Horizontal Guideline that corresponds to the Triangle Point Trim Line on the seam between the trapezoid and triangle. Trim both sides.
Layout your trimmed units and stitch them into pairs of three as you do your equilateral triangles for the hexagons. Press seams open.
I chose to make Capped 60 Cubes in three color ways. I auditioned them in several places before deciding on the best placement.
When I cut my strips for the hexagons I had 2 1/2″ left, not enough for the hexies. I decided to cut out smaller triangles to add to a border.
To give the illusion that the hexies are floating I added Half Hexies cut from the border fabric. The instructions for cutting Half Hexagons are located on page 10 of your Star 60 Instructions.
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″.
The official name for this quilt is Samantha’s Rainbow Kitty. This quilt was made with love for my Granddaughter Sam. It was supposed to be finished for Christmas but it is in time for my special Valentine.
Why did I choose 5.5″ Finished Hexagons?
This panel measured 23 inches wide. I chose 5.5″ (Cut my strips 3.5″) finished hexies because 4 X 5.5 = 22″. Now I only have trim 1/2″ from both sides and my hexies will fit along the bottom and the top of the panel.
I began by deciding on what size to make my star. I wanted it twice as big as my 5.5″ finished hexies, hmmm, that means an 11″ finished star. The Checkerboard Technique sheet makes beautiful stars in 17 sizes from 2″ up to 18″ in 1″ increments. I needed to make 5.5″ Finished units. I followed technique sheet instructions for a 6″ Finished Units and will trim them so they would finish at 5.5″ units.
Step 1 – Make two strip sets.
Step 2 – Layer the strips sets one on top of the other right sides down. Using the Star 60 tool and a regular ruler establish the 60 degree angle.
From the first cut, cut additional angled sections the same width as the as the cut size of the diamond strips.
Step 3 – Pair each “A” section with a “B” section. Make sure the inner and outer diamonds are oriented correctly. The pink diamonds will be the inner part of my star. The outer diamonds are yellow.
On the edges you will be stitching together, mark the 1/4″ seam allowance across the seams on the wrong side.
Stitch your section “A” with Section “B” units.
Press the seams open.
Step 4 – Trim the outer diamond using the Star 60 tool. I trimmed using the Outer Diamond Trim Guidelines for a 5″ finished unit.
Continue cutting side triangles.
Step 5 – Add the side triangles.
Layout the right side triangles.
Position the side triangle on top of the diamond, matching the flat corner to the edge of the diamond.
Stitch with the diamond on top.
Press toward the diamond. (Whatever you are pressing toward, goes on top.)
Layout the left side triangle.
Position the the remaining side triangle on the other side of the diamond point. Align the flat corner of the triangle with the edge of the diamond, aligning the raw edges as before.
After it is stitched, but before you press, trim the unit as shown above to remove bulk.
Press toward the side triangle.
Step 6 – Trim the pieced Star 60 unit suing the Star 60 tool. I trimmed using the 5″ finished unit guidelines.
Step 7 – Describes the trimming the final edge. I did not complete this trim. Remember, I need an 11″ finished star, which means I need 5.5″ finished units. I accomplished this by trimming the diamonds per the 5″ guidelines. I created an 11″ finished star by NOT trimming the outer edges of the star.
Layout your diamond units.
Stitch your diamond units together creating two halves.
Making Star 60’s – To make 5.5″ finished Stars, I am following the cutting instructions for 3″ Finished Units. Remember, the chart refers to UNITS not to Finished Stars! To use the chart, first determine the desired finished size of your unit, then follow the row across for the strip size for the shape you want to cut.
Cutting the Diamonds – I followed the cutting instructions for 3″ finished units. Trim one short edge at a 60 degree angle as shown above. Locate the Diamond Sub-Cut Guideline in the chart which for 3″ finished units is 4″. Align those guidelines with the raw edges of the strip and the angled cut just made as shown in the diagram. Cut along the leading edge of the tool to create oversized diamond shapes.
Cut your side triangles. For 3″ finished units the side triangle strips are 2 1/2″.
Layout the right side triangle.
Position the side triangle on top of the diamond, matching the flat corner to the edge of the diamond.
Stitch with the diamond on top.
Press toward the Diamond. Layout the remaining side triangle.
Position the the remaining side triangle on the other side of the diamond point. Align the flat corner of the triangle with the edge of the diamond, aligning the raw edges as before.
Trim the bulk as shown above.
Press toward the side triangle.
I followed the cutting instructions for 3″ finished units, BUT I’m making 5.5″ finished stars, so I’m trimming the Diamond Point using the 2 1/2″ guidelines. I do not trim the outer edges of the unit to obtain a 5.5″ finished star.
