Friday, February 15, 2013

Windblown Star quilt block

Windblown Star quilt pattern
February 15, 1933-Nancy Cabot introduced the Windblown Star quilt block on this day.  She didn't have much to say except that it could be traced to a "quaint, seaside town in Maine."  An example of this quilt that had been pieced in 1778 was found there.  It was made of blue fabrics which were very faded.

This is a popular quilt block today.  It can easily be made from all half square triangles. To make a 6" block, the HST would need to be 1 1/2" finished.

Nancy's block was pieced differently than what is common today, at least from what I've seen.

I designed a pattern based on this block back in August 2011 before I even knew anything about Nancy Cabot.  I call it Triangle Confusion.  This pattern is sewn with all half square triangle units that start out as 5" squares.  It's a great pattern to use up a lot of scraps or even those charm packs you don't know what to do with.  You can read about it here and here.  You can also purchase it here or here.

Triangle Confusion quilt

This is the way Nancy Cabot's Windblown Star quilt block was designed according to her drawing in the Chicago Tribune-

So, starting in the center, you need a 3 1/2" square of background fabric and 2-2" squares each of 2 coordinating fabric.  Mark a diagonal line on the 2" squares as shown.  This is your sewing line.

Sew a 2" square to each corner of the 3 1/2" square like this.  Trim corner to 1/4" seam allowance and press triangle up. The upper right hand square has been trimmed.  Repeat sewing, trimming and pressing each corner as shown until you have finished all 4 corners.

To make the triangles, you need 2-4 3/16" squares of background fabric and 1 each of your other two fabrics.  Cut the squares like this.  Then pair up a background piece with each of the pieces of the other 2 squares, matching up the short sides.  They should all have the background fabric on the left side of the triangle as shown in the the last photo below.  Sorry, I don't have another photo to explain this.  You will end up with 8 quarter square triangle units.  Two from each fabric will need to be trimmed.  Line the point up at 2 1/8" and trim as shown below.  These smaller triangles are sewn to the sides of the center block made earlier as shown in last photo.

Sew the last 4 triangles on and you are finished!  

Tomorrow-Chimney Swallow

If you want to see another Nancy Cabot block, her Broken Star block, check out my post in the BlockBase Sew Along!

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