I thought about posting a sneaky trick today for April Fool’s….like that I’m pregnant or that I’ve decided to stop doing the Sugar Block Club (neither are true!)…but I’ll be honest- I don’t think I could deal with the reactions! Some weeks I can laugh at anything, and others I might cry if you tell me my shirt’s on inside out. Today is definitely the later. Sheesh. Ok, I’m getting off topic. Back to the subject at hand…
…The Sugar Block Club! A new block today and I’ll be real with you- I’m crazy about it! Aren’t the colors funky and happy? Springy…but with a little happy dash of unexpected Christmas cheer…and, oddly, slightly stoplight-ish? Ok, my mind is officially off on safari today.
This month I chose the Ohio Star as my classic patchwork inspiration. This star shape has been a quilting staple since the Civil War, and through the years has had many names- Variable Star, Eastern Star, Western Star, Lone Star, Texas Star. The sharp, bold star points sticking out on the horizontal and vertical- those punchy quarter square triangles just standing proud and never letting us forget, “Hey, I’m an OHIO STAR!”
Here’s an example of a classic Ohio Star (it’s my free One Block Wonder quilt pattern)- see those aqua triangles facing one another in those big fat quarter square triangle units? Telltale Ohio Star. Love them.
When I started playing around with this shape, I discovered that I could fill in one of those negative space (white) triangles with the same color as my star points (green) and really create a new fun shape that still has those bold points sticking out, but instead of an hourglass, it reminds me of a tulip. Then I started playing with the corners and the center unit- adding funky details and creating fresh, new look, that’s still deeply rooted in that classic little piece of Civil War history.
This week I’ll be releasing a full quilt pattern based on this block design, and it’s called Antebellum (which means before or existing before a war, particularly before the American Civil War)…I haven’t found a precise date for the earliest recorded Ohio Star, but I’m betting somebody probably made one before the war started on April 12, 1861. And if they didn’t, oh well- what a cool word! Antebellum. It’s just fun to say.
Premium Sugar Block Club members will receive their digital copy of this pattern over the weekend. In fact, premium members are receiving ALL of the quilt patterns for this year’s club, along with handy printable PDFs of all of the block patterns, and some other awesome stuff as well like monthly giveaways and even a free quilt label for their finished quilt. You can sign up to be a premium member HERE.
Ok, ready to make this block? Let’s get stitching!
Fabric Selection Note: To make the green star point units visually pop, and so the seam that runs across these units isn’t distracting, a blender (small print) fabric, or even a solid, works really well (OR completely ignore this suggestion, and instead choose a fun directional fabric or fussy cut something awesome! Be sure to share a picture of your one-of-a-kind block on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarblockclub
- Using a ruler, draw a diagonal pencil line from corner to opposite corner on the wrong side of the white 5 3/8’’ and 5’’ squares, the green 5’’ squares, and all of the gold and pink squares.
- Pair each 5’’ white square with a 5’’ red square, right sides together, with the drawn line facing up. Pin. Stitch ¼’’ seam on each side of the drawn line (Figure 1). Cut unit in half on the drawn line. Press units open with the seam facing toward the darker fabric. Trim all four half square triangle units to 4 ½’’ X 4 ½’’ square and set aside.
- Pair the 5 3/8’’ white square with the 5 3/8’’ green square, and repeat the steps in Figure 1 to create another pair of half square triangles. Do not trim this pair.
- Now, pair each of the two untrimmed green half square triangles with a green 5’’ square, right sides together and so that the drawn line is perpendicular to the seam. Follow the steps in Figure 1 to create four units In the same way that all of the previous half square units have been created (Figure Press these units toward the unpieced side and trim to 4 1/2’’ square.
- Take each red half square triangle unit and align a pink square on the red corner, and a gold square on the white corner, right sides together and both with the drawn lines parallel to the seam.
Stitch on the drawn lines, then trim outside the seam to 1/4’’ (Figure 3). Press corners open.
- To create the center snowball unit, take the white 4 1/2’’ square, and in the same way that the gold square was added to corner in step 5, stitch gold squares to all 4 corners. Trim to 1/4’’ seam allowance and press corner patches open (Figure 4).
- Last but not least! Take all 9 units (Figure 5) and lay them all out using the block image as a guide. Stitch into three rows of three units each. Press seams toward the green, then join the rows and press.
Square up the block to 12 ½’’ X 12 ½’’.
YAY! That’s all there is to it! Fun, eh? If you want to receive email notification of new block patterns each month, sign up for my mailing list using the box below, or if you’d rather receive the printable PDFs for all of the blocks and quilts in this month’s club, you can upgrade to premium HERE.