Every year, the modern quilt guild hosts a QuiltCon and encourages guilds to create a charity quilt with a specific color palette and theme. For QuiltCon 2018, the theme is modern traditionalism. The North East Ohio Modern Quilt Guild (NEOMQG) is making a modern quilt made up of many traditional Ohio Star quilt blocks. How cool is it that the state of Ohio has its own quilt block?!
While most traditional Ohio star quilt blocks only have 2 or 3 colors, we’re using up to four colors per block. Here’s a quick tutorial for guild members (and anyone else wanting to make Ohio star blocks!) looking for guidance on putting them together.
If you’re making blocks for the NEOMQG QuiltCon 2018 charity quilt, we’ll be cutting fabric and you can either choose colors from your block according to our guidelines (provided separately) or we can put together packages of blocks with pre-chosen colors for you.
Each block requires squares cut in two different sizes: a larger square size for the hour glass sections and a smaller square size for the solid sections. Our quilt will have multiple sizes of blocks, so here’s a cutting diagram table for each of the block sizes we’re using:
|Finished Block Size||Small Square||Big Square|
All measurements are in inches. This table includes some margin in the larger squares for the hourglass blocks to be trimmed.
For each block, you’ll need 4 small squares and 1 large square color A, 2 large squares color B, 1 large square color C, and 1 small square color D.
Start by making your hourglass sections. You will need 4 larger squares (e.g. 3.75″ squares for the 6″ block): one of color A, two of color B, and one of color C. Pair up one of the color B squares with each of the color A and C squares, and sew them into half square triangle (HST) units. This should result in (4) HST units – two with A/B and two with B/C. Press each HST unit. If you either press all seams towards color B, or all seams away from color B, it will help you nest your seams and get accurate corners for the next step.
My preferred method of doing this is to mark a line on the front of my sewing machine 1/4″ to the left of the needle with washi tape, and then guide the corners of the HST along this line. You could also mark lines 1/4″ from the diagonal with an erasable pen or however you like to sew HSTs.
Now take one A/B HST and pair it with a B/C HST as shown below, making sure that the HST seams line up, but the color B pieces are not on top of each other. Sew along the diagonals opposite to the ones already sewn. Cut between the seams and press to end up with two hour glass units. Repeat with the other two HST units to get 4 hour glass units each with the B triangles across from each other. Press each hour glass unit.
Trim each hour glass unit to the size of the smaller squares for your block (e.g. 2.5″ square for the 6″ finished block). Using a quilting ruler (I love my Omnigrip rulers), you’ll want to line up the center point (1.25″ for the 2.5″ square) on the 4-way cross in the middle and make sure the top right corner as well as the right and top edges of the ruler at the edge of your finished block size (2.5″) line up with seams in your hour glass unit.
Layout the 4 hour glass units with the 5 solid squares as shown below.
Sew together the three squares in each row, then sew together the rows to get a completed Ohio Star block!