Stitch units into two halves.
Designing With the Hexagons
After I numbered my rows, I stitched the four rows above the checkerboard star into two rows, and the same with the four rows under the checkerboard star as shown in photo 1. Photo 2 shows stitching the top and bottom row to the checkerboard star halves. Photo 3 shows the two rows joined together.
Continue to stitch rows into 4 sections, Left, Right, Top & Bottom.
I placed the bottom section right sides together to verify how much I need to trim off the sides of the panel so it will be the same width as the top and bottom hexies. In this case I trimmed 1/2″ off both sides.
You can choose to attach either the top or bottom hexies first. I chose the bottom because I wanted to control where the hexies attached to the bottom of the panel. After the hexies are laid out and stitched together we loose 1/4″ between them. I felt I could safely loose a couple of inches off the top of the panel without affecting the design. But I did not want to loose inches off the panel bottom.
I pressed the bottom hexies under 1/4″ and top stitched them to the panel.
Match up the hexies/dog ears of the left side with hexies/dog ears on the bottom. Stitch leaving about 12″ from the top of the panel.
Place the panel and partially stitched left side on a table and place the top hexies on top of the panel matching up the dog ears to establish where the top hexies will be stitched to the panel.
Pin top to the panel being sure the dog ears match up to the left side hexies.
Top Stitch the top hexies to the panel. Finish stitching the left side to the panel and top hexies.
Match up the dog ears of the right side and stitch.
Samantha’s Rainbow Kitty, measures 75″ X 70″. I will quilt it as soon as the backing arrives.
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”.
What is a One Block Wonder (OBW)? I bought Maxine Rosenthal’s book “One Block Wonders” in 2006 and was totally awestruck! So much so, that I have made 79 hexagon OBW’s since. Whether you are making hexagons or octagons your are creating kaleidoscope blocks – each one unique by using one fabric, one shape for one of kind quilts! With hexagon OBW’s you cut 6 identical repeats and with octagon OBW’s you cut 8 identical repeats.
Octagons are used in the cover photo.
In 2007 I bought Alexander Henry’s fabulous fabric “Lion Eyes”. I always buy at least 6 yards. This time I had 12 yards in my stash.
I made my 27th hexagon OBW and named it “Just Lion Around” It was included in Maxine Rosenthal’s 4th book One Block Wonders of World.
I made my first OBW in 2006. That year I made 16 OBW’s. It only took me 14 years to finally make my first octagon One Block Wonder!
Cutting the Repeats: I cut my 8 identical repeats and aligned them just as I would for a hexagon OBW. Now it is time to cut octagon and corner triangle strips. You can make octagon OBW’s in any size. Following Maxine’s suggestion I cut my octagon strips 4″ wide. Maxine said to cut the strips for the corner triangles 2 3/4″ wide. I am a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor. You may be able to take the girl out of the studio…but you will never take the studio (180) out of the girl!
Instead of 2 3/4″ strips, I cut my corner triangle strips 3″ wide, that would give me a little more to trim off the completed octagon blocks. After I aligned and trimmed one long edge of the repeats, I re-measure the width of my repeat to verify how may strips I can cut. My trimmed, aligned repeat measured 23″. For every two strips used to make octagons, cut one strip for the “Sensational Squares” (corner triangles). If I cut four 4″ strips and two 3″ strips it equals 22″. Now I know I have enough fabric in my repeat without cutting myself short.
As I said earlier: You may be able to take the girl out of the studio…but you will never take the studio (180) out of the girl! I am using Studio 180 Design’s Wedge Star Tool to cut my wedges for the octagon blocks.
The beauty of the Wedge Star tool is you can make octagons in sizes 3″ to 24″.
I found it easier to cut both left and right wedges by placing the octagon strip vertically on my cutting table and pull the strip toward me as I cut. The Wedge Star tool instructions show how to cut the units horizontally also:
Because hexagons are made with equilateral triangles you have 3 choices as how to design your block. With Octagons you only have one choice, the narrow end of the wedge is always the center.
Align two wedges and chain stitch the four pair.
As with hexagons, press all seams open. I love my Strip Sticks for that.
Remove “dog ear” and sliver trim the wedge pair. Righties orient the wedge pair so the 90 degree corner is in the upper right (lefties orient the wedge pair so the 90 degree corner is in the upper left). Align the common diagonal line on the Tucker Trimmer with the seam and slide it toward the corner just until the sides of the tool touch the very edge of the wedge pair and trim. Note there may be just a few whiskers trimmed here. This is called Trueing up your 90 degree angles and will create a much more square unit.
