Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop featuring my Improv Star Block.  If this is your first time stopping, Hello!  I hope you’ll have a look around my blog and come back often.  I used to be a very good blogger but now…not so much.  You can also find me on Instagram  (@OrchidOwlQuilts) where I’m very active.

I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone for this block so I decided to play around with a little improv piecing {thank you Curley for the idea}.   My friends who know me best know this is way outside my comfort zone.  No, I didn’t fall down and hit my head.  No, I wasn’t drunk.  I was being brave and trying new things.  My bestie, Ida, will be so proud.

Here’s a look at my improv star block.

Improv Star Block

As you can see, I improv pieced some strips of fabric and then made 4 quarter square triangle (QST) blocks.  I’m pretty happy with my first real attempt at improv piecing.

Now the fun part…how to make one for yourself.

This block finishes at 12″ and all seams are 1/4.”

Cutting directions:

{4} 4.5″ squares of background fabric (grey)

{1} 4.5″ square for center (teal)

{2} 6″ squares of background fabric (grey)

{2} 6″ squares from improv striped fabric (you’ll make this)

Cut multiple strips of different fabrics for the improv section.  You need enough to make a 6.5″ x 12.5″ rectangle.  I cut strips that ranged from 3/4″ to 1.5″ in width.  I also cut my strips at angles and not perfectly straight.  That part is up to you…improv.  Do what makes you happy.

Fabric Strips

Piecing Instructions:

Piece the strips of fabric and make a 6.5″ x 12.5″ rectangle.  I didn’t even worry about my seams going a little wonky.  I pressed my seams all to the side.  Cut two 6″ squares from this.

Improv Strip Piecing

You can see my strips aren’t perfectly lined up at the ends.  That’s ok.  Just make sure you have enough length to cut two 6″ squares.

Pair up each improv square with a 6″ square of background fabric to make 4 half square triangles (HST).

HST blocks

Place the squares right sides together and draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the background fabric.  I used a chalk pencil.  You can use anything that you can see.

Making a HSTSew a line 1/4″ away from the drawn line.  Repeat on the other side.  Then cut the squares apart on the drawn line.

Cut HST blocks

This makes 4 HSTs.  Press toward the background fabric.  Don’t worry about trimming yet.

The 4 HSTs will be paired up to make 4 QSTs.  Pair 2 HSTs and layer them right sides together with the fabrics opposite, background fabric will be touching improv fabric.  Make 2.  In the picture below, I have turned back a corner to show this.

QSTRepeat all of the HST steps to create 4 QSTs, draw the diagonal line, sew on each side, cut apart, and press.  The seams are a bit bulky, starch is your best friend.  It will help the block lay flat.

Square up the QST blocks to 4.5.”  It’s important to line up the ruler so the 2.25″ diagonal mark is on the center of your block (you can see that in my picture below).  In the picture, the 2.25″ is a little black dot that I placed in the very center of my block.  Trim the right side and the top.  Rotate the block and trim the other two sides.

Squaring Up Block

Assembling the block:

Refer to the picture below for the correct layout of your block.    Sew the blocks into rows and then sew the rows together.

Star Block

All done!

Improv Stripe StarI hope you like this simple improv star and you’ll give it a try.  It was lots of fun to make.

Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop to see all the great blocks.

Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Kathy @Kathys Kwilts and More

Paige @Quilted Blooms

Mary @Strip Quilts Pass it On

Allison @Woodberry Way

Seven @The Concerned Craft

Olusola @Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co.

Ann @Brown Paws Quilting

Jodie @Persimmon + Pear

Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts

Kitty @Night Quilter

Francine @Mochawildchild

Shelley @The Carpenter’s Daughter who Quilts

Jayne @Twiggy and Opal

Geraldine @Living Water Quilter

Shannon @Shannon Fraser Designs

Lisa @Sunlight In Winter Quilts

Jessica @Quilty Habit

Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life

Deanna @Stitches Quilting

Denise @Craft Traditions

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.  Now go get busy and make some blocks!


31 thoughts on “Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop”

  1. I love it! I’m already planning a quilt using your block. If I ever get around to it I’ll let you know. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. Amanda @Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.

    Star blocks are my forever favorite and you’ve done a fantastic job with your design! Beautiful work!

  3. Vickie-i think I’m seeing stars! Sorry, couldn’t pass it up, but seriously I like what you did. These Cloud 9 colors are gorgeous together and the individual blocks are awesome. Can’t wait to see the finished quilt!

    1. For some reason, the comment feature is not showing up for me and I can only reply to one of the other comments. Anyway, LOVE this block!! Really colorful and fun! When I first clicked on your website, I thought for SURE I was going to see a block using your logo. The colors on the owl are perfect!

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