Farm Girl Vintage Quilt & Featherweight Sew Along - Block 2 (Autumn Star)
by April Henry
Today, we are featuring block 2 of the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along at the Featherweight Shop! Many of us began by learning some of the quilting basics as the first block, Apron Strings, was completed. Many gained new confidence while preparing, cutting and sewing block 2, the Autumn Star.
Ruthie picked out fabric for both her block and mine with the only variation being the center teal and corner green floral prints.
Lori Holt's instructions are always so clear and concise, even a beginner quilter can quickly learn the art of quilting by using her patterns. While this block has several smaller pieces, being careful with cutting as well as sewing a scant 1/4" seam will make all the difference in accuracy. Take your time and enjoy the process!
There are a lot of half square triangles (HSTs) in the Farm Girl Vintage quilt with a few good techniques you can choose to sew them. The technique shown in the photo above is the one I prefer when wanting to be as accurate as possible. Using the Magic Wand (which has a center line to align at each corner point) you draw a 1/4" line on either side of the wand. These drawn lines are your sewing lines... except I don't sew directly on the line. You'll recall from our last sew along that I like to sew just barely next to the line -- sewing my stitches on the side that will be cut or trimmed away. This creates more of a "scant" quarter inch seam and when the pieces are pressed with an iron, the fabric edges and points are more likely to line up accurately.
If you don't have a Magic Wand, you can just draw a center line from point to point, then measuring 1/4" inch from that line for your parallel stitching lines. This is shown in the photo below.
After your lines are sewn, cut your square in half from point to point, between your stitching lines (or on your center drawn line) and you will end up with two half-square triangles!
OH! One more tip - press your seam allowances open when you're working with a lot of pieces, particularly for the smaller block size. This will help with seam alignment as well as help your block to lay more flat as you make the final measurements for squaring up.
Photo Recap from our Featherweight Shop Sew Along!
Roxanne decided to make the Winter Star block, which is very similar to the Autumn Star.
Sometimes those charm packs leave you wondering where to measure from the edge... is it the tip or the inside of the zigzag? Most of the time you'll want to use the tips, but don't rely on that completely because fabric manufacturers can vary with the depth of their trimming. It's always best to still measure each piece to be consistent, (or just trim the zigzags off completely if you can spare the fabric).
Another pinning tip: Pin your pieces so that the point of your pin always points to the side where the seam is to be sewn. Then you'll never wonder when you take your pieces from your cutting or design board to your sewing machine.
Chain piecing helps speed your block-sewing along!
Pinning your pieces with seams pressed open, and at an angle, can leave you wondering where it is best to place the pins for greater accuracy. We took this quick impromptu video (above) to help show our method.
What about you? What fabrics and color combinations did you come up with for today's block? Be sure to upload your photos in the comments below for others to gain inspiration; we all truly enjoy seeing what you make, too!