Match up two wedge pairs, stitch them together and press seams open.
Find the center of the two wedge halves by placing a pin where the two seams meet in both units and align the halves. Pin close to both sides of the first pin, then remove the pin in the center. This will help to center you octagon wedge halves.
Stitch your wedge halves together.
Press your seams open.
I placed my octagons on the design wall as I made them. This helped me to see what I had.
Here I am looking at life through rose colored glasses. again Time to sort the octagons. Looking at the octagons through red plastic helps me to sort the octagons by value. If you didn’t know, I have been battling breast cancer. I am responding well to treatment, but as my hair grows back, I’m noting a resemblance to the Old Man Dancing for the Six Flags commercials.
Sorting the octagons by predominate color or value was more difficult than I thought it would be. I think because the octagons don’t nest with each other as the hexagons do, you don’t get the same flow and movement. I’m saying this because after I added the corner triangles i wasn’t as happy with the design. Take your designing!
Tip: This is most important tip! Place a flower pin in the top wedge of each octagon! By doing this you will be able to easily orient the octagons as you remove and place them back on the design wall. It will keep your brains from falling out!
Adding the “Sensational Squares” (corner triangles).
One set of corner triangles is laid out as shown above making a kaleidoscope square.
Those squares will fit into the space between 4 octagons.
When you step back from the design wall, the square will appear to be gone as the 4 octagons blend together.
I worked with one row at time, deciding which set of corners to add. Remove one octagon at a time and stitch the triangle to the appropriate octagon wedge. In affect, you will be adding corners that effect two rows at a time. In the end, each octagon will have a different triangle on each corner.
Center the octagon wedge over the corner triangle and stitch. Press toward the corner triangle. Remember Deb Tucker’s tip when pressing: “whatever you are pressing toward, always goes on top”!
Above shows the corner triangles added to the inner octagons.
Once the inner octagons have the corners added, continue adding the final corner triangles to the outside edges of the octagons.
Trimming the Octagon Blocks: The octagon units need to be squared up to 6 1/2″.
If you don’t know the beauty of using the Tucker Trimmer you will love this. The Tucker Trimmer is marked with a “Common Diagonal line and Size Lines to help you perfectly center each unit or block for trimming. For righties the Common diagonal line is placed on the center seam going from the bottom left to the upper right. The 6 1/2″ size line is positioned from the upper left to the lower right going through the center of the block. The size line and common diagonal line should intersect in the center of the block centering it perfectly for squaring up. Trim up the right side and across the top. Rotate the block place the 6” clean up lines of the Tucker Trimmer on just trimmed lines of the block. Trim up the right side and across the top.
When all the octagons are trimmed it’s time to stitch your blocks into rows and then join your rows to complete your quilt. My layout was 9 X 10 = 90 – 6″ finished blocks measuring 57″ X 63″ unquilted. I learned a lot in this process. I think my layout would have been more satisfying if I had left it more random. I was trying to create an oval shape with the lighter blocks in the center. But there wasn’t enough contrast between the medium and light blocks. I’ve always been a little contrast challenged.
I don’t know about your fabric stash, but sometimes mine has years to mellow. Some of you may know that I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Before chemo started I went to my One Block Wonder Stash to choose fabrics to cut. I thought even if I don’t feel well most of the time, surely if I have my equilateral triangles cut out I should be able to do some sewing.
In 2008 I purchased English Countryside by Sue Beevers in two color ways, green and purple.
I made this One Block Wonder for my dear friend Debi who was undergoing breast cancer treatment in 2009.
When I chose to work on the green English Countryside for me I forgot for a minute that the purple version was also in honor of those of battling breast cancer 11 years earlier.
This is such a large print I tried to use a big enough piece to showcase the beauty of the fabric. It may not be pink, but this quilt is made in honor of all us Pink Warriors. Thank you Sue Beevers for making such beautiful fabric.
I love the Wizard of Oz! I know it is a very controversial movie, either you love it or hate it! In 2008 Quilting Treasures came out with the Wizard of Oz fabric line. The first fabrics were in sepia tones. I have made many, many Wizard of Oz quilts from my extensive Wizard of Oz fabric stash. This Road to Oz is for me!
I used Studio 180 Design’s Star 60 Tool to enhance my One Block Wonder. Aside from cutting the equilateral triangles I will share how to cut Whole Hexagons, Half Hexagons and make a Half Hexie Braid for borders with the Star 60 tool.
