Saturday, 2 June 2012

Lone Starburst Paper Pieced Block Tutorial (for QCA Bee #2)

As requested, here's a tutorial for the Lone Starburst paper pieced block (for templates used see The Quilting Climber). Please note that this post is VERY pic heavy!

Print off 4x templates as shown. Make sure that your  1" square test block is 1" square! Phillipa and I found her printer needed to be set on US letter to print correctly, A4 came out smaller!

Cut out your templates. There will be an A & B piece.

Repeat for all sheets, until you have a total of 8 sections (4x A, 4x B). I trimmed mine with a little extra margin so I could trim them down after I made the blocks.

Choose your fabric colour scheme

 I found it more efficient to pre cut my pieces so that I could semi chain piece my blocks. You can do it however you want! I measured and cut my diamond shapes from an approx 3" strip, with diamonds ~5" "long". Make sure that all of section 1A/1B is covered, I also covered sections 2 & 3 (for seam allowance).

 I used white for the middle strip, and two aqua prints for the outer strip - for both of these I cut approx 1.5" strips and then subcut into pieces approx 4" (white) & 5" (aqua) long. Make sure that the strips comfortably cover their section, keeping in mind that when they are folded & pressed they will angle in the opposite direction. If you don't cover their section with room to spare you will find yourself spending a LOT of time frogging seams. Trust me, I know.. Btw, you will need 8x diamonds but 16x strips in each colour.
Set your stitch length to 1.5 to make it easier to remove the paper later.
 Ok, now we finally get to the sewing!
To align your fabric for sewing, hold your template up to the light and place the diamond so it completely covers section 1A/B. Do this on the opposite side to the printed text as you will need to see the text/lines to know where to sew! The diamond should be "right side up" (wrong side touching the paper).

Line up one of your strips (in my case, white) along the edge of the diamond, or so that it covers the 2A/2B line. The strip should be "right sides together".
 Start from the intersecting point (where 2A/2B meets 3A/3B) and sew until you reach the end of the template (even though the line isn't marked into the seam allowance).
Fold template back along the stitch line and trim to 1/4" seam allowance to reduce bulk.

Press open.
Place the 3A/3B strip in place.

Sew along the 3A/3B line, trim and press open.

Repeat for 4A/4B

and 5A/5B

 For my background fabric I cut 8x 5" squares, and then subcut into HSTs. You could cut smaller/more accurately sized pieces if you like, I was just avoiding more frogged seams! If using HSTs, align as shown above, and then sew along line 6A/6B.
Trim seam allowance to 1/4" and press open.

Align final piece..

Sew along 7A/7B, then trim to 1/4" seam allowance..

and press.

Trim excess fabric using acrylic ruler and rotary cutter.

You should have on beautifully sharp, perfect section!

Part A & B complete

Repeat for all 8 pieces/4 sections

 Take an A section and a B section. Align the seams, trying to match the strips as closely as possible. Pin as required. I left my paper in until the block was complete so that I didn't stretch/distort the block, but this is personal preference.

Sew along diagonal seam allowance marking

Press seam open

I then carefully removed a section of the paper where the 4 sections will meet - this was because when I did my first blocks it was very hard to remove the paper once all 4 sections were joined.

Repeat for the other 3 sections

Pin two sections together, matching strips as before.

Sew along seam allowance line.

Press open

Repeat for the other half

Pin both sections at the centre seam and matching the other strips as closely as possible.

Sew along seam allowance line, press seams open. 
Yay! Your block is complete! Mine measured approx 11.75" at this point, but once the paper was removed it ended up around 12.25". If your block is approx 12", it's good enough for me! Now you can either grab a drink, pop the TV on and indulge in the therapeutic properties of removing all the paper, or you can post it with the paper still attached and I'll do it later :)

My 3 test blocks :)


  1. This was very helpful ~ I am about to embark on a lone star quilt, I think.... thank-you so much for sharing!

  2. Thank you for this beautiful start tut! Do you happen to have it in a .pdf?

  3. Would appreciate a .pdf as well -- the template for the paper foundation simply does not print in a usable fashion. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the clear tut and the template. Looks like this will be my Christmas project.

  5. Thanks! This will be my first paper piece project & your tutorial looks Iike I will be able to make it easily.


I love to read your comments, please let me know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...