This fabric by Quilting Treasures came out in 2009 and has a 23″ repeat. I’ve decided to use it as a panel on the quilt top. The width is a little over 43″. I need to determine what size finished hexie will fit evenly across the bottom & top of the panel. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide they will produce 6″ finished hexies. If I trim my panel to 42″, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom and top of the panel. Note: I NEVER trim the panel until I have my hexies designed and verify they fit the way I want them to.
Strips are cut.
I used my Star 60 Tool from Studio Design to cut my equilateral triangles. Be sure the tool point just touches the cut edge of the strips. we want dogears to help lining up blocks and rows.
TIP: You know those pieces you have left at the of the strips that are too small for a full size hexie? One side is already cut at a 60 degree angle, if you place the tool edge on the straight side of the pieces, adjusting the edge of the tool to not include the selvedge and cut, you will have small hexie that can be appliqued onto your top.
My triangles are cut, stitched and sorted by predominate color.
Placing the panel on the design wall takes some thought and planning. My design wall consists of 4 closet doors 24″ wide, that are covered with flannel over insulation, so I have plenty of room. My goal was to create a path that would connect the yellow brick road on the right side with the yellow brick road on the top of the panel. I placed the panel so there would be more room on the right side and the top of the panel.
Remember, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom of the panel. The hexies are not finished yet, so they don’t fit well. They extend further than the panel. Keep this in mind to keep track of where your rows are so you don’t get confused. If 7 finished hexies will fit across the bottom, that means 14 half hexies will establish the width of the bottom section and the top section. I started at the bottom of the panel and then worked my way up the sides. You may start at either the top or the Bottom, it doesn’t matter.
First attempt at my design was close, but I didn’t feel the yellow hexies I had were creating a vibrant connecting path. I tried again surrounding my path with darker hexies & decided to create some Star 60 Units instead.
Cutting the Diamonds: To create a Star 60 Unit that contains a diamond with side triangles that would create a 6″ finished hexie I went to the Basic Shape Cutting Chart in the Star 60 instructions. I followed the cutting instructions for 2 1/2″ finished units. For my diamonds, I cut a 2″ WOF strip. Trim the first edge at a 60 degree angle as shown above. Locate the Diamond Sub-cut Guideline in the next column for 2 1/2″ finished unit which is 3 1/2″. Align those guidelines with the raw edges of the strip and the angled cut just made as shown above. Each hexie will need 6 diamonds.
Cutting the Side Triangles.: Checking the chart for Side Triangle Strip size, I cut my 2 1/4″ WOF strips. Align the mark near the top of the tool with the top of the strip and the horizontal line on the tool that corresponds to the width if the strip (2 1/4″). Cut the side triangles then rotate the tool and cut again. Each diamond will need two side triangles. Follow the Star 60 tool instructions for Piecing the side triangles to the diamond.
Trimming Star 60 Units: We will be trimming the flat end of the unit only! Align the Flat Edge trim lines with the seams of the diamond. For lefty’s, rotate the unit so the flat side is on left side. Six of these trimmed Star 60 units are the same size as a stack of 6 equilateral triangles cut from a 3 3/4″ strip. These Star 60 units can be made in 17 sizes.
I loved the way the Star 60 units created a vibrant path to connect to the Yellow Brick Road. You notice a very light block near center of the top. That is Glinda the Good Witch. She wasn’t on the panel but I had to add her!
Cutting Whole Hexagons: I wanted a block that contained the Emerald City. I forgot to take a picture while I cut it, so the instructions below use a different fabric.
The Hexagon Cutting Chart allows you to cut whole hexagons in 15 sizes. For a 6″ finished (6 1/2″ Unfinished) hexie, cut a strip 6 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip in half. Our Horizontal Guideline Placement is 6 1/4″. Place the 6 1/4″ line on the fold and cut both sides. You now have a 6 1/2″ unfinished whole hexagon.
Once I was happy with the block placement, I number my rows across the top and under the bottom section. I stitched the rows into four sections, left, right, top & bottom..
I decided to add the bottom section to panel first. I didn’t want to leave the points because they would cover up Toto, and I couldn’t have that, so I trimmed the top points only. I don’t trim the outside edges until the top is all stitched together.
Adding the bottom section allows me to line up and match the dogears of the rows on the right side.
Pin and stitch the right side rows to the center section using a partial seam. I left a good 8 inches open to leave room for adjusting placement of the top section.
I decided to applique the top section to the panel by leaving the points on the bottom of the top section. I took stitches out about 1/4″ down between the valley of the blocks and pressed the edges under 1/4″.
Lay out the center and the partially stitched right side rows. Lay the top section next to right side rows, matching up the dogears. This will show you how far down the top section will overlap onto the panel.
Pin it well, assuring it is straight and top stitch the center to the panel. Now I’m able to finish the partial seam for the right side.
Adding the left is very easy now. Just match up the dogears and stitch together.
Once the rows are all joined, I trim the points off the top and the bottom of the quilt top. I added a border to the top. I’m thinking about adding a small black border.
Above is a closeup of the showing Glinda & the Emerald City whole Hexie. One more technique I wanted to share is making Half Hexagons. The Star 60 tool instructions have a chart for cutting Half Hexagons in 8 sizes. I thought about making a Half Hexie Braid for a border but my top was too busy.
Half Hexies Braid: I followed the cutting instructions for 1 1/2″ finished half hexies. I cut 3 different 2 1/4″ strips. In the chart locate the “Bottom Horizontal Line” for 1 1/2″ finished half hexie, which is the 4″ line. Place it on the bottom of the strip and cut both sides. Rotate the tool placing the 4″ line on the top and aligning the edge just cut.
Above, I laid out my half hexies alternating the 3 colors.
Pick up the first two right sides together, nudging the top half hexie 1/4″ from the point and stitch together. Press toward the first half hexie.
Add a third half hexie by centering it over the two stitched hexies.
Keep adding half hexies until you have the length you want. After the first two half hexies are stitched and pressed, the remaining half hexies are pressed toward the unit just added. I think this a cool inner or outer border that I will be using on another quilt.
Above are “Inside the Twister” and “Yellow Brick Road with a Twist”.
Last January I had the great joy of meeting my half sister Marti for the first time. I also acquired many new family members.
When I saw this panel by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, I knew I had to make a One Block Wonder for my Great Niece Alexa. Alexa has a wonderful cat named “Ruca”, whom she has had since she was in college. I met Ruca, a very special cat.
Even though this panel states it measures 24″ by 44″, by the time I cut apart the panels and squared it up, it was more like 23 1/2″ wide. For my finished hexies to fit evenly across the bottom of the panel I would have to make some adjustments. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexies would be 6″ wide, which is not evenly divisible by 23 1/2″. I could just add fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and then hide the extra fabric with appliqued hexagons as I have done before.
But I decided to trim the panel to fit the bottom rows of hexagons instead. If I cut my strips 3 1/2″, my finished hexies would be 5 1/2″ wide which would be evenly divisible into 22″. I don’t trim the panel until I’m ready to add the hexies. You can see that four finished hexagons (or 8 half hexies) will fit across the bottom of the panel. Here are my tips for Using Panels for a OBW:
Yes, I’m at it again! Actually I’ve had this panel cut out since last Fall. I love One Block Wonders (OBWs). Sometimes I add cubes to create design interest or just for fun. It occurred to me that Studio 180 Design has a new Star 60 tool.
You can use this tool to cut equilateral triangles easily, along with 60 degree diamonds and side triangles in 17 sizes to create a multitude of 60 degree designs.
I played with Star 60 and created kaleidoscope stars and this 48″ star. Light Bulb moment!!!! Instead of inserting cubes in my OBW, why not a star?
I usually have left over triangles when designing my OBW’s. I had equilateral triangles cut that had a dark edge that was larger than a 1/4″. I was thought it might not make a pretty hexie. These triangles had been cut from 3 3/4″ strips. I laid my Star 60 tool on the triangles and discovered I could cut 3″ diamonds from it. This allowed me to use these left over triangles in a different way.
Way cool! Now I needed side triangles for the star points. I checked the size chart for 3″ diamonds and cut the appropriate size strip,
I cut the side triangles for my diamond star points.
Lay out your units. Stitch the first side triangle to the diamond and press toward the diamond.
Stitch the opposite side triangle, press toward the side triangle. LOOK what you have! An equilateral triangle.
Stitch 3 triangles together, and then the other 3 together, press seams open as you would a regular hexagon.
I began designing around my panel. I had great fabric “Canvas” from Northcott. This rich colors worked so well with panel.
I have stitched my hexie’s into four sections to add to my panel. My hexies were cut from 3 3/4″ strips, which means they will finish as a 6″ hexagon. For 6″ hexies to fit evenly across the width this panel should measure 18″ or 24″ wide. This panel is less than 24″ wide.
I did not want to trim my panel to 18″ so I added enough fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and would be evenly divisible by 6″. Now to hide the strip.
There are 9 & a 1/2 Star 60 hexie’s in this quilt. The Star 60 tool also made it easy to cut half & whole hexagons. I’ve just barley scratched the surface of cool 60 degree design’s that can be added to a One Block Wonder. You can download my hints for using panels in a OBW below: